Has your American dream turned into a nightmare?

american dream

A house, a car, or even 2 or 3 cars!

A riding mower.

Stainless steel appliances.

Flat screen TV, Wii gaming system.

Swimming pool, designer landscaping.

Four wheelers, dirt bikes.

Guns, paintball, airsoft.

Boat, jetskis.

Dinner out several times a week.

Karate, baseball.

Cheerleading, softball.

PTA, homework.

Checkups, sick days.

Vacations in high gear.

Portable DVD player, iPad.

Paying bills, balancing checkbook.

High speed DSL, HiDef TV.

Doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom.

Taking care of pets, taking care of parents.

Shopping for Christmas, paying taxes.

Non-stop weekends.

Smart phones, Skype.

X-box 360, Sony Playstation.

Fixing cars, fixing washers.

Painting walls, leaky plumbing.

iTunes, Starbucks.

300 channels, nothing to watch.

Closet full, nothing to wear.

3 laptops, 4 iPods.

100’s of friends, no one to talk to.

3 college degrees, no job to be found.

Great paying job, miserable life.

Waiting for someday to finally come.

Is this what you signed up for? Or is the picture below more what you have in mind?

Life can be ridiculously complicated, if you let it. We fall prey to the American Dream, which has become more of a nightmare. One solution is to simplify our lives. Many people are considering this by choice or out of economic necessity.

The ideas below come from Leo Babuta at Zen Habits. He does not copyright his writings and I would love to share some of what he says about this subject. He has some great ideas about simplifying life to the important things.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote, which I’ve stolen as this site’s subtitle, is the shortest guide to life you’ll ever need:

“Smile, breath, and go slowly.”


If you live your life by those five words, you’ll do pretty well. For those who need a little more guidance, here are the lessons that Leo has learned (so far) as a few guidelines, or reminders, really. He has quite few links to other posts and resources on his blog.

And as always, these rules are meant to be broken. Life wouldn’t be any fun if they weren’t.

the brief guide

less TV, more reading
less shopping, more outdoors
less clutter, more space
less rush, more slowness
less consuming, more creating
less junk, more real food
less busywork, more impact
less driving, more walking
less noise, more solitude-see my post Can you please turn down the noise?
less focus on the future, more on the present
less work, more play
less worry, more smiles
breathe Also see Calgon, take me away!

Also see my post: 10 first steps for a simpler life

What steps have you taken to simplify your life?

If you would like to see what steps a family could take to simplify their lives, check out the e-book resource below: