The idea of pursuing less in a more intentional way is a topic that seems to pop up in my life every so often. I first heard about it at a conference years ago (the idea of less cell time), and now it seems to be an idea I’m hearing almost weekly. Whether it be in a book I’m reading, someone I’m talking to, or just how I’m feeling internally.
Y’all know that I’m a dreamer, a thinker. I can be pretty intense. And it’s not that I’m doing or accomplishing more than others, because that’s not true; I simply have a brain that works on overdrive. My thoughts are all over the place and there are so many ideas that I want to run with. Which can be great at times, but it’s mostly just A LOT. Internally, it’s a lot.
Then on the flip side, externally there’s a lot going on as well. My life is full of clutter and excess. There’s just so much stuff. Everywhere.
It just happens; things pile up. Whether that’s the shoes in my closet or the appointments in my calendar or my running “Adulting” to-do list. Ugh, speaking of, I still need to clean out my garage and put my new license plates on my car.
And I’ve noticed that a lot of the internal and external clutter overlaps. For example, I will think about all these new beauty products I want to try to show y’all and accompanying blog posts I want to write (internal clutter), then I’ll go buy twenty things (external clutter), then I’ll go to do my budget and realize I’m spending too much on things (internal clutter), and the cycle goes on.
I doubt I’m the only one that feels like my life is an ongoing clutter cycle both internally and externally; I mean there are entire TV shows and books dedicated to the issue. (Which is kinda ironic because consuming information can also lead to more clutter in our lives, but I’ll leave you with this blog post where I already touched on that.) Anyways, the point is that I’ve been truly inspired by the idea of pursuing less in life as of late. And this doesn’t feel like a #BrightonBrain idea that will pass in a day. This feels like more than that. It’s something I really, really feel connected to and want to try out for real.
Living with less stuff, more margin. Buying intentionally, thinking intentionally. Removing the clutter from inside and out. Pursuing LESS.
You’ll definitely be seeing more on this topic as I dive into it in different aspects of my life (like cleaning out my shoe closest a couple weeks ago…whoa), but for now, I wanted this post to be more of an intro. I wanted to explain to y’all what this pursuit of less was, and why I’m fired up about it. If you’re wanting to know why I’m so inspired, keep reading.
Why I’m Inspired by The Pursuit of Less
I have about a million reasons here, but in the spirit of doing less (ha!), I’m outlining the 5 that really stand out to me. Or the reasons why this whole idea has sparked me to make legit changes in my life.
Reason No. 1 – More Time for Things That Matter
We have 24 hours in the day (about 16 if you don’t count sleep), and we spend so little of that time doing things that truly matter. Not that everything we do needs to change the world or even pursue our dreams, but how much time do we spend on things that we don’t enjoy? Way too much! Life is short – why are we wasting our precious time on things that we dread or don’t increase our happiness? I know we have to work. Yes, of course. But is there any flexibility in what you’re doing? Could you be working towards doing more things you love and that make you feel alive? Do you even know what those things are?
So often the clutter, especially internally, weighs us down and we kinda forget about what matters – the things that light us up. We’re so bogged down in the errands and caring what people think and honestly, pretty selfish tasks. Part of it is our busy go go go culture, part of it is keeping up with everyone’s highlight reel on social media, and part of it is that we’re all working our booties off. I get it! But the idea of pursuing less to leave time for the things that actually matter is incredibly appealing to me.
What in your life or on your to-do list doesn’t matter? Maybe that book club is only to keep up with a group that you don’t actually get pleasure from? Is spending an hour a night on social media really making you happy? Are we so confused with the things we think we have to do that we forget about the things we want to do? When in your life do you feel your best? Think about it!
Reason No. 2 – Less Stress
I mean, right?!
Studies show that people are more stressed out than EVER before and even things like anxiety are creeping up in crazy high numbers.
