Archives for clutter

Will Achieving Your 2017 Goals Really Make You Happy?

Void by George Batistatos of Flickr

Have you ever noticed how once you put your attention on something you seem to see it everywhere?

For example, when you decide there is a certain car you want to buy, suddenly it appears all the time.

An odd thing happened this weekend, and I kept noticing a recurring theme in everything I read and everything I watched.

It started as I set a weekend goal to tidy up my house and further my annual goal of clearing out all the clutter in my house. For inspiration I started watching a documentary on Netflix called Minimalism. To get to the point, this documentary was not really about tidying up as much as it was about exploring our attachment drive to acquire stuff. The people interviewed all tend to have a perception based on their own experience that people acquire things to fill a void.

On Sunday morning I watched a Mindvalley video in which Marisa Peer tells the audience that in her experience, which has been working with some of Hollywood’s elite, people seek out fame and fortune because they do not feel like they are enough. They do not feel loved or lovable, and so they seek out love from the public. The video title was “How to Get Absolutely Anything You Want.” I was listening to it as I was coloring in my Mike Dooley Notes from the Universe Coloring Book alongside my daughters. I had to turn the video off, however, as she got into some really sad stories that I did not want my girls to hear. Nevertheless, the theme of filling a void seemed to continue to percolate in my mind.

Even the night before, I saw an older movie on HBO with Angelina Jolie, where she played a reporter driven to land a network job, thwarted by a prediction from a homeless man that she would die. I won’t spoil it for you, but this movie also aligned with the theme of a misguided pursuit of happiness, in which we think one thing is going to make us happy, but the truth is that it is empty. It does not fill our void, and we can either acknowledge that and fill the void with true meaning, or continue to seek out better and better stuff thinking that it will fill the void, but continuing to feel empty.

As I shared last week, I am in the middle of reading Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani. I am right at the part where he talks about how the major shift happened for him and his business grew 400% in eight months. It was after he realized that the goals that he had for his business were not making him happy.

There was even one more thing that I watched and continue to align with this theme. Strange, right?

(Side note: some people ask me how I come up with topics every single week. I have a backlog of ideas, as I see inspiration in so many different places, and you can tell from my weekend activities, that I am constantly seeking out new knowledge and wisdom, and so I tend to find it and feel compelled to pass it on to you. This case was extraordinary, that I could notice a theme so prevalent that I could not ignore it. It was as though I was made to write about it this week, even though I had something else lined up.)

A former client and friend, Jack, started off his year in a pretty epic way. He was one of the first fans to be invited as a fighter on Movie Fights, a show frequented by Kevin Smith (of Mall Rats fame) in which movie geeks engage in passionate debate about various movie topics. Friday’s episode was about the best movie of 2016. I have not seen La La Land yet, and I won’t spoil it for you, but arguments against La La Land in this episode included the superficiality of Hollywood and whether or not we should feel good about the characters, who are trying to decide if they choose love over ambition. (Go, Jack!)

If you are not a career coach like I am, you might not see the connection between this theme and your career. I will tell you now that I have no conclusions to share with you, but I do challenge you to project yourself into the future when you achieve your 2017 goals. Ask yourself, will it be enough? What is enough?

 

Are your 2017 goals designed to fill a void? What would really fill that void?

AND…Will filling that void really make you happy, or can you choose to be happy now? Can you accept that you are enough, you have enough, and you do enough?

How did contemplating these questions make you feel? Did you notice a physical reaction?

What goals can you create, pursue, and achieve that will bring wholeness to your life?

Please, share your thoughts, insights and reactions.

 

My Labor Day of Labor – I’ve Come Clean

This may still be cluttered to some, but it is zen-inspiring to me.

This may still be cluttered to some, but it is zen-inspiring to me.

No, I didn’t have another baby. I spent my holiday fighting dust balls and licking paper cuts.

