Interview with Carl Phillips from Frictionless Living

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Miss Simple Living Interview with Carl Phillips from Frictionless Living

Tell me about yourself

I am the owner and founder of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers find simplicity, focus and clarity in distracted times. I also write short books full of big ideas on related topics I like to explore a little deeper.

In terms of me, aside from busying myself with my writing, I also work as a Business Consultant and in my spare time I love to play guitar, go see live music, walk, exercise (I’m a big calisthenics fan), read, enjoy nature/wildlife and travel.  I also like to fit in some good quality coffee along the way to fuel these adventures!

The pictures of me sitting with a group of 5 cheetahs gets some attention on my site and I am a bit of a safari nut (with cheetahs being my favourites).  Being on safari in the Masai Mara is my idea of heaven.

You talk about a period of reflection in your life, what was the turning point to live a more frictionless life?

Well, to start off with, although I named the site Frictionless Living, I don’t want people to think I live in a bubble.  Frictionless is partly an ideal and while I do believe strongly we can use tools to make life simpler and reduce friction that doesn’t mean I don’t encounter hurdles in life.  We all do of course.

In terms of my period of deeper reflection.  It had been boiling for some time but happened around 7-8 years ago when I realised I was accumulating more in my life.

More things that didn’t really bring me joy or matter.

More commitments I wasn’t really passionate about keeping.

More friction!

Something felt off in my life and I lacked a degree of clear focus.  I wasn’t sure I was truly living authentically.  I felt like less and less of my time was actually my time. So, I started to take some action.  That action has meant:

Along this journey, the quality of my life has improved significantly. I have concerned myself a whole lot less with the need to keep up with keeping up.  Stuff matters less to me than it once did.  I march (or relax) to my own drum.  I feel happier and I feel like I am on a path of my own setting.

Why has Leo Babauta – Zen Habits been such an influence on your journey?

Leo has been a massive influence over the years in several ways.  First, a Leo post is responsible for the name of my blog (as I document on my about page).  Secondly, his writing and message really resonated with me at a time I was ready for a different way of approaching life (during the above period of reflection and change).

His book, The Power of Less in particular was a push in a new direction for me at the time.  It helped me embrace my own journey into seeking a simpler and more fulfilling version of my life.

I am admirer of his work to this day and have purchased every one of his books and still read anything new he puts out.  I’ve even been fortunate enough to interview him on my site.

In a world of hyperbole and over promising but underdelivering, Leo is a fine example of someone that has moved in the opposite direction.  He has shown that integrity, great writing and a strong message can win you success on your own terms.

I owe the man a large debt and I am very thankful his work came into my life at the time it did.

What are your thoughts on the growing counterculture of simplicity and minimalism? –Where do you think this comes from?

People are seeking a different way of living.  The constant busyness and connection 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of our modern lives is wearing many of us down.  We’ve got more than we’ve ever had but many of us are feeling empty.  We feel like there’s a void that needs filling with something else.  Something more meaningful.

The simplicity and minimalism movement, along with a search for meaning, has always been there but I feel it’s become even more relevant in an age of distraction attraction.

However, while I operate from this general space myself and I absolutely believe in the power of simple, I’m also keen to avoid labels.  Labels can lead to people getting a little cultish and dogmatic about this stuff.  Personally, that doesn’t interest me and it can put others off.

What’s enough for me may not fit you so we are all on our own journeys.   If only having so many items in your home suits you that’s fine, but there are other ways that can also work.  There are no rules.

Do you think simplicity & minimalism lifestyle could become a mainstream culture in the future?

I think the movement has already become much more mainstream and has been for some time.  There are so many films, blogs, books and articles out there professing the benefits of living with less that it’s not really under the radar. People are more aware of consumption and the effect of consuming on the planet.  People are more aware of buying produce sustainably and avoiding waste.

Whether we choose to adopt a simpler way of living and what this ends up meaning for us is a personal choice and journey.  I encourage everyone to take part in their own journey, experiment, draw their own conclusions and live accordingly.  What your version of simple looks like needs to fit you.

Thank you so much Carl for your answers to my questions.

Here is a Video of Carl Phillips on This Day Live