Welcome to Essentialist Dad

Essentialist Dad is my personal blog where I write about my journey to be intentional in all areas of my life.

I call it living by design.

You’re probably thinking . . . “What the heck does that mean?”

Well, here’s the short version –

Living by default means accepting things the way they are and believing it’s the only way. It means following the crowd assuming that status quo and doing things the usual way will eventually lead to happiness and fulfillment if you just work hard enough. Living this way is passive and puts you at the mercy of the events that happen to you.

Living by design means taking the time to EXPLORE your options, DECIDE what is important to you, PLAN your course, and EXECUTE the plan to live the life you want. It’s a deliberate, active approach to living that gives you more control over your success, happiness, and ability to contribute to the world.

I started Essentialist Dad to document my journey and the resources I find along the way. I share my thoughts, as well as, tools, tactics, and strategies that are helping me to create a life of my own design. There might be times when I seem to go off on a tangent, but it’s my blog so I’m allowed. There will usually be a point.

If you’re tired of living by default, want to make significant changes in your life, and enjoy learning, you’ll feel right at home here.

Who Am I?

My name is Bud Ward.

Like you, I have many roles in life. I’m a dad, husband, writer, physical therapist, and aspiring essentialist.

Of all of my roles, being a dad and husband are the most important to me.

In October 2013, my mother lost her eight-year battle with breast cancer. I owned a physical therapy practice at the time and worked a lot of hours each week – including a couple of hours each night at home.living by design family

I was under a lot of stress, wasn’t sleeping enough, and had trouble finding time for exercise. Although I always made time for my family, I sometimes felt distracted and had difficulty being present in the moment. I felt like I was spinning my wheels and couldn’t get anything done.

My mother’s passing reminded me that life is short and that the future isn’t guaranteed. I realized that I shouldn’t always be looking ahead to the next thing on my schedule. I thought about what type of legacy I wanted to create with my life.

Time and energy are limited resources so we have to be deliberate about where we spend them. 

I needed to make some changes, but I didn’t know where to start until I found the book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. It introduced ideas that set me on a path to learn more about this new way of thinking.

Since starting on this path, I’ve found many great mentors and resources. I’ve already made some significant life changes including closing my practice and rediscovering my love of writing.

Now, my goals are to simplify, to live intentionally, to help others, and to set an example of a better way to live for my kids. I want to teach them new definitions of success and happiness. I want to show them how to have a positive impact on the world.

I’m living by design.