5 Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs

Ideas, Innovation, Leadership, Organization

Ask any person walking with a cell phone who Steve Jobs is and they’ll tell you.  They wait in line for hours to buy the next IPhone.  They hear smartphone and IPhone is the image that comes to mind.  Steve Jobs left the world with a product that is now a part of every day life.  

Most people are aware of his innovative approach to technology, business and how he made people better.  I find Steve Jobs to be one of those most influential, inspiring and innovative people in this generation.  I have listened to Steve Job’s Crazy Ones speech at least 500 times.  It gives me purpose.  It inspires me.  It opens possibilities that we are all better than we allow ourselves to be.  

As a leadership enthusiast, I want to point out some of my favorite quotes from Jobs that have inspired me to be a better leader.  We need to understand that Steve wasn’t just a brilliant innovator, but he was also a leader.  

“What leadership is is having a vision and being able to articulate that so that the people around you can understand it.” – Steve Jobs

If anyone is going to make that first step into leading, they MUST have vision.  Leaders must know where they’re taking their team.  Leading people implies we are going somewhere.  Leading implies we have a goal/objective to accomplish.  Leaders must create a vision to accomplish that goal.  Call it a plan, a path, an idea, but communicate it in such a way that your team can see what you see.  Communicate that vision clearly, concise and easy enough for their followers/team to understand. It’s one thing to know, it’s another to understand.  When we understand things, we get the full spectrum of what it is we’re about to do.  Thus, a leader must paint a vision so that their team can see it too.  

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” – Steve Jobs

Leaders invest in people.  That’s what they do naturally.  They make people better.  Steve Jobs nails it.  A leader’s job isn’t to be easy on people, it’s to make them better.  If we’re going to invest in people, let’s make it count for them.  A leader must be honest with their team.  If a team member needs a wake up call, hold them accountable to the values and standards that are set in place.  It’s a leader’s job to coach, mentor and guide their team members to not only be better, but do better and know better.  Don’t forget that a leader focuses on people.  They are in a way, our soul purpose for being a leader.  We don’t just want to make them better, but also want to make them leaders.  

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” – Steve Jobs

Leaders want to know that what they’re doing is working.  They want to know that their leadership is effective.  They want to know that their vision is being carried out and that progress is being made.  There is only one way to check how you and your team is doing and that’s by stopping to assess where the team is and how they have been performing.  You can’t look forward to see that, you must look behind you to see how far the team has gone.  Looking back provides an opportunity to grow from your experience, the failure, the perseverance, the challenges you’ve faced and so on. It’s important that we look back to connect the dots, but don’t forget that more dots need to be made.  Don’t focus too much on the past, but look to the future.  Leading is about where we’re going, but we must learn and progress from where we’ve been.  

“Be a yardstick of quality.  Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

Think from the follower’s perspective.  Followers want amazing leaders leading them. Leaders must be that quality that followers are looking for.  I’ll say this in the nicest way, but followers don’t need a half-ass leader.  They need someone who is of the utmost quality.  The quality of the leaders depends on the follower’s development, progress and effectiveness.  Leaders will always have a high standards of excellence for their team and their work environment.  A leader cares about how things are done.  They expect high quality results.  They expect high quality performance.  As a follower, be selective on who you follow.  Who you follow is not only important for the objectives and goals, but also important for the followers.  A leader will raise the bar for the benefit of their followers. They see your potential and will ensure that you are growing to meet it. 

“Innovation distinguishes between and leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs 

This may be one of those most recognized quotes from Steve Jobs.  Some people have yet to understand the correlation between innovation and leadership, but it’s quite simple.  Innovation isn’t just an action, but being innovative is seeing outside the box.  Like innovators, leaders also see outside the box. Leadership and innovation are actions of a decision to not accept the normality of how people and products are grown. Leaders see around corners in ways that others don’t see.  They are strategic, they are creative, they are risk takers and they certainly don’t fear failure. It’s very important for leaders to see things in ways other people don’t.  A leader isn’t a leader because they have all the answers; a leader is a leader because if they don’t know an answer, they find or create their own solution to any challenge or issue. 

Develop your Team

Leadership

If you could strategically pick people to create the ultimate team would the people on your team now make the cut?  If they would, why would they?  If not, why wouldn’t they?  If they could do the same, would you be on the team?

