One aspect from my secret productivity double-life I have made a personal value is minimalism. What is that? Fancy talk for having less things.
But something I’ve found tremendous value in. After stumbling upon the Minimalists and Zen Habits, I took a look at my life and the things that were contained therein. I had a lot of stuff. Gadgets, toys, clothes, pieces of hobbies. Clutter. Junk.
Looking at what I had, I realized I had too much. More specifically, I realized that the stuff I owned had a stronger hold over me than I of it.
I saw two forces at work. One was the coveting of what I already owned. Identifying myself with my things. The other was the desire for more things. The things I wanted to identify myself with. Things I thought would bring happiness.
I knew I had to break the hold that stuff held over me. I started with The Great Purge of 2014 and got rid of almost half my stuff on Craigslist, donating, or dumping. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get rid of certain things. Even today I am still purging.
Facing all my things and determining what stays and what goes felt like a deep psychology session. I had to look at things that at once time provided me great value, but were no longer relevant. Those were the hardest things to get rid of. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. Safe and comfortable. But it can also be a smokescreen, preventing you from seeing a clearer view.
Breaking the attachment to your possessions is like getting a wax job. There’s a ton of stuff going on up in your business and let’s be honest, it doesn’t look so pretty. So you take a look at what you got going on, get your wax out and it’s all gooey and warm and nice. But you know it can’t last. You take a deep breath…then FFFWRRRIP! It’s quick, but there’s still some pain. But now everything is clean and smooth; a blank slate. Once the throbbing subsides, you check yourself out in the mirror and say, “daddy likes.”
It’s pretty much exactly like that. Seriously, though, I found it important to realize that our attachment to things causes us a lot of grief. Instead of grasping for more, be content and grateful for what’s present in your life now. Keep the things in your life that provide value toward your goals and principles.
The result is a less cluttered home, mind, and a deeper contentment and appreciation for the things you have. Worth it.