Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels

My wife put me on to this one after hearing Hybels interviewed on Moody Radio one day and I’m glad she did. It’s an enjoyable read, with lots of anecdotes, outlining ten practical ways to unclutter your soul.

Most helpful chapters for me were chapter one on sustainable energy levels, chapter two on scheduling, and chapter seven on friendships, the latter being my favorite and the area I’d like to work on most.

If you read it all in one sitting (as I did) then you’ll probably feel a bit overwhelmed and your mind will be more cluttered than ever. Probably better to read a chapter, think about it, discuss it with your husband/wife/friend, and try to implement one or two action items per chapter. Then go on to the next one, maybe a couple of weeks later.

My Favorite Quotes

On God’s Call
Simplified living is about more than doing less. It’s being who God called us to be, with a wholehearted, single-minded focus. It’s walking away from innumerable lesser opportunities in favor of the few to which we’ve been called and for which we’ve been created.

On Energy Levels
If you choose to live with more energy reserves in your life, you will without a doubt disappoint some people. Trust me, you have to fight to keep your life replenished. No one else can keep your tank full. It’s up to you to protect your energy reserves and priorities.

Of all the leaders I’ve had the opportunity to meet—from CEOs to nonprofit execs to politicians to church leaders—guess which type is most likely to have a problem with being overwhelmed, overscheduled, and exhausted? Senior pastors!

If you look at what’s underneath the skyrocketing use of pornography these days, a lot of it is connected to depletion, isolation, and exhaustion.

Spending time with God each day is the antidote to one energy-killer in particular: image management

Exercise and proper rest patterns give about a 20 percent energy increase in an average day, average week, average month.

On Scheduling
My schedule is far less about what I want to get done and far more about who I want to become. Let me repeat: My schedule is far less about what I want to get done and far more about who I want to become.

How would you spend your time if God were in charge of it?”

I’m of the opinion that the thoughtful arrangement of your daily and weekly calendars is one of the holiest endeavors you can undertake.

On Friendship
By evaluating, pruning, expanding, bordering, and deepening your relationships, you can maximize the energy and joy they bring to your newly simplified life.

If I were to wrestle friendship in all its complexities down to just a few short words, I would define it like this: to know and be known.

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels.