It’s likely one of my podcasts brought you here – GrowGreat.com or LeaningTowardWisdom.com. Or, perhaps my professional endeavors brought you here – my executive/leadership coaching. No matter the reason, I’m glad you’re here.
My favorite quote (okay, one of them) is by
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
When I was a teenager it was attributed to the German philosopher Goethe, but turns out that wasn’t quite right.
Another favorite is by Jack Welch, said when he was at the helm of General Electric many years ago…
Control your own destiny or someone else will.
Leo Babauta began a blog back in 2007 called Zen Habits. In 2008 he published a book entitled, The Power of Less. I had been reading his stuff and I got the book. It was my introduction to minimalism. Since then I’ve been fascinated by it although I confess I’ve not been much of a practitioner.
I bring this up because that Jack Welch quote, which has resonated with me since I first heard it back in the early 1980s, has been reminding me that any benefits I might achieve by embracing some elements of minimalism are only within reach if I put them into practice.
Becoming Minimalist is another popular minimalist blog that I’ve followed off and on for a long time. A couple of years ago there was quite a move for people to declutter based on what brought them joy. Joshua Becker wrote a piece offering a contrary point of view about that.
I’m starting to take some inventory – mentally and literally – of essentials. Figuring out the criteria I figure is personal and individual. I don’t claim to have it figured out, but I’m approaching it from a practical viewpoint. Essential was the best word I could think of – do I need it? Does it serve me with any regularity? Does owning it provide me any ongoing value?
Some might approach the challenge from the other end by looking at the things they can live without. Truth is, our lives are likely quite full of many things we can live without. That just felt too negative and pessimistic to suit me.
The space where I podcast is a home office dubbed The Yellow Studio. Some years ago I did a virtual tour inside The Yellow Studio because my podcast audience would often ask me for one. Inside The Yellow Studio is where I began to start my inventory exercise. It’s been very challenging because I’m surrounded by things that honestly serve to comfort and inspire.
Since I spend quite a bit of time inside The Yellow Studio I figure it’s the ideal starting place for embracing some degree of minimalism. I can tell the challenge is going to be two-fold: books and music. Two lifelong passions. I have thousands of books and CD’s (yep, those old school things that replace my thousands of vinyl records – important passion possessions I parted with back in the late 80s). We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.