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De-clutter and free your mind

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in Leaders & Managers

Look around your home tonight. As you do, think of how many big bulky possessions you have that, sooner or later, you’re going to have to “deal with” in some way: moving them, repairing them, re-selling them. That includes everything from your car to your fridge to that shed of yours that’s full of even more possessions.

Consider how the things you own limit your choices in life. You’re either still paying for them or don’t dare get rid of them for fear of imagined consequences. Tiny bits of mental energy are tied up in each possession, even a favorite bookbag or comic book collection. You’re subconsciously bombarded by unheard questions: What if I lose this? What will it cost to replace? When can I afford a better one?

To feel more free and fearless, try a purge. Feel free to go out someday and re-acquire the things you really want, but just experience for once how a dramatic purge makes you lighter and emboldens you to simplify in other areas. Consider trimming the clutter in:

1) Your style. As upstanding members of society, we’re expected to change into different colors and styles every day. But think of the time, money and stress you’d save by picking a “uniform” and rolling with it, something you feel great and comfortable in. Why follow the herd every day and spend so much doing it?

2) Your meals. If you were to put a pin on a map of your area on every place that’s trying to distract you by drawing you in for a bite, you’d be busy for the rest of the week. Make your own food, brew coffee in a communal pot at work, shut out the unhealthy noise that Burger King and Outback are assaulting you with.

3) Your trips. Every time you get in a car and drive less than two miles, ask yourself what the peace, quiet and cardio benefit of a walk would have given you. And every time you book a flight to a vacation spot, wonder if you went because that’s what a vacation is “supposed” to be—or if you might really have been happier doing something smaller in scale but more eye-opening and relaxing.

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