Are you too busy to do what you really love?

Press the Reset Button on Your Life

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Oscar

    what if i have 3 children, bills to pay. How can i just start over?


  2. Very useful tips. I will comment on a few I already began to put into practice in the last few months.

    First of all, as you know… about a year ago, I decided to make a HUGE change in my life… that change is in preparation… and planning is going well. The preparation and thinking parts of a change have to be proportional to the size of the change. If you’re contemplating to switch bread brand… a 30 secs analysis of the nutritional values of each contenter should be okay to let you decide. If you decide to move to a new city… that will most likely take you more than 30 secs to really take the decision and factor in every foreseeable aspect. In my case, it’s my whole life I’m changing so it first took a moment to get used to the idea… then begin to plan. The planning of a life change can take a few weeks or a few years… depending of the situation.

    I had already made my list of things that make me happy and I wanted to make more of… the list included the following: travelling, do photography, write (about travels, about life in general), publish books (I did one and it’s a nice feeling to have a little room into eternity), do more computer programming. On the computer programming, my biggest interest always been to simply life of others and make them more productive. I always enjoyed helping others… and being gifted with computers I considered it important for me to help others that way (not everyone wants or needs how to program, but a good program can simplify your life).

    My change will envolve, as it did for you, to change country… so de-cluttering is a must. Since my plans take longer to set in (I have tons of preparations to do), that gives me time to let go things on a more progressive way than to empty the house in 3 weeks. During the Summer, I moved into a much smaller appt. That forced me to get rid of things… and Kijiji became my new friend 🙂 I also sold a lot on eBay. Those sales aren’t over yet. I’m taking my time to maximize the income to finance my new life.

    I was living in a 3 1/2 appartment (1 bedroom, 1 kitchen, 1 living, plus bath), and moved into a 1 1/2 (kitchen/living/bedroom and a bathroom). Went from about 650 sq ft of overcrowded space to about 200 sq ft now.

    As I packed things up I did 4 different piles: keep, sell, give away, throw away.

    The keep pile was obviously things I still needed, that included my computer system, some clothes, cookware and dishes, etc. I realized the list of things I really needed was pretty short.

    The sell pile was anything of value I could sell (through Kijiji, eBay or a moving sale). That included my records and stamps collections, furniture, 2nd TV set, lots of small kitchen appliances I never used, books, canevas of my pictures, etc. For the furniture and other big elements, I had to sell quickly due to the move… but I managed to get about $1,200 for it. For my collections, I’m about 3/4 of the way to get rid of them. The incoming from those sales went into totally eliminating my debts (which was hard to do simply based on salary, since we often pile up credit debts in our consomation world).

    The give away pile was everything that was still functional and could be useful but were either of too low value to be worth any marketing strategy or that was up for sale but didn’t sell after a given time. I donated to a local charity store tons of stuff… if you envision a large grocery shopping cart… I’ve donated about 15 of them of stuff I didn’t use and were still functional or useful. I’ll donate a few more boxes throughout the year as I’ll realize I don’t use some of the stuff I kept.

    The rest being what was worthless, broken, etc. Boy, every Monday morning for over a month, I put to the curb 5 to 10 large garbage bags of useless junk I had accumulated over the years. Many from boxes I had moved in 8 years earlier and never opened. And that’s not counting the recycling stuff.

    I’ve kept only a few pictures for my walls, because they remind me of what my new life is going to be. The hardest part was to get rid of momentos… things that tied me to the past but yet didn’t really define me anymore. From old high-school graduation stuff to ex- love letters, those were the hardest to let go. But I did apply the “how long have I hadn’t looked into them?” approach. I still kept some and have another way of cleaning to do, but I will scan most of what’s left and place them in the digital world before destroying the physical version. Amongst those things I’ll scan use keep are my diploma, old passports, other official documents and memories. That way, they’ll be available if I need them… without wasting physical space… and I’ll be able to carry them with me anywhere.

    But I can tell you I felt so liberated in the cleaning process. The process isn’t over yet… but it’s getting there. I still have a few boxes to donate to specific organizations (like a stamp club) that were closed during the summer.

    The process gave me freedom… on more than one aspect. First, it did liberate me from belongings I didn’t need and make me more mobile, not anchored to a specific location due to a pile of junk. Then, with the revenues I was able to clear up all my debts… so I’m now debt free. In the Western world, not owning any money to anywone is a rare and precious freedom to have.

    Each time I’m selling something, it’s a small step towards my new life.

    Even if I’m committed to the new change, the material temptation is always there, since it’s been a driving force for so long. Also, coming from a poor family, the fact of owning stuff is re-assuring and kinda shown I had improved my situation. My material weaknes is for the techno gadgets (yes, I’m a guy and a geek… so don’t be surprised if shoes aren’t my thing – especially since I don’t have much selection in my shoe size). I always ask myself how I could use it in my new life. So far, I turned down two important purchases down based on that.

    On the preparation, I’ve began acquiring new knowledge… and I bought a new computer to support it. After more than 25 years of being a PC geek, I’m now forced to switch into the Apple world. Not by personal preference, but by obligation. I began to do mobile app programming… and I thus needed a Mac computer… so I got a Macbook. And I began doing more things to get ready for my new life… like do mobile app programming (for iOS and Android), building new Web sites, etc. So, I’m constantly working on two fronts: getting rid of what ties me in place and gaining what will allow me to live my new life.

    Ouch! I just realized how long is this post… but I told you I loved to write 🙂

    Thanks for the tips and looking forward for the next chapters.