Thursday, October 3, 2013

Declutter

Sorry world!

I have been neglecting my blog a little this past week because I've been so busy settling in.

Now, I was thinking about it. This blog is called The Declutter Files, but it's not necessarily all about clutter, and getting rid of stuff. Anyway, how much can you write about decluttering? I think one of the best things I ever heard in regards to decluttering is this - 'When in doubt, throw it out.'

But this blog is a lot more than just decluttering physical stuff. It's about decluttering..unhappiness. That's the whole point of why people turn minimalist after all, isn't it? Nobody just turns minimalist to torture themselves and deny themselves of things. People turn minimalist because they realize that

a) stuff just doesn't and will not and can't make you happy in the long run.
b) buying more stuff doesn't buy more happiness.
c) the important stuff in life can't be bought.
d) you attain happiness when you focus on what's important.

That's why minimalism is important to me. I feel like I can't truly focus on what's important to me, unless I don't remove all the clutter. This means removing physical stuff. Removing things that take up your time, too. I've found that it's really important to start doing things that are more qualitative than quantitative. The easiest example is - meeting 5 friends in a day, one after the other, rushing from one corner of the city to another, vs meeting one friend a day, but having a real, proper conversation. It sounds very easy when you put it down like that, but when you're caught up in the hustle and bustle of the world, it's not that easy to make it happen.

I really do treasure my good friends a lot more than I previously did then. Of course, as you get older, you realize who is genuine, who isn't. Who's there for a good time, and who won't be there for you when you need him or her. A lot of times, you will be surprised - a person that you didn't expect to be there will end up being there, and a person you expected there won't be. So, yeah. Declutter friends too. Heck, declutter friends on FB - especially ones you don't remember ever having met them.

I might sound harsh, by saying declutter friends, but don't get me wrong. I don't mean have big, dramatic breakups with your friends. Don't put them in a large dustbin. But as you realize who is more and more important, and who will really be there, that should also be the equal level of emphasis you place on them. How many of us have fun friends that are just useless and unreliable at the end of the day? Yes, I speak this from experience. But think about it - you only have a limited amount of time, shouldn't you spend it more with quality friends than a large bunch of friends that you don't like?

I now have absolutely no qualms about not being there for friends who have really shown and proven to me that they are not there for me. See, again, it's not about 'I only want friends who have use to me'. But I want friends that value add my life. You value add my life with your company. You bring me cheer and happiness. If you're doing none of that and just draining my energy, why should I continue this friendship?

I also think that sometimes we have a set perception of what we want in friends. And, if we let go of these perceptions, often times we get surprised. We find out people we didn't expect connecting with, having a great connection suddenly.

The point of this post is this - quality, beats quantity. I think this is also in line with a minimalist principle - although I'm not sure most minimalists will tell you to declutter your friends, hehe.

At the same time, be generous. This isn't a calculation game of who gives more. I also find that when you give more, and when you find that you bring cheer to someone else, it lifts you up. It makes you happier knowing that you've helped someone else. But, give to the right people. Don't give your all to toxic people. Don't find your energy drained, and then you feeling hopeless and disappointed with the world.

I'm going to write soon about how much happier I've been feeling. There is a book by Murakami - I think the title is 'The incredible lightness of being'. I've never read this book, nor understood it's title. But lately, I feel it. I understand now, what it means to feel the incredible lightness of being.

That's a story for another day though. So, go ahead. Declutter today.

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