The process of actively curating your life does more than just clear away possessions that no longer serve a purpose or activities that no longer sustain you. The process has an uncanny knack for uncovering the crevices that are all-too-often papered-over through consumption. Bad food, vapid media, meaningless exchanges, buy-once-use-once products–it all comes out into the open air when we actively choose to turn our attention toward it.
Consider the implications of choosing low-quality, highly-available food items: your body doesn’t get the nutrients and fuel it needs, you get an overdose of salt, fat, and who-knows-what kinds of additives mixed-in. In financial terms, investing in inferior-quality materials produces an inferior result. To quote a friend who specializes in software development: “Garbage in, garbage out”.
Similarly, considering the implications of choosing to turn toward our discomfort after curating things out of our lives is an exercise in introspection. What remains when we remove the excess is often more telling than the excess itself: fear, doubt, and insecurity. What lies beneath the facade that’s presented by fear running rough-shod over our senses are the treasures we were likely seeking all along: meaning, connection, and truth.
Without the burden of all that excess “stuff”, would we instead turn our attention to the activities and people that matter? In fact, what do you believe matters the most to you? If your life’s “overhead” could be reduced and your mental “bandwidth” could be freed, what exactly would you make of your “potential”? Would you stay at that mind-numbing job that makes that huge amount of money? Or would you be ready to go on a risky venture to try something new?
Start your own business? Volunteer more? Volunteer abroad? Travel abroad? Go back to school? Teach? Build? Perform?
Possibility lies buried beneath the mounds that make up the ephemeral life. Once you make the choice to dig-in beyond the cellophane, celluloid, and sell-outs, things get a lot more engaging. That’s where the magic happens.