Posts in inspiration

Essentialism

“There is no longer room for irrelevant things. we have no longer got the resources. Irrelevance is out.” – Dieter Rams

This past week I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. What it’s essentially (haha) about is that there are a lot more things to invest our time in the world than we actually have time for.

A mild example that the writer keeps referring to in the book is cleaning out your closet. There’s usually a pile of “keep” and another of “don’t wear this often enough but not sure if I want to toss it out just yet…” It’s this second pile that becomes us holding on to non-essentials. In life, when we don’t have a clear answer on what we want or don’t want, we’re basically saying “yes” to non-essential stuff. We hang on to them for the “what if’s” and the regrets they might lead to if we do get rid of them. We place a higher value on things we already own when the question we should be asking is, “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I pay for it?”

That makes it a lot easier to say good-bye. I think I’ll be cleaning out my closet soon.

You can apply this to many things in life, from a job opportunity that comes along, or even if you are simply considering buying that new pair of shoes. How do you get to the heart of how you want to live? How do you hone in to your essentials?

Personally, I started on this path the moment I was okay with letting go of friendships that outgrew their time, and letting go of career paths that started to drain the life out of me. It’s always hard at first, as there are moments right after you pull the trigger where you really feel like you made a mistake. But with time, you’ll get perspective on why it was for the best. If you’re miserable in the situation, that’s never for the best.

How do you laser-focus on the things that matter to you and have the most impact to others? Whether you’re at work or figuring out the next project to devote yourself to, one of the most obvious answers is knowing when to say “no.”

Here’s how to be more selective in the work you take on (an excerpt from Chapter 9):

1) Write down the opportunity

2) Write a list of three minimum criteria the option would need to pass to be considered

3) Write down a list of three ideal or extreme criteria the option would need to pass to be considered

If the opportunity doesn’t pass the first set of criteria, the answer is “no.” If it doesn’t pass two out of three of your ideal/extreme criteria, the answer is still “no.”

Very simple.

When you can identify what’s non-essential, you’ll move towards clarity (and some breathing room). So, what will you say no to today?

Tapping in to your intuition

Intuition– It’s in the middle of emotions and thought. Of what the world presents to you and how you interpret it. It’s a tug towards something that logic can’t make sense of, but feels right. We all have it, but it’s a muscle that needs exercising until you’re used to lifting it.

Intuition gives you a unique lens to see the world, and helps you start or continue your journey when you feel stuck. We all filter the environment, conversations, ideas and opinions on what we know and what we’ve experienced. Read More