After 3 years of compiling papers and collecting nonsense in my office, I “clean sweeped” (I know it’s swept, but it doesn’t sound right in this context.) There were literally 60 lbs. of paper and other junk purged from my house. I have two big boxes of great fall clothes to sell on e-bay, donate or turn into crafts. I know where everything is in my office. What is most important is most prevalent and within easy reach.

The adjustment to working from home with my babies, who are now grown up enough to know when the house is messy, happened very slowly.  While I expanded my roles as primary caretaker and entrepreneur, some of my other priorities and values were placed aside. I justified that it was what I had to do because of the choice I made to stay home and work, but in the meantime, crap accumulated and inhibited my growth. That’s where I was; I had no more room to grow because I had no room in my home and most sacred space.  The choice I made was no longer empowering; it was an abyss. While I continued to learn more and teach clients about efficiency, time management, resource management, etc., I was ignoring fundamental best practices of success – simplicity of organization and accessibility of information.

Especially because I do so much on my computer, where it seems everything is at my fingertips, these fundamentals were easy to ignore for so long. Until, enter financial advisor and partner Brian Brogan.

He asked, “Where is the space dedicated to managing the lifeblood of my family and business?”

“Oh, here and over there and I can even work outside…”

“STOP!,” he pleaded. “What are you saying about your priorities if you have no place dedicated to managing the very thing that allows your family to function?”

While he has been here at our house, he never new we had an office because the door stayed shut when there were visitors. We even kept the vent closed so as to not heat or air condition it. It was, essentially, a junk room.

After reading some of The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes, by Allyson Lewis, I had started to make a little progress on my office. I sorted unopened envelopes one day. Then another day I opened them. Then another day I took out any files older than 2009 to make room for the newer files. Then, I left the office alone for a week. I avoided it. What happened?

If my house were a factory, I think they would call it a bottleneck.

I needed to renew my car registration, but I couldn’t find the form. I had to make a return, but I couldn’t find a receipt. The CPRW (Certified Professional Résumé Writer) certification exams that I am supposed to grad within 2 weeks piled up for a month. ssential functions took 10 times longer than they should have. I was wasting time looking for things, feeling like a hot mess, and my temper and patience were getting short. Friday I had a gentleman tell me that I wasn’t able to listen to him. I didn’t even realize it, but I kept interrupting him. Instead of listening compassionately first, then advising appropriately, I was defensive and curt. This was impacting more than just tasks – my credibility with peers, my authority with my kids and my ability to effectively coach were hampered.

Enough – I had to do the work. The clutter had to be confronted, and so did my feelings about the clutter. With the exception of a break to have tea with my husband, make princess hats with my daughters, and hit up a local playground where we could all get a workout in, I pounded away – from breakfast to 2 or 3 in the morning. I finished at 4:30 Tuesday morning. The process, while tiring, was cathartic. What Brian said was reverberating in my brain and I thought very consciously about where I placed things based on how important I wanted them to be. Even choosing what size folder to attribute to a project made me process what amount of time I was committing to dedicate to that project.

Once it was done, I didn’t care anymore that I didn’t get to go the shore or the Poconos or that I didn’t see any concerts or even go out to eat. I had forgotten how much I value organization. For a while, I had been wishing I could just hire someone to find a place for everything, but I couldn’t wait for that to happen.

Now that I am in my office, and I can work in my office and find things in my office (and elsewhere,) I am able to think. I feel lighter and can breathe easier. Brian says that I have now made room for the harvest. Those books that I read, while portraying the importance of organization to taking action also echoed his sentiments: If you want something to show up, you have to make room for it. Now that I know I have room for growth and expansion, I have more confidence making strategic plans for my business. I want to spend time here. I want to show it off. Here. Have a look:

One thought leader I follow, I can’t remember which or perhaps it is all of them, says that people take action when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Why is that? Why did I have to let it get to that point? Even though the disorganization was certainly having an impact on my family and me, I waited until other people were being impacted by my disorganized house before I resolved to get it cleaned up for good. I resolve now to be proactive in keeping order in my house, in my office and in my mind.

 

Have you ever been sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you waiting until to feel this way to take action?