Since young, most of us were taught throwing things away equates to wasting.
Throwing things away may sometimes be indeed wasteful. However, most people do not realize that most of the wastage do not occur when we are discarding them, but at the point of acquisition. Much of our wastage are the consequences of our reckless buying.
So, the next time you stand in line at the cashier, spend an additional moment to contemplate if you really need to buy those stuff.
Imagine that you are working for a company that pays you $4,000 but pays your colleagues, who have same roles and responsibilities as you, $3,000, will you be happy?
Imagine again that you are working for another company that pays you $5,000 but pays your colleagues, who also have the same roles and responsibilities as you, $6,000, will you be happy?
Most people will feel happy in the first scenario and unhappy in the second. However, if you look closer, we are actually earning more in the second scenario than in the first. Shouldn’t we be happier?
We, human beings, tend to compare ourselves with others a lot. This is a great example that explains why we shouldn’t.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy – Theodore Roosevelt
It’s been two years since I have deleted my Facebook account. Before quitting Facebook, I had been a Facebook user for 9 years. One day, I realized that I was too consumed by it and I simply had to shut it down. I never looked back since.
I could still remember that the first and last thing that I used to do on a daily basis was to check my Facebook notifications. Even before my room was lit, the blue light emitted from my screen flashed vigorously into my pupils. Everyday, I would have spent an estimate of 3 hours on Facebook. That would equates to more than 1000 hours a year, or 45 straight days of using Facebook. Imagine what I could I have spent the time on instead. More time for my hobbies, my family, or simply just to sleep!
It saddens me that sometimes when I am out gathering with my friends, everyone’s attention is being sucked into their phone. What even saddens me more is that some of them chooses to scroll through their Facebook than to talk. Well, actually I am not all that saddened. In fact, it could have been me choosing to give my attention to Facebook and subject my loved ones of having to endure the agony of my neglect. Thankfully, I didn’t.
Without Facebook, I had nowhere to post my travels and lunches to my ‘friends’ to admire. I don’t have to secretly hope for ‘likes’. I don’t have to see who had wished me ‘happy birthday’ and who had not. Quitting Facebook taught me the art of not caring. The happiness that comes from satisfying our ego is usually short-lived. The constant stroking required can result in quick burnouts.
Learning to let go of ego can truly be liberating.
I always make it a priority to keep my desk minimalist. Most of the time, it has just my laptop and my mouse on it. I try to not leave anything that I do not use on it. A clean, uncluttered desk reduces my worries and keeps my creative juice flowing.
The probability of things being knocked over increases when a desk is messy. On top of that, we may have difficulties locating the stuff that we need if we do not make it an effort to keep our desk tidy. This causes frustrations and affects various aspects of our lives, such as our work, our relationships and our mental and physical health.
Therefore, we should always strive to keep our desks, and other parts of our surroundings, uncluttered and clean.
In case you start wondering, no, I am not jumping on the recent Marie Kondo bandwagon.
By now, you might have already come across the term “spark joy” multiple times. “Spark joy” is a term that is popularized by the famous Japanese organizing consultant, Marie Kondo. She has already sold millions of books all over the world and her recent show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, has propelled her popularity to even further heights.
More than just a catchy slogan, “does it spark joy?” is actually an extremely helpful question to ask ourselves when we find ourselves stuck in the process of decluttering our stuff.
When many of us are decluttering, we tend to go through the cruel process of interrogating our stuff. “This belt is damaged, I’m getting rid of it.”, “I don’t like the colour of this bag anymore. Therefore, I’m going to throw it away.”, “I haven’t listened to this CD for years, time to say bye bye.” All these may seemed innoucuous, but by enforcing negative perspectives onto our once-adored belongings may just be really unfair to them. Also, negativity breeds negativity. Therefore it’ll be wise if we can distant ourselves from all those self-incurred negative thoughts, as much as possible.
When we’re asking whether if something sparks joy, we seek to better understand the relationship between ourselves and our belongings. We allow positivity to naturally manifest. And if the answer is “no, it doesn’t”, we might just find the magnitude to let them go.