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Letting Go And Shedding Your Skin

by on July 20, 2011

in Challenge Yourself!, Happiness

hoarding room full of garbage trash boxesThis is hoarding. It is not the worst case, but we can all agree that living like this would be very difficult.

I have been home helping my parents clean the house. At times it feels like they are hoarders, but in the grand scheme of things they aren’t at all. Yet, there is still a lot of stuff lying around that hasn’t been used in years.

We all have such things in our homes. When I left my apartment in Denmark, I gave most of my stuff away. But there were still some things I had to throw away. The things I threw away were things I wasn’t using anyway, so I should have gotten rid of them before!

Some things have emotional value. That’s understandable. But most things don’t and it shouldn’t be painful to get rid of things you’ll never use again and have no purpose anymore. Yesterday my mom and I recycled a bunch of old electronics at a local electronics store. Tomorrow we’re going to drop off a lot of clothes at a local Goodwill store. And on Monday I’m sure we’ll give the garbage men a healthy dose of exercise.

Shed Your Skin

In my opinion, having too many things weighs you down. I don’t say this because I live like a nomad and by necessity have to live as a minimalist. I say it because there is a direct correlation between clutter and stress.

Living in a cluttered environment may not seem stressful. You probably know where everything is. But still. It’s not healthy!

There is something cathartic about getting rid of stuff and improving the environment in which you life. A snake sheds its skin. You can shed your skin by throwing away and donating what you don’t use anymore. I can guarantee that for 99% of people it will feel good to have the extra space and peace of mind!

And that’s how it relates to The Happiness Plunge. Taking the plunge will be much easier if the environment you live in is supportive and conducive to your happiness. A cluttered environment is a like a hidden weight around your neck. It’s not heavy enough to prevent you from breathing or moving, but over time it can grow to a point where it prevents you from living life to its fullest.

So what are you waiting for? Donate your old clothes, recycle your old electronics, give things you don’t use to friends or charity, and throw away anything else!

Here are some resources to help you do this:

Good luck and make sure you share your story of shedding your skin in the comments below or by submitting your story!

About Adam Pervez

In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Sadoway July 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm

My husband and I are working on getting rid of the bulk of our stuff in preparation for our own trip in a couple months. Even now I’m having trouble letting go of things, even though I can just feel the peace of mind I’d have if I just got rid of it all. But material things are quite a cushion and a crutch these days. Having “things” makes you feel like you’re stable. Not having things makes you feel vulnerable. The vulnerability is actually freedom, but it still feels like vulnerability.

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Adam Pervez July 27, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Jessica, how right you are! Maybe it goes back to biology and caveman days of saving for a rainy day and wanting to accumulate as much as possible for the future since no one knew what tomorrow held. But great insight in the sense that material things are like a cushion/crutch. 

Glad to see you’re looking to trade in your things for experiences – which will fortify your bones so you won’t need a crutch. :)

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