I’m shedding the things that don’t belong to me. Because nothing does.
Taking the time to truly account for what matters, I find that I’m left with fewer things to attend to.
I want to shed all the things that aren’t a part of my purpose. Things that subtract when they add. Things that make my load just a little bit heavier.
If not forever, just for now. Just to see what it feels like not to be weighed down with “stuff.”
“Stuff” is the term we use to describe the growing horde of possessions we accumulate as we crash through life. Rocks collecting moss, never washing clean.
The streets of Venice are covered in layers of old playbills, parking signs and flyers for lost dogs. Now, wet and an inch thick. The surface of our walls haven’t seen the light of day in decades.
Life starts to feel like that if you let it accumulate. You have to clean it out.
We shed pounds, clothes and ideas as we go through life. Why don’t we take the time to shed other things that are weighing us down?
I’m shedding my car.
I’m shedding all the clothes I do not wear.
I’m shedding my expenses.
I’m shedding my hair.
I just want to breathe fresh air.
The material we carry around with us produces an immaterial but very tangible sense of obligation to be bound to a certain place or time. It creates a false sense of responsibility — as if we are the appointed guardians of all this “stuff” indefinitely.
As if the “stuff” comes with an indefinite contract that binds us to carry it through life.
Do I really need this Playstation? It seems silly.
The more stuff you have, the more you want. But the more stuff you get, the more you realize it’s not the thing. It’s not really what you’re looking for. It’s sort of shaped like the thing. It’s trying hard to be the thing. But it’s not.
Then panic sets in.
You don’t want to give up the thing because you might need it. You might use it. And how devastating would it be to need something, and not have it?
All of this is reflected in how I view and treat my body now.
Less. How can I do it all with less?
I used to want more muscle. It was never enough. Eat more food. Lift heavier. More hours. More energy. For what?
I want to learn how to do more with less, and through that, have way more than enough.
Learning to operate from a place of maximum efficiency gives you flexibility. Wealth and frugality are not mutually exclusive.
You can create massive wealth without also pouring it back into waste.
You can taste the richest meals without spilling over into gluttony.
You can have the richest sex without becoming numb to the pleasure.
It’s all in the balance.
Jiu jitsu teaches this — it’s all about economy of movement and learning when to move. Being patient, understanding timing and protecting your weaknesses. Then, using only enough force to accomplish the job. Not because you’re incapable of using more — but because this is a long match.
From this balance and economy of thought springs a feeling of confidence and security. It brings emotional balance.
Learning to shed what’s not necessary (and maybe even a few things you thought necessary) will create emotional balance.
That emotional balance creates clarity in the mind and the spirit — and that clarity produces a calm which leads to your best work.
You’re literally closing out every other tab in your brain except the one thing you’re working on this very moment.
More of my philosophy on business and life can be read on my regularly irregular newsletter.