In a world that is growing and expanding of knowledge, technology, gadgets, clothing, fashion, and new/ more advanced things being invented all the time, it’s natural to want. I find that things get old, things break, trends pass, something better comes out and you’ll want something new. It’s just a cycle – a cycle that’ll make you broke or in debt and focusing on the wrong things. Sometimes people base their happiness on things and after those things are taken away, they are felt empty, unhappy, perhaps even lonely or bored.
It seems like almost everyday nowadays, most especially Sundays remind me of the essential meaning of life. I spent the whole day today fulfilling my obligations at church practically from 7am – 6pm. You can see it was a little longer than a regular workday, but it feels a lot more fulfilling.
Growing up with collecting things and with parents afraid to throw away things (even though they haven’t used it in YEARS!!!), I came to the point where I felt like I should focus on being happy with less. Sometimes you see people with lots of things and have everything going for them (for example, some celebrities) and you wonder why they choose to take their own life away when it seems like they have everything. And then sometimes you see others that don’t have much in terms of material things; they live a very simple and humble life yet you could see how happy and peaceful they are. I admire those people. So this is the kind of joy that I strive to have and keep for all my days. A few of the ways that I have and am continuing to do to declutter/ simplify my life are:
1. Let go of things that I don’t need or haven’t used in years. I ask myself questions such as:
- Is this something I will use in the future?
- Does this have any value or would it be more valuable to someone else?
- Does this have any sentimental value?
- Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose?
- Will I miss this when it is gone?
If it doesn’t have any value to me, could be more valuable to another, or if it is something I will not miss, I will get rid of it by either sending it to the family in Philippines, donating or selling it.
2. Let go of relationships that don’t lift me up or bring me closer to any of my goals. I have many goals – all written in my “Dream List” in my notebook. But most of them have a commonality of being a better or stronger person (physically, mentally or spiritually). There will be people that try to steer you from your goals or what you are trying to accomplish. They will even tell you what your goals and focus should be. There are even those that try to bring you down for the positive things you do such as for your health and well-being. There are some people that are just naturally pessimistic people. The difficult thing is some of those I mentioned may be people that are close to you. You don’t have to cut them off entirely but minimize your time spent with them or try not to speak to them about your goals. They will only try to shoot you down. Prove them wrong.
3. Choose my time wisely. We all have 24 hours in a day and every second counts. I really don’t “hang out” much unless it is with those people that make me feel good, family, or friends that inspire me with any of my goals. Other than that, I utilize most hours of the day in doing something that will bring me closer to any of my goals. Hence, I no longer play Call of Duty : (
4. No impulse buying. If I do go to the store (except groceries), it’s because I know in advance what I need. I rarely go window shopping. And let’s say I’m at the store and see something cheap -I really evaluate if I’m buying it only because it is cheap or if it is something I truly need. I used to buy things because it is cheap (darn Daiso!) or because I liked it at the time, but I end up only using it once or not at all and it just ends up as clutter. So I ask myself if it is just a trend or if it’s something I can wear/ use in the long run or if it is something that I will miss a week later. More than likely, I’ll forget about that item and not regret buying it.
5. Disconnect. I choose to not have an Instagram or Twitter account and I’ve deactivated the FB temporarily (not sure when I’ll put it back) but it feels nice to be more focused on things that are aligned with the goals. I like FB in that I “like” pages that provide me information such as “CrossFit” but now, don’t get me wrong – I haven’t fully adapted the primal lifestyle and become like the Mayans relying on the sundials to tell time. I still use technology (not the TV). I’m still on the internet but usually for working on things or for accomplishing tasks. I’m also on MyFitnessPal to track my nutrition or BeyondtheWhiteboard for my workouts. For leisure I am on YouTube watching Tutorials, MobilityWOD videos to help with my mobility/ recovery, Barbell Shrugged, Audible for audio books, INCMedia.org, and other sites to help me more with my goals. Also, I have thousands of e-mails and I’ve been trying to “unsubscribe” to those e-mails that have nothing to do with the goals and I utilize “filters” so I can prioritize e-mails and get to the non-urgent things if time permits. I like to be in control of the things I’d like to see and have information for if I have the ability to control it. There’s a lot of unnecessary information out there I personally don’t need to know. I also like to personally connect with those that I choose to through various other methods plus it feels better and warmer that way.
6. Focus on the things that last. As mentioned earlier, things get old, things break and when problems arise, those don’t last either. So no need to worry and clutter our minds. I like to work on overall health and fitness because it provides me energy and strength to focus on the things that last. Focus on faith, hope, and love – these are the simple joys of life. Most especially, focus on the things that will last eternally (2 Corinthians 4:18).