Updated July 15, 2016
This is our life’s motto: live nimbly.
According to Merriam-Webster, “nimble” means “able to move quickly, easily, and lightly.”
What does this mean to us?
We are ready to change course at any time.
Put another way, if God says go—to the city next door or the country on the other side of the globe—we just go.
Here are 8 things we’re doing to live nimbly.
1. Live a year at a time
We reevaluate most of our big decisions on a yearly basis. These include our living situation, our children’s education, our jobs and our long-term plans. We routinely ask ourselves questions like, “Are these jobs helping us make an impact? Should we sell the house? Is this school setup still working for us?”
2. Pay off all debt
We paid off all our debt. It’s amazing how much freedom comes with not owing people money.
3. Don’t accumulate stuff
The more stuff we have, the more stuff we have to get rid of if we go, and the more stuff we have to maintain if we stay. It’s amazing how much time and money are sucked up by the keeping of things. I am the queen of getting rid of stuff.
4. Only acquire stuff we’d be willing to give away
With the exception of our home, we don’t have anything non-give-away-able. Our cars, furniture, toys, household goods…none of it is so valuable we’d have to sell it in order to leave. If we were in a hurry, we’d just give it away. In the case of our house, we keep an informal list of people we’d offer to rent to if we didn’t sell.
5. Exercise out-of-the-box thinking
Humans are largely creatures of habit and familiarity, but rarely are great things accomplished by doing what’s always been done. André Gide said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Without the willingness to think differently, we get stuck.
6. It’s more than just living simply
Living simply is awesome and to live nimbly one must living simply, but living nimbly means adding a sense of anticipation and expectation to simplicity. We’re always on the lookout for the next thing.
7. Be travel ready
We all have passports. We track flight prices to parts of the world we might like to visit or live. (Google Flights makes it easy.) We keep our ears open for opportunities to serve around the world. We have a designated budget envelope for future trips.
8. Adopt a “you never know” mindset
We look into opportunities no matter how crazy they seem. It never hurts to investigate. After all, until we sign on the dotted line, nothing is set in stone and anything is possible. Instead of “Oh, that would never work for us!” we think, “Is there any way that could work for us?” Most of the time they don’t pan out, but before we write something off, we exhaust all the potential.
It’s entirely possible we’ll live the rest of our lives right where we are and that would be fine. We can make plans and plans are good, but we don’t want to be so focused on our goals and plans that we miss out on unexpected whispers of God. We want to live on our toes, ready to change course at any time.
Life’s more fun that way.