I’ve mentioned this book I’m reading, Spent, a number of times, and it continues to change how I see the world.
One of the most tangible outcomes of reading the book will come in the form of a material purge. I’m getting rid of most everything I have.
I already have a lot of clutter, and needed to do this anyway, but I want to take it to an extreme, and then document it on GitHub.
I’m basically going to make a list of actual things I own, which I’ll keep on GitHub and here on the site under /possessions or something.
There are few things this list will not include: things like cords, connectors, and other tiny knick-knacks. But everything else will be catalogued and described.
Importantly, each item will have a justification and purpose. I will describe why I have it vs. not having it. I will describe why of all the crap that I could own, but don’t, this item is worth making an exception.
Then, when I see something that I want to buy, and I only own 14 major things, I’m going to ask myself:
Is this really worth putting on the list? Is it really worth becoming my fifteenth item?
I suspect that in most cases the answer will be no, and I will hopefully decline to purchase it. It won’t always work, but it mostly will. And even if I do make a purchase that doesn’t meet the standard, I can always just return it or sell it.
Anyway, that’s the plan, and it’ll be starting soon.
- Purge all but a few core items
- Document why I’m keeping those items on GitHub and my site
- Review my current list of items whenever I am considering making another purchase, to see if it’s truly worthy of being on the short list
The ultimate concept here is a simple one:
My focus needs to be on what I’m making, not on what I own.
Ownership is illusory anyway. You’re actually just paying full-price for things you don’t get to keep. And the things you do have serve as dangerous false signals to yourself of accomplishment. They tell you:
You can relax. Look at all the stuff you have!
They aren’t accomplishments. In most cases, for most people, material possessions are merely the empty containers where meaning should go.
So I’m removing them. That way I’ll have only emptiness and my actual creations to look upon. And if I lack output, if I lack results of my efforts, there will be no bobbles there to distract me from this fact.