I heard a great story on NPR this morning. They interviewed a woman from Joplin, MO who’s house was completely destroyed by a tornado. Picking through the rubble with her insurance agent, they were trying to find anything that was salvageable. When asked how she was doing her comment was, “I’ve been very philosophical over the past couple of days”. She went on to explain that she had a sign in her basement that read “SIMPLIFY”. She’s been taking inspiration from that message over the years. She went on to explain that she had gone through a divorce, is a single parent and is a cancer survivor. This was another step in her journey to simplify her life. To remove the clutter and get back to what’s essential and important.
How profound! I’ve been going through this same trial in my mind over and over again. Simplify – sell stuff – get back to what’s important: FAMILY, your PASSION, HEALTH, GOD and SPIRITUAL AWAKENING!
I started the day off today on the wrong foot, wallowing in self pity, focusing on the destination and not the journey. Finding your passion is a lifelong quest. At least it is for me. If we can remain “in the moment” and stay focused on the “journey” things have a way of seeming less stressful, less burdensome. My heart goes out to those effected by the devastating tornadoes in the Midwest. The hell with this year’s American Idle or who makes the cover of INC this month. People like the tornado survivor from Joplin who can remain philosophical and stay focused on simplifying her life in the midst of utter chaos are truly an inspiration.
I read some great blog posts at the dawning of the new decade. The amount of quality content out there is staggering. Some of my favorites were posted by Josh Bernoff, Radian6 and Seth Godin .
One of the most practical posts I read was Chris Brogan’s My 3 Words for 2010 . The 3 words are to be used as a guidepost for the way you should conduct your efforts in the year to come. The words can help you set goals, and establish projects with deadlines. Brogan claims that this technique is helpful for those who have struggled with goal setting in the past.
My 3 words are: FOCUS, LEARN, SIMPLIFY
FOCUS: I have begun to lay the groundwork for pursuing what has the most meaning for me; both personally and professionally and then focusing on what’s important to achieve these goals. I talked about this in my post entitled Threads of interruption: How to keep your day from spinning out of control . My next post will expand upon this and discuss the 80-20 Rule.
LEARN: In 2010 I want to explore new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking. It’s time to embrace change and to stop looking through the “lens” of the past. In the internet age, “rules” are being challenged and broken at breakneck speed. For me, this will be the year to completely embrace Social Media as a tranformative and lasting means of communication.
SIMPLIFY: This has some deep meaning for me that I won’t share in this post. But some of my philosophy was introduced in my Boating: The Good Old Days post. When I read Walden in high school I thought that Thoreau was a nut job. However as a middle-aged guy who’s collected a lot of “stuff” over the years, I think back on Walden Pond and wonder if Thoreau was on to something.