You Can Have Anything But You Can’t Have Everything

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You Can Have Everything You’ve Always Wanted

Ahh, fairy tale princess dreams.  The truth is, you can’t have everything you want, at least not all at once.  That’s the difference between having everything you want, and having anything you want.  I know it sounds like a trivial debate, but there is a big difference.

Everybody has things.  Some people have a lot.  Other people have a lot less.  Either way, society teaches us to want the things other people have.  TV, music, podcasts, Facebook – all of them telling you what you need to succeed.  And the people who choose to have less, are praised and awed for the ability to say FU to the system.

There is so much abundance, we are blessed with the ability to have it all.  And because of that, we never learn to say no gracefully.  In a world where we can have it all, we do.  But to what end?  How much value does our ‘stuff’ actually bring to us?

Think of all the extras you have lying around.  Empty picture frames waiting to be filled.  Old artwork from when you were three.  Clothes that used to fit.  Projects you hope to start.  Pieces of old games.  One matchless sock.

And that’s just the small items.  We also collect electronics, computers, and speakers.  Some people collect cars, or houses, or boats.

Other people collect a little of everything….in every category.  There’s even a show dedicated to people whose stuff has taken over their lives.

The Problem With Too Much Stuff

It has to be maintained.  Cleaned up.  Put away.  Attended to.  Replenished.  Worried about.  Kept secure.

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend thinking about or working because of your stuff?

It’s a friggin’ lot.

Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have to worry about your stuff.  Less time spent cleaning, more time spent relaxing.  Less time spent maintaining, more time spent enjoying.  Over the past year I have gotten rid of almost an entire garage-full of stuff.  And there are still 10-15 boxes left hat have to be sorted and dealt with.

It’s embarrassing to admit how bad it was.  When I say “garage-full” I really mean it.  Packed wall to wall and having to shove stuff side to side to find anything.

Aside from the garage, inside the house I have removed half a closest of old clothes, boxes of dishes, old pots and pans, a couple couches, bottles of ancient cleaners I never use, a cabinet-full of shitty old towels.

It’s ridiculous.

Before we’re done getting rid of the crap we don’t use, want, or need we’ll have at least another half garage-full.

631_clutterChoosing Anything You Want

At first I was nervous being so reckless with our things.  Making the decision to choose one thing over another was emotional.  It was about space and not having enough of it.  And since we ‘couldn’t buy a bigger house’ we would have to ‘downgrade’ for the time being.

By choosing one thing or another I thought I was giving away something I wanted to keep.  But once you start to de-accumulate you realize that’s not what is happening at all.

When you get rid of the stuff you don’t want, use, or need you gain peace of mind.  You gain restfulness.  You gain appreciation for the things you have, and the things you might have in the future.

Your stuff is no longer a burden, but a source of joy.  It’s something you appreciate, instead of something you despise.

And, I personally found that purging my home of physical clutter, allowed me to clear my head of mental clutter.  I realized how much of my focus was split because I was worrying about all of the crap I had to deal with at home.  At that stage, it got a lot easier to make the “keep” or “rid” decision.

Every time I didn’t want, use, or need something that meant I could get rid of it.  It created an emotional high.  Instead of craving things I started craving space.

I needed room to think.  To breathe.  To speak.

In a world where I could have everything I wanted, all I wanted was a little space.


What Do You Do With All Your Stuff

We believe that having “things” in our lives creates significance and security.  But I believe the opposite to be true.  It is not having things, but giving things that creates stability.

If you don’t want it, give it away.

If you don’t need it, give it away.

And seriously, if you don’t use it, give it away.

But don’t stop there.  Give away your talents.  Give away your knowledge.  Give away your time.  Find a way to use what you have, to help someone else.

When you do that, you create a new kind of “stuff”.  But instead of physical clutter, you create positive change.  You create stability for someone else.  You create kindness.  You create passion and fulfillment and purpose.

And that kind of “stuff” will lift you up.  It creates awareness and opportunity.  It allows for growth and accommodates for change.  It is everlasting.

Having everything dilutes the value of all of your things.  Choosing not to have everything makes you realize you can have anything you want – just not all at once.  But even better, it makes you realize you don’t want it in the first place.

How much time do you spend dealing with your stuff?  Comment below and tell me how clutter affects you.

Do you need help getting started clearing away your clutter?  Sign up for this free workshop titled “Hacking Procrastination”.  It’s tonight at 9 pm EST.  Identify the reasons you procrastinate so that you can clear your clutter for good!

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