“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann
I’ve always been a pen hoarder. Ever since I could grip a crayon, I was the girl with the crammed pencil case. Overflowing with Sharpies and highlighters and my personal favorite, the colored Jelly Roll pens with the silver sheen which must be guarded at all cost. My mom could be struggling to find a single writing utensil in the entire home, but I made sure to always be fully stocked. Just in case one highlighter ran dry, you know you really should have six others for backup.
I’d like to think I’ve since grown up and grown out of those ways.
But it only takes me one look at my days and my to-do lists and my closet to see…excess.
So much excess in an already noisy world.
I’m a firm believer that things aren’t bad in and of themselves. It’s what we make of them, the value we place on them, the lengths we’ll go to accrue them and…what we forfeit in the process.
See, we’re always playing the game of elimination whether we know it or not.
Because when we fill our lives with the unnecessary it nudges into nothingness what was formerly at the forefront.
And excess comes in all shapes and sizes. Too many gadgets. Too much house. A crammed closet or a schedule of commitments that doesn’t even fit the calendar.
I’ve realized my multitasking actually robs me of the moments. Attention divided is no attention at all. And in an effort to attend to everything we miss out on the main thing. In buying more materials we never appreciate those we already have. In the name of doing everything, it’s possible to really do nothing.
A life brimming with the superfluous often leads to a soul constantly searching for more. I know for myself that the more things I accrue the more attention and intention I lose. Focus becomes foggy as we crowd our lives with the unnecessary.
So it’s time to start playing the elimination game with intent. It’s not the stuff we have, rather the stuff we appreciate. It’s not the number of things we do, but the meaning in which they are done. What if, instead of always striving for more, we flipped the script and looked for less.
Don’t live an empty life that’s so filled up with things. The winner isn’t the one who does the most, has the most or commits to the most. Winning is living a life of focus. Winning is living a life of purpose.
And the first step to victory might be one of elimination. Might as well give it a shot. The truth is, we’re all already playing the game anyways.