Throw It (All) Away!

I've been cleaning my house this past week after my wife learned about Marie Kondo's book from Christine Eilvig. Phoebe bought the physical book, I browsed through it on the elevator ride up to the 20th floor, and it really caught me, so I went ahead and bought it on iBooks as well and read it over the weekend. It's so absolutely. cool.

It's 90% throwing stuff out, and 10% organizing the stuff that's left. I thought that give that I've moved between continents four times and been through divorce, each time shedding massive amounts of accumulated "stuff", that I was pretty lean. Well, there was still a lot to get rid of. And I learned a ton from it.

I learned that I feel guilt towards my stuff. A shirt I bought that I never liked. I feel guilt, both over having spent the money, and also toward the shirt for not wearing. It's a perfectly fine shirt, just not fo rme. I should wear it more. At least I need to keep it in my closet. What Marie teaches is that all our things are there for us. If they don't bring us joy (or we absolutely need to keep them for other more practical reasons), then get rid of them. So that shirt had to go.

Same with books and course materials. I've always loved non-fiction books, CDs, DVDs, online courses. And I've gotten rid of lots of books and manuals and CDs and DVDs each time I've moved. But I still had quite a few that I bought a long time ago and wanted to "get to" someday, mostly out of guilt. I started asking myself the question: Would I buy that book again today? If not, then just get rid of it. Why would I keep it? Apart from the guilt, it's the fear that there's some valuable information in that book that I'd miss out on if I didn't read it.

But there are tons and tons of resources available to learn everything I could possibly ever need to know. Books, people, blogs, youtube, google, online courses, intuition, you name it. Holding on to these books is rooted in a fear that I may not have what I need in the future. It's scarcity thinking. It's a fear of the future that keeps me holding on to the past, plain and simple. Unless they bring you a palpable feeling of joy, throw them away, and trust that you'll always be able to get what you need and have all your needs fulfilled in the future. Life will keep providing you with opportunities to learn everything you need to learn.

Your things exist to serve you, not the other way around. Let them do their job and serve you. And if they're not serving you, set them free to serve someone else in this or some other form.

Clearing out your piles of stuff really helps you live in the present, without being stuck in the past or afraid of the future. It brings clarity, confidence, lightness, and joy. 

And this goes for your business to. Your business and your customers exist to serve you as well. Of course, you're there to serve them, but ultimately, if the relationship is not serving you, or the way things are structured aren't serving you, it's on you to change it. If you keep doing things that don't serve you, then you're dampening yourself, and ultimately you're preventing the rest of us from receiving the gift that you're really here to share. Because that gift will definitely be about serving yourself as much as serving others.

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