Teams are the life blood of organizations.  They provide results, growth and function.  We often don’t assess the team as if it’s a one person with many different abilities. We identify a team as a group of individuals with many talents.  Most people on the team will play to their strengths.  It’s natural that we step forward when we are familiar with something that we know.  Our weaknesses on the other hand often go unplayed and undeveloped.  We’ve all heard the phrase, “A team is strong as its weakest link.”  Another way to look at it is one person’s weakness becomes the team’s weakness.  

Sometimes people don’t know what their weaknesses are.  It takes feedback from others to point them out.  How well do you provide feedback as a team?  Have you sat collectively as a team and talked about your weaknesses? If not, why not?  Every team needs to have a 360 degree view of what they’re capable of being. 

The only way to grow as a team is to learn as a team and develop as a team.  Sure, it does take individual parts to move and do so, but above all, if you’re going to be a team then develop as a team.  Growing together strengthens the team.  One of the hardest things to do is take a diverse group of people and work together in one direction.  A successful team crosses the finish line together.  Win or lose. 

As a leader, what are you doing to help develop the team?  Are you providing feedback when necessary?  Are you not only improving weaknesses, but identifying potential?  Leadership is essential to the progression of any team.  Without even saying it most people know the leader on their team.  Are you that leader?  If so, what are you doing to help develop your team?  It would be awesome to be able to strategically pick your ultimate team, but you don’t need to in order to have a great team.  You can create the ultimate team by investing in your current team’s development!

Letting go of ‘Might Use”

Minimalism
Today, I went through five boxes of things that I “might use.”  As I was going through the boxes I would put things aside with the justification of, “I actually might use this.”  After a few minutes I would pick them up again and put them back down.  I did this about four times.  When I was throwing out my last trash bag I picked up the “actually might use” items and put them in the trash bag.  I was done debating.

One of my “actually might use” stacks were my songwriting notebooks that I’ve had for about 12 years.  I’ve written a lot of songs in them, but they were just sitting in a box.  What did I need them for?  Nostalgia?

I made a decision that “might use” wasn’t enough for me to hold onto anything.  It wasn’t enough to change my happiness with or without.  Thus, everything was thrown into the trash.  The best part?  I feel great about it and have no regret not keeping anything.

I was able to flatten five boxes and fill up four 30 gallon trash bags for the trash.  I will never have to think about all that stuff again.  It’s gone.  And guess what?  My happiness remains even though I let go of “might use.”

You’re valuable, your things are not.

Minimalism

I found myself looking around telling myself how I wanted this, I wanted that.  I liked the idea of ‘having’ everything I looked at.  I could have bought a few items today and I decided not to.  Not because I wouldn’t use them, but because I knew I didn’t need them and I knew they weren’t going to provide any value to my life.  My happiness wouldn’t change from having them. 

Consumerism consumes us in ways that overshadows the reality of what we’re doing.  What we’re doing is buying and buying not because of necessity or purpose, but because it’s what we’ve been taught to do.  

Our possessions become a part of us.  The things we have identify the type of people we are.  We put a monetary value in what we have and try to place that value on ourself.  You may have a brand new Corvette and that one object in your eyes puts a number on your life.  I’m worth this.  I’m worth that.  

We’ve all heard the saying, “To feel like a million dollars.”  I’ve never had a million dollars nor will I probably ever own that much money at one time.  Most of the world will never know that feeling so how do we begin to compare a price with feeling?  Are millionaires even happy?  

This rich and famous culture changes our perception on how we should live and feel.  We want what they have because they ‘look’ happy.  Media portrays people in the ‘good light’ and we rarely see inside the actual feelings of the rich and famous.  Social media provides many filters in the lives of people.  We can filter our life to look how we want others to see it, but behind the cell phone and behind the computer how do you really feel?  Is that happiness because of the items in your house or because you have made a decision to be happy with who you are and not what you have or don’t have?

I’m reminded of the quote from Jim Cary that I heard from Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things. 

“I wish everyone could experience being rich and famous so they could realize it’s not the answer.” 

What is your goal when buying new things?  Do you buy things just because you can and have they money to do it?  Do you replace the old item with the new item?  Do you find true non-monetary value in the items you buy?  Do they make you happy?  Do they increase YOUR value because of the price tag?  

You’re valuable, your things are not.  Your things serve a purpose, but things were never created to specifically provide happiness.  They’re created to fill a need.  A use.  A tool.  A resource.  I love coffee, but just because I like the taste or how it gives me a boost doesn’t mean that if I never had it again I’d be unhappy.  I’m valuable because of who I am, not what I have.  You’re valuable because of who you are, not what you have.  Though, there are some unique items that do become a part of us and do impact who we are, not every item provides us with that type of worth.  Know what does and what doesn’t. 

