A good friend advised me this week to think about how things would be different if all my existing encumbrances suddenly just vanished. What opportunities would open up? What new possibilities would fall before me? How would my path change direction?
We hang on to stuff. A lot of it is good. But much of it is for reasons that don’t exist anymore. What’s left is what we hold on to because of fear. We know what we have, good or bad but we don’t know what lies ahead. So we carry the baggage.
Crisis provides the opportunity to erase the whiteboard. Some leadership gurus advise manufacturing a crisis now and then for this purpose. But it doesn’t have to come to that. Letting things go by deliberate thought process and habit is a better way. The place to start is with your “Stop Doing List”.
BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson
This one caught my eye because you can pretty much make up your own meaning. Then again it’s so obvious and simple; like “You have to be present in order to be there.”
For the entrepreneur, it speaks to me of risk and the virtues of simplicity. Sure it’s less risky to sleep on the floor, but who wants to do that? Every meaningful endeavor carries some risk.
But then, having a bed requires space, money and maintenance. Sheets must be washed requiring a washing machine. Beds should be properly made up in the morning (according to my wife). Mattresses must be turned every few weeks and how do you get rid of old mattresses? No one really knows.
The more stuff you accumulate, the more resources and attention it takes to maintain it all, and the less focus is available for the startup venture. There’s only one thing better than having your own boat; that’s having a good friend who has their own boat! Boats are fun and relaxing but there is a trade off.
A lot of my favorite entrepreneur case studies are about those who were not at all focused on accumulating personal stuff while they were building their companies. Most of that came later.
I love my technology. My smartphone, tablet, computer and all the apps. The challenge of replacing or at least minimizing my cable company. It’s all good.
They say now we’re never out of contact. They say we’re bombarded with thousands of advertisements – every day. They say that social media is making strangers of us all. Oh, and they say they know where we are and every move we make……
But all this stuff…all of it… has an “off” switch.
There is no need for a cell phone when riding a mountain bike. There are no billboards or TV commercials on a hiking trail. You don’t need to be online to have coffee with a friend.
Sunday’s are my “modern” sabbath. I spend the day going to church, having a long meal with my family, reading, going for a long bike ride and playing guitar. I turn off all the stuff.
It’s hard. But it gets easier.
Use the “off” switch. Nothing bad will happen.
“…Get enough sleep. Stay healthy. Get some exercise. Have diversions. Read. Converse with interesting people. Expose yourself to new ideas. Spend time in solitary, renewing activities. Do whatever is necessary to keep yourself vibrant, stimulated, growing, and alive as a human being.”
The previous post left open the question about finding balance. Dr. Collins has provided an answer.