By Leo Babauta
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: Simplifying & the Joy of Letting Go. (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered questions about attachment to papers, an overfull schedule, the feeling of being overwhelmed, fear-driven thoughts and more!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
Simplifying our life can help us increase happiness and decrease stress. Simplicity is life changing:
How did we get to clutter & complication?
- wanting something in life but trying to have too many things (more than we can handle)
- being attached to things you wanted (but canâ€™t fit or use) and not being able to let them go
Why is it so hard to let go of possessions & commitments?
- sometimes itâ€™s procrastination â€” not having the energy to deal with it, putting off difficult decisions we feel very uncertain about
- sometimes itâ€™s because we think we â€œmight need it somedayâ€ â€¦ also known as the â€œjust in caseâ€ syndrome
- we also worry that we are wasting our money that we spent on those items if we get rid of them (sunk cost fallacy)
- but often itâ€™s because we donâ€™t want to let go of our hopes, fantasies, etc
- we still really want the hope to come true
- we are attached to it, clinging tightly to it
The problem with these attachments:
- they cause us anxiety from having too many things on our plate, too much clutter
- it doesnâ€™t allow us to focus on any one thing, because we have too many balls in the air
- we end up piling one thing on top of another, and then our lives are far from simple
Instead, we can let go of the attachments, which leads to simplicity
Let go by:
- realizing youâ€™re saying yes to whatâ€™s important
- seeing how free this makes you
- thinking about the costs of not letting go
- appreciating the gift of the space youâ€™re creating, and the lovely focus on the important things
Part II: Questions and Answers
- I have attachments to my papers – old documents, study texts… hard to obtain again, but unlikely to be used / read again. It feels like chronicles of my life to throw away. What to do?
- I struggle with an overfull schedule. What are your thoughts on fear/worry of choosing “wrong” things / What others think etc.?
- How do you deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed when looking at a TON of stuff you have to untangle in order to live more simply?
- I struggle with trying to figure out the Most Important Things for the day. Sadly as a computer programmer there’s a lot of things that than fill the day. There is some aspirational baggage to some of these decisions (professional, personal, etc. ). And they all seem important. What would be a way to “cull the herd”.
- Last year I got rid of large amounts of past professional documents. It turned out to be a terrible mistake since I needed them later. Now I’m terrified to get rid of anything! What to do?