Like I mentioned above, the clutter cycle is real, and it’s where a lot of the stress in my life comes from. I almost feel embarrassed typing this out, but if I think about my stressors in daily life, it’s things like “Will this X item arrive on time?”.. “ughh I have to go to a workout class”.. “OMG I need to get another blog post up” .. “I have so many calls today” .. “I need to take my new dress to the dry cleaners” .. “Where will I put all these boxes because our recycling is full?” and so on. *Tell me I’m not alone!*
Of course I have more personal stressors and things that go wrong in my life (more than clothes), but honestly, a lot of that is because of STUFF. Because of clutter. Because of unnecessary things I’ve chosen to add to my life.
Clutter is stressful! Physical clutter leads to mental clutter and vice versa, and it can even become a psychological crutch.
Reason No. 3 – Less Mental Clutter
This is probably the number one reason why I’m inspired by the pursuit of less. Like y’all know, #BrightonBrain over here. And it’s a lot. My mind is constantly jumping from task to thought to stressor and so on. And even if you don’t suffer from Brighton Brain, in general, clutter has a negative impact on psychology. Our brains actually have 50-70K thoughts a day which is insane! But I’m adamant that if life was simpler, we might have less to think about – or at least there wouldn’t be such a wild variety of what our brain is jumping to with all our thoughts.
I’m SO excited by the idea of a simplified life and a simplified brain. Not that I’m nearly there, but this is something that’ll be pushing me to get there.
Reason No. 4 – Simplified Spaces
For any of y’all who have read Marie Kondo’s book and have simplified your space, you probably know what a simple home can do for your mind. And this is one area that I really need help with. Getting organized and tidy is incredibly inspiring to me because it’s SO not my strength and it’s even a little out of my comfort zone.
As a blogger, my job is to show y’all new outfits, how I’m decorating my house, and so on (or at least that’s part of my job and what I’ve been doing for years). Mix that with a personality that naturally likes to shop and buy new things, and I live in a house with a lot of STUFF. Not that my house is a total disaster, but as I sit here and look in every corner or at every room, there’s just a lot of stuff. Too much stuff.
My closet is probably the worst as I have way too many clothes, I know that. It’s almost (embarrassingly) impossible to get dressed some days because I literally have too many choices. Granted, I still have most of my wardrobe from my CPA days – most of which I haven’t touched in years. And I am NOT trying to brag here – I’m trying to do the opposite actually.
Maybe some of y’all can relate – at least with all the stuff. Like, why do we feel like we need SO much in order to live a good life? When all that does is bring clutter to our homes and lives, more decisions, more things to deal with, and so on.
I’m so drawn to the idea of a simpler home containing only items that I LOVE. Or even that I NEED. Not items that I’m buying to fill a space or to cope with an internal issue or because that’s what people do.
Plus, on a health-related note, a simple home is actually a lot better for our systems. Less stuff tends to lead to less dust and fewer allergies, and etc.
I want my home to be somewhere that feels serene and peaceful – and think my mind will have an easier time following suit from there.
Reason No. 5 – More savings
I’ve told y’all that I’m trying to reign in my budget lately. Well, it goes without saying that acquiring less things definitely helps. It’s actually painful when I look around my house or closet and think of things I don’t love slash want to get rid of and the money they cost. It’s not a reason to keep things, I’m realizing.
All I can do is get rid of what I don’t love (maybe sell some), and let it be a lesson. I’m also thinking of it as further motivation to pursue less so that I don’t find myself in a cycle of spending on crap.
I haven’t done it yet, but I can see myself trying to do a no shopping or spending challenge eventually to accompany pursuing less. Either way, if you buy less, you spend less. Simple as that.
Definitely stay tuned for more on this subject, because as y’all can tell – I’m excited! Hopefully you are too. Let me know your thoughts on this and if there’s any area of your life that you’ve struggled with pursuing less. Or areas that you’ve totally killed it in. I’d love to get y’alls take on diving into this!
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