Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Someone Else's Simplification Suggestions

Becoming Minimalist had a great blog today about the 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life.

I thought the list was great & agreed with many of the suggestions, particularly time commitments & extraneous possessions. A few were new to me though & made me start thinking!

Goals: I started thinking about the goals I have. Long term: I'd like to take vacations as much as possible, own another dog at some point & to someday live in a place at least 300 ft away from my neighbor's house. Shorter term: I want to hike a 14er this year.

Thinking back to high school guidance counselors, teachers, speakers, & everybody else, isn't goal setting something important? Why don't I have more goals? My theory in progress: A lot of people set goals about careers (I want to be a doctor), money (I want to make at least $80K a year), fitness/weight loss (I'm going to run a half marathon) & family situations (I want to get married and have # children). But I haven't decided what I want to do when I grow up, how much money I need to be "happy", why I should want to run a marathon or if the family track is the right direction for me. I much prefer sitting the fence on most issues & letting the big things of life just happen. Yeah, I know I have a lot of people fooled on this one, but here's the difference, I am a driven person when it comes to what I'm doing at the moment; however, I probably didn't set a goal to do that particular thing.

Your Negative Thoughts: Yeah, this could use some help, it just takes a lot of WORK. Being somewhat of a control freak, I tend to think my way of doing things reigns supreme & anything else is inefficient & usually illogical or irrational. I need to get over that & replace "They're doing it WRONG!" with "Hey, they're doing something!" A good general rule for me (hey, maybe something like a goal!) would be to stop making so many comparisons between myself & other people since comparisons typically lead to one of the following thought processes:
  • Theirs is better than mine! Not fair! I want it too! (jealously, envy, resentment, etc.)
  • Mine is better than theirs! Mwahaha! I WIN AT LIFE! (pride, being really annoying, etc.)
Hopefully, my lack of goals will make conquering negative thoughts easier since I have more mental processes available to devote to that project (heh, nerd alert, like reallocating processors for virtual servers with heavier loads, but I don't know if my brain really works like that).

Your Connections to the World: Simplify email, Facebook, texting, & calling people? I'm not fully convinced of this one yet, since I have enjoyed my simplified life of late as a way to better connect with people. By simplifying my time commitments, I'm free when a friend makes a surprise visit to Lawrence. By simplifying what comes in to my email inbox, I'm able to see when a real friend emails & can promptly & thoughtfully respond. By simplifying my life, I no longer start every conversations with "I'm SOOO busy! I've been SOOO stressed lately," and can instead talk about real life. By simplifying my life, I have time to blog about simplifying my life. However, with Facebook, I'm not always spending time really communicating with people, but instead spacing out while looking at people's statuses & photos. That's when I need a blinker to show up on my computer that warns "Time suck! You aren't actually DOING anything!"

I'm really wanting to hike a 14er now.

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