Brain Change

Focus on life through a simplified mind

What motivates the move to a simpler lifestyle

Why would anyone on earth want to have less stuff?  Media tells us to keep up with the latest trend or you will be uncool.  Buy the new sportscar, ipad, designer clothing, atv you name it.   We are bombarded by marketing daily letting us know how we should spend our time and money.  You know why they do it?

Because Time and Money are assets of ours they would like to be in possesion of.  Apple computers does not care if buying the new gadget they came up with will benefit you or not.  They only care that they get a strong enough message across to make you think that it would benefit you.  If they can get you to think that it would benefit you they can charge a handsome price to be in possesion of their gadget.  It works similar across all goods and service providers trying to separate you from your time and money. 

If time an money are assets we control why would we not use them to create the dream lifestyle we have always wanted.  NO not more possesions.  Take an introspective look at find out what your motivations are.  Here are the reasons I want to live a simpler life.

1 I want to be free to enjoy anything I want

2 I want to be able to spend time with my family

3 I want an uncluttered house,mind,life

4 I want to be the sole master of my destiny

5 I want to vacation to new places spending as much time as I want there

6 I want experiences that fulfill not possesions that drain

7 I want to be healthier

8 I want to follow my kids in their activities

9 I want Freedom to choose how I spend my time

10 I want to make my wife the happiest woman in the world

11 I want to share my ideas with the world

Some of these seem redundant but it was a quick list I scribed as reasons I want to live simpler.  They all boil down to a few key areas. 

Freedom

Family

Fun  

Working the 9-5 grind or as in management the 24-7 there is an absence of time to fullfill your desires you are constantly interuppted or forced to stay in “cell range” to be able to fight fires as they arise.  It is a great tool to use to be able to get ourselves out of the corner we have bought ourselves into but we must persevere to find new avenues of income.   How can we ever begin to think of taking a month long vacation to a desert island when our corporate structure alots you a mere few days a year vacation time. 

Commitments to others to do things can be another way we chain ourselves down.  If we are busy running around for others using our time to do tasks for them, how can we ever be free to choose what we would like to do.  We must limit our commitments to others and take serious the commitments we make to ourselves and family the rest of the world be damned.

Possesions keep us right where they want us to be.  The more you own the more “it” actually owns you.  You are constantly worried not losing what you have and gaining more.  this creates a scarcity mentality.  Go through your possesions and give/sell them all but the neccesities.  this will create an abundance mentallity and the universe will reward you with more abundance. 

Enough for now I am going to test my theories by decluttering my closet i will limit myself to the essential and list why.

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August 31, 2010 Posted by | minimalism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Focus on what matters

I just finished reading Leo Babuata’s book “less is more” I find several interesting points he makes that goes along with my brain change I am trying to go through now.  Leo comments that one of the reasons that people fail to meet their goals when taking on a new habit change is that they take on too much too soon.  Leo suggests that we have major lifechanging goals and then create mini goals as well as mini task to get these goals done.  For instance.  Ill take my goal for example of being 220 lbs this is currently a 25 lb weight loss goal.  A mini goals would be to lose 2 lbs a week until reached or too eat healthier to help the process along.  A task you could do daily then to reach your mini goals would be to exercise 15 mins a day. or to cut 200 calories out of your diet.   I knew I was taking a hard approach when I decided to complete every goal I had within a month.  Decluttering House, Quitting Smoking, New Diet, Exercising.  So what I have done now is simply start small with things.  I am going to track my diet habits with myfitnesspal.com it is a great website to set up a goal weight and then simply enter in the food you eat as your eating it throughout the day and keeping a log. 

Decluttering:

Latest projects decluttered have been. 

Filing Cabinet ( Tossed just about everything in there when you stopped to think will I actually need this the answer was mostly no.) We had tons of old phone bills, power bills, just flotsam floating around in that cabinet I am relieved it is straight now.

Work Desk.  I got this monster decluttered and set up a filing system in the drawer next to me it does make work flow much quicker when everything I need to file or from my file is arranged and at hand.

Back Room Our house has little storage space in it so we had let junk pile up in my office space in the back room for years it was great to start putting to bed these items that have just caused untidyness in our house forever.

Bathroom painted: My wife came home one night and we (mostly her) taped off and painted the kids bathroom.  It is so much nicer to be in freshly painted rooms.

With all that we are doing a little chunk at a time we are slowly making progress to get our house to a respectable level of clutter there are a few major rooms left that we need to do.

I would eventually like to create a possesion list and limit our wordly possesions to what is on the list only being able to acquire something when we donate or sell something else.  I am not sure how big to make this list yet I have seen some minimalists publish 100 item lists.  I think that is way too small for us at this point and would be a shock to the system.  As soon as our house gets more organized I will build a list of all our possesions.  We can then chip away from there.

August 30, 2010 Posted by | minimalism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncluttered Bathroom

Spent an hour tonight with my wife cleaning out the bathroom drawers and cupboards.  we threw away 3 garbage bags full of stuff.  Today I also purchased new towels for ours and the kids bathrooms.  We will be keeping only 4 towels per bathroom, tossing the rest of the old towels.  Items that I have decided to keep and the only things left in our bathroom are as follows.