The Want vs. The Purpose

Minimalism

There comes a time when you realize you have the money you never had to buy the thing you’ve always wanted.  That’s certainly how it went for me.  I didn’t grow up being able to buy the things I wanted.  We didn’t have the money for the ‘want’ items.  Even when I had a job the income wasn’t great enough for me to buy random things that I wanted.  Later on when I did have a better income I began to buy things that were on my want list. 

I bought PA system to play music through.  I bought a new guitar.  I bought tools.  I bought a new computer.  I traded up for a new car.  I bought collectable items, wall art, movies, sports equipment.  It seems like the list never ended.  I was never was able to buy the miscellaneous items when I was in college, but now that I have a great career I don’t hesitate to buy pretty much anything I want.  Until recently.

Many of the items that I wanted just because I wanted them are purposeless.  They serve no purpose.  I don’t need them.  I don’t use them.  They take up space and they were actually a waste of money.  I always thought that by buying things I wanted that I would gain some sort of happiness out of them.  In reality it wasn’t the case at all.  I think it was more of a “I can buy this because I never could before” mentality.  It’s a toxic way of thinking.  It cost me money, space, time, and now it’s almost a burden to have things I don’t need sitting around.  Like I’ve mentioned before it’s as if every item sitting around is a stack of money that isn’t being used on anything with value or with purpose.  Every item that I plan on keeping will serve a purpose to my daily ‘operations’ around the house and work.  I say operations in the sense of ‘how and why’ I use things around the house.  

If you’re wanting to become a minimalist think about purpose, the real value(not monetary) that each item provides to you.  Can you live without it?  Do you really need it?  How often will you actually use it?  Will it actually make you happy or does the idea of having it overshadow the reality of not needing it?  

I wish I would have thought about this before buying all the items I have that have served no purpose.  As I continue my path to minimalism, every item will have a purpose to my daily interactions and operation.  Still a ways to go, but the journey continues…

Performer or Leader?

Leadership

One of the hardest things to do is assess a person’s performance via paper and determine if they are ready to lead.  Having all the right words may seem like the person is fit to lead, but how often is it wrong?

Most organizations require some sort of evaluation report on their employees.  This helps determine how well the employee is progressing and to see what they have accomplished.  What one person sees as high quality another person may see as mediocre depending on the set standards.  It’s subjective.  Perspective plays a big part in how we see people even when we define standards on paper. 

This is why paper(evaluation) isn’t always best for capturing an individual’s performance.  The idea is performance on paper will match the person’s actions.  Simple, right?  If only.  I’d like to think that all organizations want great leaders, but how detailed and accurate does paper capture a person’s ability to lead?  Would you rather have a high performer or a leader?  It’s safe to say great leaders are high performers.  Which ones are organizations really promoting?

The evaluation tells what was done and who it impacted, but doesn’t usually include how well they lead the team.  We automatically see the results as the most important factor.  A person could have lead a project to the end, but during that may have neglected the team.  Sure, the results may have been great, but at the expense of improperly leading the team?  Hard to say from a few words, right?  Would the team choose to work with that person again?  Even though the team may have done an amazing job doesn’t mean the leader led effectively. 

What if a person lead a project and failed to meet the suspense, but brought together a team that seemed unlikely to work together?  How would you capture that person’s ability to bring a team together when the project yielded negative results?  Would the focus be on the inability to complete a project, or the ability to bring together people?

How do we transpose performance quality into leadership capability?  Some people are great workers.  They clock in and clock out and may have great performance, but can they actually lead?  In an ideal world we have an infinite number of effective leaders, but realistically, we have far less. 

Overall, don’t mistake high performance for leadership ability.  Not all high performers have what it takes to lead.  They just have what it takes to get a job done.  Performing a task, or doing your job and leading are two different things.  Performing is task focused, or job focused.  Leading is getting people from point A to point B as effectively and efficiently as possible while ensuring they have proper resources, development, care and guidance.  There are those that want to do their job and go home and there are those that  take care of others along the way.  Either way, the job will get done, but who would be the most valuable player?  The person who cares only about the job or the person who cares about the people doing the job?  One of them is a leader, one of them isn’t.

Which one are you?

Why Minimalism?

