derek bobo: what's on your list

I was recently talking to a friend who was talking about all of the clutter at his house. He was talking about boxes of stuff in the garage that he had to walk around, laundry building up, and things sitting out in the kitchen. He was fed up and ready to make a change. This was not the first time he had shared this same issue with me, but I listened quietly.

When he finished I said I have an exercise for you. Let's pretend for a second that your house caught on fire. What's important? What are you going to grab and save?

He looked at me kind of dumbfounded for a moment and then started to answer. Before he could finish, I told him that he didn't need to tell me. It was a question he should think about for himself.

The truth of the matter is, most of our problems aren't that big of a deal. Most of our problems are manufactured by us. The biggest problem is we just have too much stuff. We buy and buy without giving consideration to the total cost of ownership. We have to maintain all of these things. We have to insure these things, etc. The more we have the more those things demand of us. As a result we end up being owned by our possessions. We then buy new things to help us better manage (or organize) those things. Technology is one of the worst culprits. Afterall... "there's an app for that" problem you have... no matter what that problem may be.

I think another route is in order. I think the first step in having less clutter (distraction) in your life is to just have less. Peel back the layers and get to the things that are truly important. Constantly revisit this to see if it changes and act accordingly. Once you've identified the priorities in your life you can give them the attention they deserve. It's impossible to do that when you're being owned by excess.

"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So what's on my list? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. It's something I reflect on regularly though. In terms of what comes to mind immediately...

I certainly need to keep revisiting this, but I think it's a pretty good reflection of the things that are most important in my life right now.

So what's on your list? Any surprises? Are you giving the things on your list the attention they deserve or are you too distracted by the things that don't really matter?

archives

2014
May
28 First you must become
2013
February
04 One Foot in Front of the Other
January
21 The Zen Master
08 Those You Spend Your Time With
2012
December
19 You're Probably a Prepper
12 Anger Management
04 All About Choices
02 What I Know About Being a Dad (so far)
01 The Dalia Lama on Humanity
November
30 Time to Reflect
28 The Leeches Must Go
26 Take a Moment to Appreciate
26 A Matter of Perspective
19 The New Rich
17 The Story of the Mexican Fisherman
15 What's on your List
14 The Most Precious Resource
13 Three Things to be Happy
11 The Joneses
07 Be Intentional
October
27 Quotes