Understanding Your Relationship with Your Stuff

By: Maya Talisman Frost

Maybe it's just a weird week. Three times in the past three days, I've bumped into someone I know and
started a conversation with, "Hey, how ARE you?"

Nothing unusual about that. But the responses were all discussions of problems with STUFF. Cars.
Computers. Sprinkling systems. Lawnmowers. Burglar alarms. Phones. Everybody's stuff was causing
headaches. Okay, so I guess the short answer to the question would have been, "I have a headache."

It's not that I didn't want to hear the story behind the headache--it's that the headache wouldn't have
existed without all that stuff.

Is your stuff causing you headaches? Do you spend more time and energy and money on maintaining your things than on improving yourself? It's easy to
get caught up in it, isn't it?

I don't want to complain about stuff. I'd rather not have it.

Okay, so we have to have a home, some form of transportation, and some way to interact with the world. But maybe we don't need the biggest, fastest,
hippest version of all three.



Take a look at your stuff, and thinkabout what it takes
to maintain it. Now, think about the time and energy you spend investing in yourself and your own development as an Excellent Human.

Who's the winner....you or your STUFF?

Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian poet,
philosopher, painter, songwriter, composer and Nobel laureate, said this:

"The sparrow is sorry for the peacock at the burden of his tail."

Which one are you...the sparrow or the peacock?

Now, be honest. A minute ago, if I had asked you that question, you may have thought that the peacock was the “right" answer. After all, we like to think of ourselves as beautiful, colorful, and proud—someone to be admired.

A sparrow? That little brown job? Boring.

So…how do you feel about sparrows and peacocks now?

The cool thing about Excellence is that it doesn't require stuff. It's available to everyone, whether you
are the sparrow or the peacock. All you need is your mind and the time to use it.

Take note of how much time you spend worrying about your things. If it turns out that your stuff is taking
over your mindspace, realize you have a choice. You can CHOOSE to worry less about it, or you can CHOOSE to pare it down.

Guess what? It's easier to pare down than to stop worrying.

Albert Einstein is one of my favorite thinkers. One of his Three Rules of Work is this:
"Out of clutter, find simplicity."

Use your mind--and maybe your muscles-- to take control of your stuff. Clean off your desk. Clear out a closet. Tackle your garage. Be ruthless, and then be generous--donate those unneeded items. Don't you feel better just thinking about it?

Fill that newly available mindspace with thoughts worthy of that beautiful mind of yours. You'll have fewer headachesBusiness Management Articles, and more time for Excellence.

And maybe you'll have something more inspiring to talk about when someone asks how you are.

Motivation
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