Minimalism

Many people have asked me why I’m becoming a minimalist.  My main answer to that is that I’m not becoming one, I’m going back to being one.  I used to live minimal when I was college.  I just didn’t know it was called minimalism.  I didn’t buy anything I didn’t need or anything that didn’t provide a purpose and I could carry everything I owned in both my hands.  I enjoyed having less.  It made mobility much simpler and I feel life wasn’t cluttered by things.

After understanding a bit more about minimalism I’ve concluded that the things I have in my life don’t provide the value that I thought.  All the DVDs, the clothes, etc…the possessions don’t give me happiness as I’ve been led to believe.  

The people in my life give me happiness.  The moments we spend together give me happiness.  I value their time and their company.  For the items that I am keeping have a value in them.  I love books because I love knowledge.  I reference them and I like being able to hold them in my hands versus digital copy.  I can find purpose in every item I have and not just because the items can be used in a basic way, but they provide a value to my passions.  Everything I own leads back to my passions. 

Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of everything I own.  It’s about getting rid of things that I believe don’t provide value to my way of living or my passions.  Just because you use something doesn’t mean it’s valuable.  It just means you use it.  Some things help your daily life, but not everything needs to be kept.  There are things like a lawn mower, fire extinguisher, cleaning supplies that you will need to keep because well, they’re pretty important items when you have a house or apartment(except maybe not the mower).  Many people become minimalists for different reasons.  Here is why I want to go back to being one. 

Things should serve a need for what’s most important to you.  I feel a lot of the things I have bought serve no purpose in my daily routine.  I want every item that I own to serve a need and purpose to the things I do.  My guitar serves a purpose.  I love songwriting so that is something I will keep because it’s one of my passions.  I have journals that are unused.  I use them as needed and the serve my need to write things down.  I like writing versus taking digital notes so it adds value to my life.  The funkopops (bobble heads) that I have serve no purpose other than a collectable item so I will get rid of them.  These are just a few examples.  Minimalism wakes you up the things that are most important. 

Mobility is so much better when you own less.  This is our 2nd move in under 3 years and it’s a pain unpacking boxes of things that really have no need to be unpacked.  After 4 years in our first house we still had boxes unpacked.  How crazy is that?  Four years and we didn’t need anything in the boxes so why did we have them in the first place?  Like I’ve mentioned before we have a room full of boxes that we haven’t needed after nine months of being in our new house.  For our next move we should be able to move ourselves rather than have movers move us.  We will move again within the next 2 years.  The less we have the easier the move.  We’re only in temporary houses until I get closer to retirement.  What’s the point of accumulating so many ‘things’ when we’re not even really ‘home,’ yet?

Imagine if you only bought things that served a permanent need rather than a temporary use?  How much money do you think you’d save?  If I were to add up all of the things I didn’t need or use in our house I’m sure the price value would be higher than I’d like.  Which means all of that money is sitting around for no reason.  That sort of blows my mind.  Why would I put money into something and not really use it?  If I continue to live on the philosophy of only buying needful items I will save money.  It’s a certainty.  It would be nice to save up and actually be able to buy a house later or take an awesome vacation.  Think of it as an investment.  Saving money is always an investment. This allows me to do so with strategic spending in mind. 

Don’t you just love having space in your house?  Getting rid of the excess items will help increase space.  The less you have the easier it is to clean and also keep it clean.  Think about the items you have in your living room.  How often do you use them?  Do you just use them a few times a month?  Daily?  Think about how you could go without them and see if it changes the value of you having them.  We had to specifically make a DVD rack just to hold DVDs.  Or we could have just got rid of them and saved the corner space in our living room.  I would make the room look bigger and probably a bit neater too.  I keep a lot of old track medals and awards and although they are an important time in my life they don’t really do anything for me now.  They sit in a box collecting dust.  Some people may like having side tables, coffee tables, more chairs than people and that’s fine.  If they provide value to you daily life then keep them.  If not, ask yourself if your happiness would change if you got rid of them.  

I hope this gave you an idea on why I’m choosing to go back to being a minimalist.  You may see it differently than I do and I hope you see the value in it.  I hope you are able to increase the value in the things that matter most to you.  

 

Don’t Wait to feel Motivated

Leadership

I started this blog in August 2016 and forgot I was writing it.  It was in my draft folder pretty much written, I just never scheduled a post.  I don’t pretend to know everything about this topic, but this is my perspective on motivation.  I believe we’re putting too much emphasis on the feeling of motivation that we forgot that it’s beyond a feeling. 

