This has been burning for months.

Communicating the essence of Value of Simple (VoS) has been and may always be one of my biggest challenges. Even some folks who have been around for a while still don't fully understand why Value of Simple exists and what we're trying to achieve.

It's time to fix this major issue.

But how?

That's what I've been thinking about…and I finally have an answer.

We're going to create a “manifesto-like” picture that boils down the raw spirit of VoS into a single image. The kind that someone can absorb in seconds and think, “Yeah. I get it…and I want that!”

I'm not a fan of the word manifesto and it doesn't seem right for this, so it's time to create the Value of Simple Declaration!

And I need your help turning this into reality.

Whether you subscribed to VoS last week, check in periodically, or have been with us since the beginning, I need your input on what we stand for.

Will you help us shape the future of this community and be a part of creating the Value of Simple Declaration?

The Inspiration

I'm constantly inspired by other people's ability to sum up their mission in a single picture. What I have in mind for the VoS Declaration is something in between the:

Kaizen Journaling Manifesto Live Your Legend Connect with Anyone Creed Lululemon Manifesto

I like different aspects of each image and it's going to be really hard to get a graphic designer to pull off our Declaration. I know I certainly can't do this myself.

Before I turn this over to someone to get creative, I'm looking for your insight in the comments on other inspiring images that you think would be a good framework. They just need to incorporate:

  • Multiple colors (but not a ton of them)
  • A clean and simple design
  • Different font sizes and positioning

A big goal is to evoke emotions like confidence, focus, and empowerment (among others). But the biggest goal is to communicate the essence here in the shortest time possible.

The Text

This is the hardest part and where I need your help the most (because you know I can get wordy).

Having a lot to say and an endless passion behind it doesn't help when I'm naturally, um, not so concise.

Out of our founding principles, I've chosen a shorter version of some that are the most meaningful for a picture of our mission.

They are:

  • One Small Change Can Lead to Big Changes
  • Life is Easier, Cheaper, and Happier with Less
  • Always Know Why You Want to Change
  • The Truly Important Doesn't Wait Until Tomorrow
  • Change Is Faster and More Rewarding When Connected To a Larger Belief

However, this is not enough. To create a bigger impact – to generate a deep emotional connection – we're going to have to expand on the principles.

So I looked through everything written on VoS, my all-time favorite quotes, and other all-star content to come up with 27 additional statements that could be included.

I need you to tell us which of these statements:

  1. Speak to you the most
  2. Aren't relevant to our core mission
  3. Are worded awkwardly along with suggestions to improve them

I'm also looking for you to add to this list. I could be so deep inside my own head that I'm missing some critical components of our collective essence.

Here's what I have so far:

  1. Simplify, organize, and be money wise
  2. Self-awareness is taken, not given
  3. Knowledge and desire are nothing without action
  4. Be intentional
  5. Life's a giant experiment. Be your own mad scientist.
  6. Celebrate and share what makes you tick
  7. Many questions have the same answer: Simplify
  8. Freedom is needing little and wanting less
  9. Rocking life's basics is not sexy…but is incredibly rewarding
  10. Quest for your personal renaissance
  11. Find strength in vulnerability, generosity, and your true identity
  12. Curate your experiences and experience curating
  13. Invest in something other than yourself
  14. Life's not complicated. Be simple.
  15. Give up the “good life” to pursue a great life
  16. Personal revolutions aren't always civil wars
  17. Chaos fears the simple and organized
  18. Internal mastery beats external awards
  19. Silence is golden. Break it only when you have something more valuable.
  20. Life's classroom has no test subjects. Every moment counts.
  21. Learn so you can teach others
  22. Simplicity often is not easy
  23. Radiate peace but burn inside with passion
  24. Everyone plays by different rules. Respect them.
  25. Choose uncertainty over unhappiness
  26. Tell your story
  27. Internal motivation is self-reinforcing. External motivation is an endless search.

Whew! That's a lot to incorporate into a single image. It can be done, but should all that go into our Declaration?

I was also considering closing the Declaration or prominently featuring the text, “Join a community that gets you.” Because that's what we really need. We need to be part of communities where we don't have to constantly justify why we do everything, what happened in our past, and where we want our future to lead us.

So what am I missing? What do you see that you love or desperately want to change?

This is Your Chance

We're going to hang our hats on the Value of Simple Declaration for a looooong time. That means I want your fingerprints all over this and would love to be staggered by your insight.

This is our time to define.

This is your time to shine!

Let's create something that we can share with pride to the rest of the world!

Inspire us all with answers to these questions in your comments below!

  1. What are other stirring images that could be a blueprint for this Declaration?
  2. Which of the 27 statements do you like the most, which aren't relevant, and which ones could you wordsmith to have more power?
  3. What statements should be added to the current list of 27 (if any)?

General feedback is awesome too if you'd rather provide that.

Please use this moment to make an impact. I need you to be able to confidently state when I unveil the Declaration, “This is why I'm a member of the Value of Simple community!”

Get your fingerprints all over this and help create this Declaration!

Photo Credit: Caveman Chuck Coker