We don’t take action until our pain becomes intolerable. Any of the following caricatures sound familiar?
The stuff in your space has taken over your life. You are drowning in things you don’t want, like or need. The useless and irrelevant has cluttered your spaces to the extent that you no longer feel inspired to take corrective action on your own behalf. No matter where you look, you feel overloaded, disorganized and dispassionate. You procrastinate and dread cleaning up to the point of paralysis. You feel lethargic, embarrassed and overwhelmed with the thought of tidying up. You don’t know where to start, and it is negatively impacting your physical, familial, social, emotional, psychological, professional, financial, creative and/or spiritual well-being. You fantasize about starting from scratch with your few most cherished treasures. Binge behavior makes you feel better. You are a good person; you just have too much stuff.
You are chronically late. You can never find what you are looking for, which causes daily complications. You know there are people who maintain a tight agenda, but you’re not one of them. How people coordinate themselves, their families, colleagues, and must-do’s on a set schedule is as elusive to you as particle physics. You don’t know the difference between your gym bag, grocery bag, filing cabinet, and recycling bin. You had a day planner back in college. You are probably a phenomenal caretaker of others, but you’ve neglected yourself to the point of embarrassment and utter exhaustion. Escape to a tropical paradise without clocks or days of the week is the ultimate fantasy. You are a good person; you just can’t catch up.
You are many things, but tactical is not one of them. Your creative genius lends itself nicely to making suggestions, brainstorming hypotheticals and rallying the troops, but procedural design and strategic implementation is not your forte. You often feel like you could benefit from a flow chart for your life on precisely how to proceed. Creativity is your biggest strength, but devising practical operational systems has you desperately searching for efficient solutions. You couldn’t make a hardboiled egg without a recipe. You are a good person; it’s just hard to conceptualize concrete systems.
You’ve got exceptional ideas, but finding the right way to implement your thoughts keeps you safely on the sidelines and out of the game. You get excited and then stall, over and over again. You can imagine the enthusiasm of others participating in your finished project, but you have no idea where to start, how to convey your message, or cultivate your dream to fruition. You are a creator, a visionary and probably a bigger genius than you give yourself credit for. But how to say it, how to present it in a way that captures the essence of what it is … Oh, look! A squirrel! You are a good person; you just can’t quite take this great idea and turn it into reality.
You’re not alone. These universal scenarios play themselves out in different ways for different people. Some of us are better at concealing our deficits, and playing our strengths, but the human condition lends itself to this reality: we all get stuck. But it’s time to start living a life of focused intention. It’s time to remove the obstacles to your success, tidy up, and get inspired for a brighter future. It’s time to enjoy more of the substantive juicy bits that inspire you to be your best self. It’s time to simplify, for a more rewarding, more meaningful life. It’s easier than you think. Creating powerfully inspiring spaces; mastering your relationship with time; implementing proven-effective systems; transforming your great ideas into exhilarating content — these foundations have a profound influence on the very core of who we are, what we do, how and why we live. Everything else is just stuff.
— Evan Zislis is founder and principal consultant of www.MyIntentionalSolutions.com, delivering hands-on organizational solutions for households, businesses, nonprofits, students, and life transitions. For more information about simplifying your stuff and organizing your life, call 366-2532 or email Evan@MyIntentionalSolutions.com.