Getting rid of dead weight
I have spent a good deal of time over the last 4 years removing things from my life. There are various reasons for these banishments, but they have all served me well. Simplifying your life is not just about removing objects or possessions from your life. It’s also about removing people, forms of diversion, thought processes, foods, etc. Anything that does not serve to improve your life usually serves to erode it in some way or at the very least (but very importantly) wastes your time, energy and spirit.
So, here is a list of some of the things I have removed from my life:
- Reality TV (time suck, terrible energy, no artistic value)
- Most TV (time suck)
- Coca Cola (terrible for me, empty calories, other nastiness)
- Commercial web work (not passionate about it anymore, not the direction of my dreams)
- Grocery store meat (unknown ingredients, pink slime, hormones, antibiotics, e coli)
- Meat from a restaurant that was not locally sourced (same as above)
- Most meat and dairy (animal protein isn’t really good for you)
- Many Facebook friends who are not really friends (time suck)
- Any driving that I can possibly avoid (bad for environment, not as much fun as biking/walking/public transport)
- Side projects that I was not that interested in or not needed on (time suck)
- Banks (I moved all my money to a non-profit credit union)
Another important thing I removed from my life is a smartphone. I did this for a number of reasons. First, when you have a smartphone, you are usually always in the race for the latest and greatest phone. It seems that as soon as you’ve just bought one phone, they announce a new, better, faster, shinier one that you simply have to have. You can rarely wait an entire 2 years for your contract to run out before you have to get it, so you end up forking over a small fortune for just a few extra bits of functionality that you didn’t really need. Then there is the social aspect of owning a smartphone – the fact that you will pull it out whilst out with friends, indicating that they are uninteresting to you and not worthy of your time. I do not include pulling it out to check the time or to take/post a photo. I’m talking about checking your email, checking Facebook or reading the news. There are times when this might be agreeable to everyone, but I consider those few. When you are out with people, enjoy their company.
I barely think about my phone now, which is great because I have much more important things to think about. I only use it for texting and occasionally to talk to someone. I don’t care to ever upgrade it as it works fine the way it is. In fact, it’s quite a sturdy phone – the Samsung Intensity III. It’s just one less source of anxiety in my life, and I’m very happy with my decision. Oh, and I pay $90 less per month for it than when I had a smartphone.
Think about some things in your life that don’t bring you any happiness but do waste a lot of your time and energy. Are there things you can eliminate? Things that are just dead weight in your life? I bet there are.