It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove. Antoine de Saint Exupéry
During the last two years, I have worked on making my life simpler in every aspect. The easiest aspect to deal with has been external: what I have and how to deal with it. The hardest one has been the adoption of new habits that help me live a life free of unnecessary worry and attachment. This is a journey and there is still much to do, but in my search for ideas and time spent experimenting, I have come across people whose wisdom and frameworks have helped me get to where I am. This is what I have learned from them in the process of streamlining my life:
The habit of letting go in order to beat procrastination, offered by Leo Babauta. It helped me remember that the hardest step is the first one, and that if I show kindness to myself, even the hardest of tasks can be accomplished.
Finding inner strength and looking after my creative vein, guided by the always kind and transparent Andy J. Miller and his Creative Pep Talk. There isn’t an episode that doesn’t leave me warm and standing a little taller, but there is a special place in my heart for episodes 92, 102, and 103 about breaking through creative anxiety, and creating your personal brand without losing your soul in the process.
Thinking about the true cost of things, triggered by Cait Flanders’s blog. Be it stuff, activities, people, or trying to become people we are not, everything we do/get comes with a cost. I now try to become aware of it before acting or deciding not to.
Surrounding myself with people and activities that give me life, not drain it. This one sounds quite vampiric, and I don’t have a specific person to pin it on, but I believe it has been an underlying theme of my sources of inspiration. I try to take better care of my relationships and the activities I spend my time on. It also means I must learn to be realistic and say no sometimes, even to activities I would otherwise find enjoyable.
Using inner peace as my general compass, which is another underlying theme in Leo Babauta’s blog. I believe this is my biggest lesson: Say yes to whatever gives you true inner peace as soon as the decision is made, and no to anything that fails to do so. Everything else will start to fall into place if only this one thing becomes the first step.