The one thing I dread doing more than anything is starting over. From scratch. Ground Zero. Step one. At that moment I hit bottom. My initial reaction was “This is insane” and “I have so much things going for me. I was almost complete.” Then i told myself there is nothing to lose and if this move ends up messing things up further I can always go back to the path I’m on. I then moved forward and decided to rethink my life, my goals and my plans. Start from Zero. What a terrible waste of experience and resources I told myself. I took all my lists and goal-boards and kept everything in storage except for the goal to marry Ish. The rest of the goals were put on hold.
I wanted to tell you the story but I figure it would be more useful for you if I arranged it into something you might be able to use. So here goes
1. I put all my goals on hold. – No need to quit. Just keep them in storage.
2. I kept my top goal (Optional) – In my case, it was marrying Ish
3. I made a list of things I am too attached to and I wrote a reason why.
a. Work – I mostly feel I’m contributing by being there so I spent too much time at the workplace. This had to stop. I have a life.
b. Projects – I felt this was my chance to be rich and that the extra income isn’t bad. More money means more to spend right? But does my dream life involve buying every piece of merchandise sold to me?
c. Reputation – I’m mostly afraid of making mistakes in front of people. After all people always saw me as the smart and successful self made guy. Well nobody pays me to please everybody so trash this thought.
d. Relationships – Please everyone. Oh please. I give up.
c. My stuff- This is clutter mostly. Stuff I kept as keepsake or souveneirs from people or places or accomplishments. Each Item has a long story.
f. Information – I enjoy having something to say about anything. Except when friends see you they ask you for advice for everything. I have a huge box at home full of notes that I’m not done digitizing so I better stop this one. I only get to use a bit at a time and I’ll find what I need.
4. Made use of what I have and did what I can. – No upgrades. No New tools. Just used what I had and did what I can.
5. Be patient with the results and with myself – Things turn out well in the end. I don’t need to beat myself up for every mistake. Each setback is a bump in the road telling me to be patient and slow down.
6. Dont’ rush and have fun – What’s the fun in having all your goals at the start? You don’t enjoy a show when somebody spoils you the ending. Enjoy your life bit by bit and take pleasure in the little things.
7. The most important word is “Eliminate”. – Its also the hardest to do but most fun as soon as I learned it.
As time went by things got lighter and lighter. Pretty soon my old self tried pulling myself back. I told myself that its okay to stay on this path as long as I don’t quit. No deadline as long as I stay and gave it my all. If things got messy I’d clean It up bit by bit.
April 2010 was the time I started my minimal changes for a minimalist lifestyle. I lost most of my goals and wrote a new list.
My theme for 2010 is “Faithful with the small things”.
Eliminate unnecessary expenses
Eliminate my debt
Take care of people over things and tasks
Eliminate time wasters
Start early and finish early
more time for God
Quality over quantity
Smile more often
Focus-Single task and give it my all.
I don’t have everything yet and I struggle in a lot of areas but one by one, little by little, I know the rule for clutter on small things adding up, also applies to these small victories will grow. I am happy where I am now and the direction I am going.
What did I gain?
A clean workplace and room with lots of free space because of the less stuff and its mostly organized because everything is manageable.
I don’t buy a lot so I have less expenses and I’m not worried about running out of cash because I can live well with a small amount. I consider myself financially free.
I’m almost out of debt and my savings are growing.
Because of my frequent use of the word “NO” I have better control of my direction and less to worry about and I have more time for God and Ish.
I get to really take pleasure in the small things.