Last year I read a little book titled One Word That Will Change Your Life, by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon, which outlined the advantages of choosing just one simple word that would shape your life for a particular year.
No big new year’s resolutions, no audacious long-winded goals, just one word.
Last year my word was “focus.” I aimed for it, but not sure I fully achieved it.
This year my word is “simplicity.” I am learning that the idea is to use this word as a kind of laser guidance system for my choices and actions for the year, and the journey is more important than any particular destination.
So far this is what my year of simplicity has looked like:
- I “pruned” my closet and dresser of clothes I no longer wear
- I organized my paper files and shredded or threw out years of bills and financial records that should have been discarded years ago
- I went through my bookshelves and weeded out the books that “served their purpose” and could be either sold or donated
- I simplified my grocery shopping to rice, pasta, black beans, eggs, tuna and vegetables
- I started listing furniture or gadgets on Craigslist that I don’t really need or wouldn’t want to move
- I began packing up my CD collection for storage until I can plan a yard sale
- I contacted a real estate agent to discuss the possibility of selling my condo
- I started reading books on or related to simplicity, including the following
- Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go, by Richard Rohr
- Freedom of Simplicity, by Richard Foster
- The Power of Now, by Ekhart Tolle
- If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat, by John Ortberg
- I started sharing what I have learned through a series of Letting Go posts (a full list of past posts is at the bottom of this post).
- I began thinking about Letting Go as a practical concept that can be taught and practiced by others (more on this to come later)
I am probably forgetting a few things, but you get the idea. Or, more likely, you might be asking, “So what?”
Well, at the start this was tough. I discovered I didn’t want to just “let go” of my stuff. So I had to exert some discipline and start small.
What I ended up realizing once I got going, was that as it became easier for me to let go, I encountered a different problem: few people wanted to buy my stuff, and even giving it away was more difficult than I had imagined. This inspired a new thought:
If no one else wanted my stuff, then why did I want it?
This is where I am in my year of simplicity, realizing I am surrounded by stuff that I no longer want, and that very few others might want, and its continued presence in my life is a reminder of just how complicated we make our lives by consuming so much.
To be continued….
Previous posts in the Letting Go series: