What was the last thing you made? A paycheck? A paper-mache Christmas decoration? Breakfast this morning?
How about personal freedom? Location independence? A more fulfilled life?
Whether you take the practical or philosophical approach – you’ve no doubt made a lot of “things” in your life. My question is, do you really need them? Or are they distracting you from what really matters?
The last thing I made? A new and “improved” Facebook profile. Okay, no, I didn’t actually “make” this, but Facebook presented me with an option to trick out my Facebook profile, and of course, like any well-behaved Facebook user does, I agreed to upgrade and now I am the proud owner of a new profile.
What’s it do? I’m not really sure. It looks a little different. It shares more information. It puts some unflattering pictures of myself up at the top for everyone to see. I’m not really sure. But it’s new. It’s cool. Everyone’s going to have one, so I need it to, right?
In a world that constantly demands more. More features. More options. More “stuff”. I find myself somehow wanting less.
Less is more
My partner Sam just published his new book, “50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need” in which he talks about getting rid of the “stuff” in your life. One of my favorite quotes (granted, I’ve only made it through the first few pages so far) is in reference to buying “Stuff from SkyMall”:
“The problem isn’t SkyMall, of course, but rather anything that grabs our attention and tells us to spend money. Maybe it’s a daily coupon site that tempts you to buy services you never wanted until you received that morning’s email. They’re offering 75 percent off belly dancing classes? I never wanted to learn, but now I do! It’s so cheap, I’d be a fool not to take these classes”
Sam’s example illustrates a greater overall point. Most of the things in your life? You don’t need them. You think you do, you may argue with me that you do, but you probably don’t.
Did I need a new Facebook profile? No. Was there anything wrong with the old one? No. The allure of Facebook used to be that it was a clean and simple alternative to Myspace. Now Facebook, slowly but surely, is doing the exact same thing that led to Myspace being “uncool”. Bombarding us with bells and whistles and things we don’t really need. Not cool, Facebook.
It’s not going to change – Facebook will continue to take over the world. There are always going to be new “things” that come along and are just so damn cool that you have to have them (Ipad, I’m looking at you). This isn’t an argument against Ipads and no, I’m not going to delete my Facebook account.
Do you need a lot of money, a “safe” job, a big house and a fast car to be happy? Probably not. Today, start thinking about what you’re making, what you need to make, and what you can get rid of. Instead of working constantly and worrying about making a lot of money start making memories with your family and friends.
What are you going to make today?