In the past few months after I started to live a minimalist lifestyle to escape the complexities of modern day living, I reevaluated my life and my goals, dropped projects, lived with less than 100 things, slowed down, started paring down on the unimportant, then I decided do do a few things. The thing about my previous job is that I acumulated a lot of connections. Some connections were meaningful and some were taking my time and attention from the people important to me. So I decided to purge my contacts.
Here’s what I did:
- Changed Numbers - My personal number is exclusive for my family and close friends. I have less than 20 people who know my number and vice versa.
- Deleted Facebook- Facebook reduced the word friend to somebody with connections to your profile. Read here for my reason and read here for the benefits.
- I may be contacted by everyone else only through email and twitter. - Communication should be limited to the important. There is too much noise we pay less attention to what matters.
Here are a few guidelines I decided to use to guide me:
- Go for virtual communication if: you can and you’re not willing to spend time and effort to meet these people. Well that might be a bit rude but these people wont mind. I try to do this whenever I can. I can meet them in person if I really want to. What’s cool about email is that people don’t expect me to reply the minute I get the email and I don’t get any notifications unless they try to reach me.
- Go for real physical connections if: These people are important to you. Your Husband, Wife, Your Family, Your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your closest friends, advisers and mentors
Where I come from people would skype their family and spend more time with their boss and clients. I say when you’re location independent you can just skype your boss and clents and spend time with your family.
Have you ever noticed how when you meet people your eyes are on your mobile phone and you’re always distracted or in a hurry?
Meeting people is a pleasure
I got this quote from the movie Up in the Air. My friend shared to me her copy after seeing my blog and insisted that I watch it.
I kinda disagree with a lot of this things about the film but this quote is worth considering.
How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life… you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV… the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home… I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office… and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack, feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake, moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.
We might have the tendency to act like sharks but we don’t have to be. Living a minimalist lifestyle does free up your backpack however I’d like it to be lighter because I’d like to carry the people important to me from time to time.
What’s in your Backpack?