Tag Archives: minimalism

Letting Go of Goals

Designed to help you find focus and tackle “the problems we face as we try to live and create in a world of overwhelming distractions” is focus : a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction.

This is Leo Babauta‘s latest book and he is producing it iteratively online. One issue I have is that if there are two current trends that I’m undecided about and feel have been blow out of proportion it’s the minimalist lifestyle and the notion that modern life is distracting.

Regardless, I enjoyed the following from the chapter letting go of goals, describing why we should do exactly that:

They are artificial — you aren’t working because you love it, you’re working because you’ve set goals.

They’re constraining — what if you want to work on something not in line with your goals? Shouldn’t we have that freedom?

They put pressure on us to achieve, to get certain things done. Pressure is stressful, and not always in a good way.

When we fail (and we always do), it’s discouraging.

But most of all, here’s the thing with goals: you’re never satisfied. Goals are a way of saying, “When I’ve accomplished this goal (or all these goals), I will be happy then. I’m not happy now, because I haven’t achieved my goals.” This is never said out loud, but it’s what goals really mean. The problem is, when we achieve the goals, we don’t achieve happiness. We set new goals, strive for something new.

100 Items or Less

No, it’s not the new checkout lane at the supermarket, but Dave Bruno’s purging goal (summary):

And honestly, it is difficult to purge.  What goes?  That is a hard decision.  But I have an idea.  A spontaneous idea that might change my life forever.  I’m calling it the 100 Thing Challenge.  And I’m taking it.

“Things are to be used.  People are to be loved.”  The crazy thing about our consumer culture is that we so often reverse it.  We use people to get the things we think we’ll love.  How stupid.

Time recently ran an article on the challenge:

That’s not the only dilemma faced by this new wave of goal-oriented minimalists. One of the trickier questions is what counts as an item. Bruno considers a pair of shoes to be a single entity, which seems sensible but still pretty hard-core when you’re trying to jettison all but 100 personal possessions.

via kottke