One thing is certain.  No matter if we want to do it or not, the job has to be done.  If you’re waiting to feel motivated to do it are you delaying the mission?  In that, what’s the point of feeling motivation when tasks need to be complete?  Do we need to feel motivated to do our jobs? If you don’t have the desire(the feeling of wanting to do something) to do something that needs to be done that’s not called being unmotivated.  It’s called procrastinating. 

Most people perceive motivation as a feeling.  A desire to do something.  There are days you may wake up and “don’t feel like it,” but you get up and do things because they need to be done.  If you’re waiting to feel ready, that feeling may never come. 

I believe in excellence.  It’s an important value to live by.  I believe my focus on doing things with the upmost quality is my motivation.  Do I need it to provide a high quality result?  Yes, I do!  Why? Because excellence is a part of my personal values and the thought of feeling motivated just won’t cut it.  Motivation is also a reason someone acts.  Reasons are tangible.  They’re not feelings.  I like to think of it as purpose.  It is a purpose!  When I have purpose, I have a goal.  I have a target.  Do I feel like waking up every day at 0500?  No, but I have a sense of ‘why’ I need to get out of bed and it gets me out of bed every morning.  Feelings have nothing to do with it.  If people took action based off the feeling of motivation, they may be in bed all day.  Our culture is groomed to think motivation is specifically a feeling.  It’s not necessarily correct. 

There will always be purpose, though.  There will always be a reason for the things we do.  A mission.  A task.  A goal.  This is the bigger picture.  Feelings may never come, but purpose always exists.  Purpose is the light in darkness that provides a direction to the finish line.  If you don’t know the purpose, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  It means you have to find it. 

For those of you who will remain waiting for that feeling I challenge you to take action anyway because the work still needs to be done regardless of our desire(feeling).  Sometimes the mission doesn’t allow a delay.  The mission still requires you to do your job regardless if you want to or not.  The next time your team needs you, be there for them.  Provide your experience and knowledge not because you ‘feel’ like it or not, but because it’s the right thing to do.  Forget about feeling motivated.  Be motivated because of the role(the purpose) you play on your team.  You are important and people need you. 

Minimalism: My Process to Less

Minimalism

I began thinking in bed last night on how I’m going to consolidate, remove, donate(or however else you want to call it) my ‘stuff.’  What’s the best way?  As I began to think on what I had and what I see on a daily basis I created somewhat of a checklist.  Since I took a step into minimalism a few months ago I was already on a path.  Now that I’ve taken a step back to look at my house, I believe I have a good plan to reach my goal of being as minimal as possible.  Here is my list in order. 

Clothing:  (I began this stage a few months ago.) Getting rid of clothing items is probably the easiest thing to do since you know what you wear most and don’t wear.  I had a lot of golf t-shirts.  Probably 75% of my shirts were golf shirts, but the crazy thing is I rarely golf anymore.  Those were first to go.  I many other regular t-shirts that I didn’t wear as well.  I had a few more shoes than I should have had.  Not sure how I even accumulated numerous pairs of shoes when I really only wear one…maybe two.  Those went.  Lastly, I took a look at my uniforms that I wear for work.  I got rid of the oldest and kept the newest.  Uniforms are good to have at anytime so I kept what I felt I needed.  I believe I have 3 sets, plus 2 combinations of blues.  I’m in the Air Force so blues is what we call our service uniform.  After I went through my clothes I donated 55 items.  That’s quite a bit.  Some clothes still had the price tag on them.  They’re gone.  What a relief?!

Entertainment:  I have so many DVDs and I rarely pop one in the DVD player.  We now have a lot of movies on digital download on Amazon.  A space saver!  We love movies so I think it’s a good idea to use technology to save space.  Digital downloads are just too simple.  I will keep my books because they do bring value to me.  I do reference them from time to time and I believe they are a part of me.  I could go digital with my books, but I’m old fashioned.  I like being able to hold a book and actually flip pages.  I’ll also get rid of board games and some of my drawing/calligraphy items.  Greatest thing about some of these is that I can sell them and at least get a few dollars out of them.  Including in entertainment are my old journals that I used to write in.  Random lyrics, music chords and ideas on songs.  These are a part of me, but I can let go of them.  I’m sure I’ll reread a few journals, but I’m actually looking forward to getting rid of them.  Sports gear is another set of things I’m including in entertainment.  I have a tennis racket, bowling shoes, a couple fishing poles.  Haven’t used the tennis racket in almost 3 years.  Haven’t used the bowling shoes in about the same.  I will keep a few fishing poles as that is something I do with my wife and daughter. 