Toilet paper, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shaving Cream, Razor, Deodorant, 4 towels, Blow Dryer, Curling Irons, assorted make up (she tossed a bunch), Mouthwash, Beard and Mustache Trimmer, Hair Clippers, Soap Supply, Shampoo, Conditioner, Cleaning supplies under the sink – All purpose cleanser, furniture polish, toilet cleaner, soap scum cleaner, Travel bag (for toiletries when I travel), Diabetes test kit, Thermometer, Contact solution/container.

When you write it down like this it sure does seem like a lot of stuff we need to be comfortable.  I imagine I could go caveman and do away with the smell nice stuff but I sure am not ready to become Uber minimalist yet. 

My wife and I also bought new bed sheets today and tossed all others we have not used that have been sitting in closets.  We purchased two new pillows for our bed and threw away the 4-5 pillows that have been lingering around our bedroom.

My battle with nicotine addiction is not nearly over.  I gained 10 lbs since quitting last monday and I broke over the weekend buying a pack and then another and another.  So now I am overweight again and a smoker.  I know this is not going to be an easy process but I am going to systematically beat down all the clutter and distraction in my life and make better choices.  Limiting myself to what is truly important and tossing the rest out the window.  I think that Mental toughness comes by in part by reducing how much your mind is having to deal with at a given moment.  The more you can trim away the fat and get to the meat of the issue to larger you intesity and focus becomes on resolving that issue.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | decluttering, minimalism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleaning House

I set up my auto savings today an additional $50 every two weeks will be deposited for quitting nicotine.  Just saying the word nicotine or tobacco or smokes or chew is enough to make you want to say Hell with it one wont hurt.  It is amazing how addictive the substance is to actually make you talk to yourself in third person rationalizing that it is ok to do it.  It may also be another entity but that would be for another post.  

Began cleaning my office throwing away perfectly good crap that I will never use.   It is very hard dissecting what I absolutely will need.  In the back of my mind I am still hearing dont throw that away you may use it someday.  I am having to forcefully make myself to throw stuff out.  I am going to have to make several passes at this cause I still find my desk stacked up with a bunch of stuff. 

I have not started my list of essential items that I would like to keep my life in possesion of.   I do not know if I am ready to limit my life to a few  possesions that I really need to live.  I have a lot of sentimental items that i would not know what to do with.  Guns, knives, cards.  What do we do with these items?  I know they are not essential to life but isnt the point of life to get experiences? If you have a card your father wrote to you and it makes you feel good when you read it, do you keep it? Or toss it because it wont benefit you.   I must think deeper on this issue to see if I really want to become a minimalist.  I dont want to do it for the environment but im sure it will help.  I want to do it for the  freedom it could bring not being chained to items.

Mortgage, Car payments, Credit Cards these are all opposed to reducing mental anguish in your life and can only increase stress.  I have found that focusing on these things only magnify their importance therefore magnifying the problem you have yourself in with Debt.

I am now focused on building savings.  As I focus on depositing money into my savings account for some reason I seem to have more money to deposit.  For those of you who have read “The Secret” you know why this may be happening.

For now more passes on ridding clutter, actually doing exercise, eating healthy are top on my agenda for the next few days.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | decluttering, minimalism, Personal Finance | , , , , | 3 Comments

Brain Change

I have and addictive personality.  I have very little self control.  I seem to self destruct whenever i start getting ahead in life.  Why do we self destruct and insist on eating foods that are bad, using tobacco,  wasting money on the next hot item, not exercising when we know we should?  I believe the answer may be lodged inside each of our own minds.  What we need is a complete brain change resolving to not think or feel the same way  again.

I have been studying (scratch that), looking into minimalism.  Minimalism by my favorite definition is

  • Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design.

    The fewest elements of design

    What if we could actually design our own life,  applying the principles of minimalism and disconnecting our brains from the societal pressure to consume.  Minimalism applied to your life may in fact help unclutter your life and your mind, opening up the doors to be more creative,  more adventurous, and less fearful. 

    Granted I am postulating a theory,  I am going to start applying minimalism to my life and write about the adventure. 

    Last night I threw away my can of tobbacco, it is a habit that is very sneaky and could have lethal consequences.  Not to mention the $5 day cost of maintenance on the habit.  I will now place just under $5 per day into an automatic savings account drafted out of my paycheck.

    I weigh 238 lbs, I had just recently been on a diet and dropped to 225 lbs.  I have noticed that my brain decided that it was ok to start eating junk food again since I had reached my goal.  Wouldnt you know it I am gaining the weight back faster than I lost it.  I now resolve to maintain a healthy diet that does not include candy bars from the store.   I will be back to 225 less than 3 weeks mark my words.

    I resolve to start exercising a minimum of 1/2 hour per day, it is great for the body and mind.

    I resolve comment on how my plan is working out at least weekly on this blog.  Funny how I really dont have a plan but I am proceeding with it anyway. 

    I am going to create my list of essential items to me and sell/donate all the rest of the items to the world. 

    I am going to work to create a business that can be done fully location independant

  • August 18, 2010 Posted by | minimalism | , , , , | Leave a comment

       

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