entry number four

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hi today I overslept and woke up around noon. I haven't gone to work out yet, but I want to wait until my parents get back from their workout to plan the rest of the day. I was sleeping when they left, so I don't know what time they will be back. In the meantime, I thought that I would write a blog entry.

Today I want to write about a new philosophy that has been in the back of my mind for a little while. The idea is this - more is not better, it is just more, sometimes less is better. I tend to be a collector and want to get everything at once. The problem with that is that I never do anything with the things that I have. I used to equate having more things with being better, sort of, the only problem was that I was never happy with what I had. I always need more, and I never know when I have enough. Maybe if I have less stuff, but actually use the stuff that I have I can be happy.

The first component that I am trying to implement of my new philosophy is: simplify, simplify, simplify. What use are 100 books if I am never going read any of them? It is better to have 2-3 good books, which I will read than a thousand that I will not use. Another practical example of this is spark teams. When I first joined the site I joined a bunch of teams, any team that sounded slightly interesting to me I joined. I realized that the problem with being on so many teams is that I can't keep up with all of them. I can't have a meaningful relationship/experience with all of my teams.

The second component of my new philosophy is to prioritize what is really important. If I am going in a thousand directions at once, I will never get anywhere that I want to go. I have a hard time doing this. To continue my teams example, I realized that I can only be in a few teams with topics that are important to me in order to get the most benefit from being on a team and get the most out of it. I am having a hard time narrowing down the teams to just 5-6, it is really hard for me to decide anything. I think that 5-6 is a decent number to follow, but I am stuck at 11 teams and can't decide which ones I want the most.

I think that having less choices is probably better for me, when I have too many choices I get overwhelmed and don't make any choice. By having less choices i feel as though I can make better, more informed choices.

This new way of thinking is very hard for me. I am struggling with paring down my things and prioritizing what is important and what is not. Even though it is hard, I believe that it is important if I want to reach any of my goals. I need to focus on what is really important to me, and not let my desires for more more more distract me from what I really want.

This philosophy is very counter to the popular culture of today, which is buy more, have more and you will be happy. I want my happiness to come from within, not from what I have, but from what I do with what I have.
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    Simplification is a good thing, as the less you have the more you can spend time with and on yourself. Remember you get 1 point for each team huddle up to 5 per day. So 5-6 teams is a great number. Also, know that you don't have to be a huge presence on a team to be a part of it. If you visit a team only a few times a week you're still a member. The leaders are the people who need to be there more often, and even then many leaders still don't spend all of their time focused on their teams. Having 11 teams for now is just fine. Over the next few days or weeks see which ones you are most active on. Some teams have almost no activity for weeks and if one of yours has little activity you can leave that team or move it to the end of the list and only check in every other week. You will find a home at some teams and those will be the ones you know to keep.

    As for having a lot of items around the house, if you don't touch something for 6 months put it in a box and put it out of sight. If 6 months later you've forgotten what's in the box, donate it or sell it. Here's a hint for books: get a library card. There are tens of thousands of books you can read FOR FREE that won't clutter up your house! Many librarys now have dvds you can rent for free or for a small cost so no need to have hundreds of dvds you never watch. There are many ways to simplify your life, but it takes some commitment to de-clutter. And as you said, some people only feel worth based on their possessions. If you feel that way sometimes, it's important to work on your self worth and learn to love who you are, not love your possessions. Next time you want to buy something ask yourself if it is important enough to forgo the use of that money elsewhere. Will you still want to have that item in a week? A month? How will that item make your life happier and more fulfilled? If you were to put that money in the bank instead of buying that item, what could you save up for that's more important? Or could you use that money to help someone else by donating to a charity. Knowing you've done something to help others in need should help you feel better than a bunch of unused gizmos!

    If you haven't yet, you may want to check out this SP quiz:
    2040 days ago
    I had to reduce my teams also.The problem was initially i did not pick any of my teams. I read a blog and saw something I thought was interesting and sparked my interest. I left a few teams and reduced it to 5,looking to simplify that to 4. good luck in simplifying your life, less is more.Sometimes having too many choices is overwhelming.
    2040 days ago
    I really like this post! You are spot-on about how too many choices can be overwhelming. It can lead to "paralysis by analysis" while you are trying to figure out the best option. Or, as in the case with food, you want to try some of all of it -- like at a buffet or at a get-together where folks bring a dish to pass (yes, this is something I am very familiar with!)

    Cutting down on what you have so that it is just the essentials really has a great effect on clearing the mind and sharpening the focus. Definitely keep at it, because you have the right idea!

    2040 days ago
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