Kitchenware:  I have a lot of coffee cups.  Honestly, I use most of them on a regular basis, but I don’t need more than a few.  It will at least make me wash them quick rather than waiting for the dish washer.  This includes water bottles too.  I have a few that I don’t use that often.  I normally grab a bottled water from the office anyway as I head to the gym.  I also have 2 barbecue sets of tongs and flippers.  One of them will have to go even though we use them a few times a week. There are other items that I can’t think of, but kitchenware is on the list.

Bedroom items:  We have a king size bed and two night stands with two lamps.  Not sure that the lamps are really needed, but still have time to decide.  I have a lot of hangers for clothes, but now that I got rid of a lot of clothes I need to get rid of the hangers.  Now that I think of it, our bedroom is pretty bare.  Not much to change there. 

Miscellaneous/Tools:  I believe in keeping lawn equipment such as lawn mower, water hose, weed eater and basic gardening tools.  We like the idea of growing our own herbs or whatever we can, really.  In our first house I had a big garage to work in.  I woodworked, well, I tried, and have quite a bit of tools.  I haven’t used them as much as I used to.  I may have to consider getting rid of them. 

Office:  I have more pens that I could ever need.  I love pens, but I sure don’t use them all.  I have a few other personal desk decorations on my desk that I will consider getting rid of.  Some of them are gifts from my first deployment.  Hard to get rid of something like that.  I have a lot of documents too that I feel I may need in the future, but perhaps I’ll scan them and keep a digital copy.  I will keep my planner and my organizer.  I don’t know what I’d do without them.  

As the process evolves I’ll see what other things I can reduce.  I’m not setting a timeline, but I just want to as time passes enhance my space by being minimal.  There are things that I may keep as I feel add value to my life such as books, but we’ll see how it goes.  So…here I go!

The Start of Less

Minimalism

I was in college and I owned very little.  In fact, I could carry all my possessions in both my hands.  I had two guitar cases and a laptop with a case.  One guitar case had my actual guitar.  The other case had every clothing item I owned.  I lived quite simple.  I didn’t even own a cell at the time.  

12 years later I have a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house.  I have thousands of items in my house and I couldn’t carry everything I own if I wanted to.  Then again, back then I was living in a dorm and couch to couch.  Today, I have a family and a house.  You tend to accumulate things as you grow and move.  

Our third bedroom is sort of like an office with a walk-in closet…well, it’s suppose to be a walk in closet.  We use it for storage for things we honestly don’t use.  Six months after moving into our house nothing in that room was being used. We’d occasionally go search through a box for something small, but out of thousands of items in that room we really only need less than 1%.

I keep old songwriting notebooks.  High school sports medals.  Trinkets, souvenirs, things that provide no real value to my daily operations around the house.  I won’t even go into what my wife keeps because I honestly have no clue what’s in there.  That shows how often we use anything in the boxes. 

I didn’t know it, but in college, I was a minimalist.  I rarely bought anything and I lived with very little. 

A few months ago, the documentary called MMINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS hit Netflix and it has just gone world wide via Netflix.  It’s gaining attention and has become a growing idea.  The whole concept is to look at the big picture of what you actually own.  Sometimes we chase happiness through material items and merchandise, but all the money in the world still wouldn’t make you happy because happiness is not something you own.  You’d have to see the film to get the full scope, but that’s a good summary. 

Two months ago I sorted through all of my clothing items.  I found 55 items I did not need.  Had shoes I never worn.  Had t-shirts and pants with price tags still on them.  I now own 3 pairs of paints and about 6 t-shirts.  I have a few uniforms for work and a few pairs of shoes.  I feel a bit more liberated with knowing that the next time we move I don’t have to pack so much stuff.  In fact, I could pack almost everything in just a few suitcases if I had really had to.  I still own a few things that serve no purpose and I will get to them.  The Minimalists like to say, “One day or day one.”  I believe I started day one two months ago, but I believe minimalism isn’t an overnight transformation.  It will take time and I believe I’m on the right path.  As The Minimalists said, “It’s not a radical lifestyle.  It’s a practical lifestyle.”

There are things that I will keep and things that I will easily get rid of.  I already know when I open my box of notebooks and journals that it will be a bit difficult to get rid of the writing I did 10 years ago, but I know I can do it and I know I will do it.  Besides, if they really mattered I wouldn’t have them in a box.  

My journey to be as minimal as possible is happening.  Stay tuned. 

You can see progress on my instagram page as I post items and such @iampeteblog.