Episode 148: Minimalism Is Focusing On What You Value Most Says Joel Zaslofsky

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Joel Zaslofsky SimpleREV

Joel Zaslofsky

Joel Zaslofsky wants to inspire you to eliminate as many sources of negativity from your life as possible, so you can focus on what you value most. 

Not long ago Joel Zaslofsky felt stuck and discovered minimalism as a way to reinvent his life. He has loads of ideas to “liberate your time, money and talent” over on his blog Value of Simple and his podcast Smart and Simple Matters. He organized his first Simple REV conference this past fall to bring people together to learn more about the minimalist lifestyle.

Joel felt like he was stuck in his corporate job for quite a long time. Looking back he didn’t realize he was stuck, but rather just “floating” through each day. His goal at the time was simple: get a well-paying job and hold onto it until he retired. It took the birth of his first child to realize he no longer wanted to live his life this way, so he decide to make some drastic changes.

Joel started freeing his life of anything that made him feel negative, so he would have more time and energy for things that made him feel positive. Joel’s definition of minimalism is all about intentionally promoting the things in his life he values most, while clearing out the things that don’t matter all that much to him.

Special Offer for UnStuckable Listeners!

Joel has generously made a bunch of amazing tools to start living the minimalist lifestyle for free to all UnStuckable listeners! Click here to learn more! Get your New Year started off with less clutter, stress and worry by clearing negative sources of energy from your life!

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Slow down!

Living more slowly, might actually help each of us live more fully. We all have a short amount of time on this earth and there are so many awesome things to experience before we die, so we are tempted to cram as much into our lives as possible. Prioritizing your needs can help you slow down, so you have time to enjoy the things that are most important to you.

There are lots of different exercises to slow down your life. You can try meditation, exercise or going for a walk. Anything you can do on a daily basis to force yourself to slow down and take in your surroundings is going to help you converse your energy for those life experience that matter the most to you.

UnStuckable Quotes From Joel

“Most of my goals in life were financial in nature . . . now, I rarely think in financial terms.”

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things I value most.”

“In person connection, that’s where the real magic happens.”

“What’s simple often isn’t easy, and what’s fulfilling often is hard, but it’s worth it.”

“When you allow your external environment to challenge you, that’s where the growth occurs.”

“Choose uncertainty over unhappiness.”

“I really only wanted to be with people who lifted me up.”

More Habits & Actions

  • Analyze your lifestyle. When Joel was feeling stuck, he assessed how he was spending his time and some of his habits. He realized that in order to improve his life, he needed to change some of those habits like eating too much sugar, playing video games for hours on end and not getting enough rest. Identify areas in your own life that could benefit from some positive changes. Create achievable goals, but challenge yourself as well.
  • Focus on time over money. Start basing your decisions on actions that will give you more time, rather than more money. Of course, money is always a concern, but focusing on carving out more time to do the things you love will make your more fulfilled than a big bank account. It is better to have extra time, rather than extra money.
  • View money as a tool. Joel views money as a way to reach his goals, not as the goal itself. Think about what you are passionate about and calculate how much money is required to help you achieve your goal. Don’t look at money as the end, but as the means to help you live the life you’ve always wanted.

Joel’s UnStuckable Lesson

In today’s lesson, Joel talked to us about one aspect of minimalism: ho to purge unproductive or negative relationships. You only have so much time to spend with other people, so you need to make sure that it is spent on people who not only make your life better, but whose lives you improve in return. If you are feeling stuck, and want to start having better relationships in your life, it may be time to make a “social purge.” As someone who has gone through this before, Joel had a few steps to help you get through it.

1. Make a List

Get a list together of all of your contacts and relationships. Next start determining if they have a positive or negative influence on your life. Next, identify how you would like to handle each of your “negative” relationships by either eliminating is, spending less time on it or spending more time on it to improve the relationship. The point of this exercise isn’t to simple cut people out of your life, but to become aware of the influence of your relationships over the new direction you want to take with your life.

2. Start Cutting

Once you’ve made your list of “negative” relationships, it’s time to reach out to each one and explain how the changes you are making in your life will affect your relationship with that individual.

If there is a relationship you want to save or improve, it’s best to have an honest conversation with that person. You have nothing to lose and the other person just might welcome the conversation. Tell them you are looking for more out of the relationship and get their thoughts on it.

For those relationships you want to remove entirely from your life, you have two options: 1) You can either slowly fade out the relationship by spending less and less time with them or 2) Be direct with them. You don’t have to be mean about it, but rather tell them the relationship isn’t working for you any longer and that you think it would be best if you went your separate ways.

3. Start Adding

Once you have removed people from your life, you now have more time and energy for better relationships. Reach out to people who have similar interests as you and be aware of adding more positive and supportive relationships into your life.

You have the ability to create the social environment you want around you, so fill it with the kind of people that energize you. Go to places where people are doing things you like or consider meeting people in online forums. There are tons of people out there with interests with interests similar to yours just waiting to make a new connection with someone.





Play It Away by Charlie Hoehn


Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

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