Our physical possessions can rule our life. What would our days feel like and look like if we eliminated the unnecessary?
The obligation to sustain
It’s probably because I’m living a relatively simple life right now, but I watch my son choose to stretch to live in a big house—so big that his wife has to work full time rather than have the flexibility of building her own consulting business. So he works all the time and they hire help for the childcare. How do we decide what is necessary and what is not?
What is the “advantage”?
There are lessons we learn and skills we acquire by being exposed to a wide variety of experiences. Sometimes I can afford a course I want to take, and sometimes I can’t. With the Internet you can find and learn anything you want to. The “advantage” you have is your willingness to explore, sign up for the course and embrace the experience.
What do we fundamentally need?
Health, simple sustenance, companionship, safety, rewarding work, self-expression—none of that takes money or a big house or an 80-hour work week. Unless our version of what we fundamentally need feels that such things are important.
What is unnecessary
You know the story of Michelangelo simply carving away what was not part of the statue that needed to remain. That’s kind of the thought behind this idea of eliminating the unnecessary. What is keeping us from seeing and experiencing the simplicity of Tao, the All-That-Is? How can we simplify our life?
I still have way too much stuff. I have downsized and periodically am willing to give even more of my stuff away. Books have been the hardest. My crystals aren’t going anywhere until I leave the planet. But I’ve cut down on stuff in the kitchen and in my closets—and, most importantly, I’m being selective about how I spend my time.
Time is our most precious commodity
I’m lucky. I don’t have to work at a job I don’t like, or even a job that keeps me from cultivating my own self-expression. I’m free to fill my days perusing the ideas I want to explore. But even then, I need to eliminate the unnecessary: Where am I wasting time? What projects need to be completed, and which need to be put aside for the moment. That last one’s always a tough decision for me, because I love ALL my ideas and can’t wait to make them happen.
What is unnecessary?
I will take more breaks from my desk so that stiffness is unnecessary!
I will add stretching to my walking warm up so that getting tired too soon is unnecessary!
Those are odd takes, aren’t they? If I want to eliminate unnecessary tiredness, I go to bed earlier. If I want to eliminate unnecessary weight, there are lots of actions I can take. If I want to find like-minded friends, I eliminate the unnecessary time I spend with un-like-minded people.
Decide what you value in your life, and eliminate the rest. If your life is too crowded, too busy, or too overwhelming, look carefully at the core values that sustain you and start there to keep only those elements in your life that support your core values.
This is the place to start to eliminate the unnecessary.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
13 – The Gift of a New Beginning (podcast, 20 minutes)
14- How Strong is the Foundation You Build On (podcast, 20 minutes)