Those three ideas changed my life.
A few years ago, I took stock of my life from top to bottom and realized that some things had to change. I was happy, healthy, and busy, but craved more passion, meaning, and purpose. Through searching, exploring, and peeling back layers, I discovered that as I found more meaning, I wanted less stuff. Less distraction. Less crap in my way.
And thus began a process, which developed rather organically, but that has since become a lifestyle: Simplify. Prioritize. Clarify.
I started to simplify things. Radically. I filled bag after bag with old clothes, nicknacks and jewelry and took them to Goodwill. I sorted through old papers and fed the recycling bin. I organized and deleted tons of documents, programs, and other unnecessary things from my digital world. Getting rid of things was part of something bigger, but at the time I didn’t understand what it was. I just felt – I knew – that I had to simplify my life.
Turns out a big part of simplifying was learning to let go. I let go of material things that had nostalgic value, sure, but that I really didn’t need or want anymore. And ultimately I started letting go of bigger things: hobbies, habits, old stories. The more I let go, the easier it became to see what was important and what was simply… distracting.
As I created more space (literally and figuratively) in my life, I naturally started to prioritize. It felt good to ask myself brutally honest questions and be surprised by my own answers. I felt lighter, cleaner, and more alert. My mental, emotional, and spiritual bandwidth was given a huge upgrade.
I started making decisions based on what truly felt right, what supported my core values, what was aligned with who I am and what I’m about. I chose in favor of passion and purpose, rather than listening to external factors (or what I was making up about external factors, like what other people think or expect or how they’ll react.) Decision-making became a thrill rather than an ordeal.
The next step was obvious. I wanted clarity. Once you start living your life in a way that is aligned with who you are and what you’re about, it’s impossible to go back. So, I figured my next challenge was to get more and more clear on my values, my passions, and my purpose. This is what I’ve been most focused on for the last couple years and is the main reason I am so goddamn happy all the time!
The great thing about this process is that the more you do it, the more it becomes an unconscious way of living (rather than a conscious process.) Whenever I need to, I simplify by slowing down and letting go of the things, thoughts, and distractions that don’t serve me. Then I prioritize by choosing in favor of passion and purpose and following my heart. And finally, I get even more clear on who I am and what I’m about, which then informs everything I do and how I live my life.