What was your best year?
Think back to the best year of your life at whatever point you are at now. You might be 15 years old you might be 50 years old, but think about one year that stands out from the others. One year that would be the best. What makes that year the best year? Is it the experiences, or is it the materials that we accumulate during the course of the year? Is it the year you got married? The year your first child was born? The year you graduated from college? Or was that the year you bought that furniture. For that new television. Or maybe it was the year you bought that great new vacuum cleaner.
The point is, it isn't the materials that we accumulate during the course of the year but make it a good year. It is the experiences that we can look back to. I can look around my house and honestly say that I can't remember what specific year I got many of the things that I've surrounded myself with. But I can certainly remember the years of the experiences.
This is part of the problem. We reckon our worth and our level of success on the goods that we are able to accumulate. We measure our self by what we have compared with everyone else. But what we often don't consider is how important those experiences are in shaping who we become. Those experiences are what help us grow. Not going out and buying a new DVD player.
Now think about two other questions. What is your favorite possession? And what is your most cherished experience? It would be interesting to know how often for individuals those two things are completely different. Polar opposites in some cases. It would also be interesting to know the reason behind why people select particular items as being valued above all others. Is it for sentimental reasons or functional reasons that these items are selected? Is it because of the memories these items hold? Is it because these items allow someone to engage in a particular activity that is enjoyable for them? Is the item in question ultimately secondary to the experience itself?
These are questions I think it is beneficial to ask oneself if we are to be able to let go of the things that we've surround ourselves with. The things that might hold value for us but might be worthless to others. The things that at the end of the day really don't have much functionality and don't serve much of a purpose, other than to be vessels that carry those experiences we've had. These are the sorts of questions that I want to keep in mind as I move to simplify my own life. As I move to identify my own goals and aspirations.
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