The clarity in less

Words by Carl Phillips

There is a clarity in subtracting.

Less distraction.
Less indecision.
Less clutter.
Less room for doubt.

What We Can Subtract

Subtraction for its own sake can lead to unhealthy places. We subtract to get to the core of what is truly important to us. 

We subtract commitments from our diary so we have time for loved ones. 

We subtract clutter from our home so we can enjoy the space we have. 

We subtract one-sided, soul sucking relationships from our lives. 

We subtract wasteful expenses so we can pour our hard-earned money into passion projects and adventures instead.

Subtraction is a means to an end, not the end itself. 


Subtraction often runs counter to our culture.  We are sold—and end up chasing—more.  Moving in the opposite direction means we need to put the blinkers on.  We need to ignore the calls for more.  We need to see more for what it is: an empty promise and mostly snake oil pitch.

The more we trim the fat of our lives, the more room we have for the things and people that make our hearts sing.  We get closer to what it is that matters most.  We get to the real essentials.

Subtraction leads us to clarity.

Carl Phillips

Carl is a writer and runs Frictionless Living, a site about the pursuit of simplicity to help us focus on what matters most. It’s about finding clarity in distracted times.

Frictionless Living

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Inside Minimalism is our series of exclusive essays on simple living. Each essay is written by our team of writers who are passionate about helping you craft a simpler life. Supported by their own personal experiences, we want to inspire and encourage you to clear the path of life’s stuff, so you can get to where you really want to be.

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