Some Strings Attached

“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

Fight Club

Why is it that the people in this world who have nothing tend to be the most happiest of us all? My guess is that its because the things we own (or things we do) take up space in our lives — physically and emotionally. Or in other words, we are tied down (or lifted) by the stuff and thoughts we have, and the actions we take. Everything around us has strings attached. Monetarily, sure. But also time, location, energy, creativity, flexibility and freedom.

A book is not just bound sheets of paper. It’s someone else’s knowledge, ideas and experiences. It’s a purchase or gift attached with a desire for us to change and be better. It’s our guide. It’s a todo on our massive todo lists. It’s a reminder of who we are, who we aren’t, and who we want to be. It’s all of these things and more. A book on community is our desire to connect with others and find success through those connections. A book on programming is our desire or hope to learn something useful and something that expands our abilities. And that’s just a few books. How many books do we own? How much stuff do we own? How many dreams do we own?

Stuff is fleeting. Don’t get me wrong, I love nice things as much as the next guy or gal. I’m just as jazzed about the latest iPhone or Pixel phone as the next nerd across the coffee shop. Of course I want some white Nikes’ and another backpack. But I also know that in a year from now, most of these things will be outdated and worn.

But I’m more interested in the things and habits that will help me grow my creativity and wisdom. And, in so doing, my ability to help others more. The more (or less) things that allows me to be free, the more capable I become.

It’s not what you have or don’t have that matters. It’s what you allow yourself to have influence over you.

What’s having negative influence over you?
What’s having positive influence over you?

Get rid of the former; Cultivate the latter.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #698

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