30 April 2012

You are what you think you are

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha

Beware, you can become your own thoughts.  Control them, don't let them control you.

Do I really need that?

I've said before that I am a huge proponent of simplifying my life by de-cluttering, creating open space and just doing more with less.  One thing I have tried to do is evaluate what I buy or acquire.  It is very easy to collect "stuff".

Now, absolute minimalism is not what I am looking to accomplish.  But then again, I don't like clutter.  I am always looking at what I have, what I am doing that creates complexity and stress in my life and how I can't change it.  So the one area that is easiest to address is Stuff.

I look at it this way, if it has meaning to me, true meaning, then I keep it: a picture my daughter drew for me, a ticket stub for a concert that brings back good memories or race bibs and medals.  I will keep these.  But I don't want to have stuff, just to have stuff.  I want to be a good example to my children so they will not feel the need to have things that they don't have any attachment to, but just want them to have them or because someone else has it.

I remember earlier in my life, I collected things that I didn't have an attachment, but collected anyway.  I would strive to get a complete set of something only to feel the accomplishment of completing the set, and then feel nothing afterward, realizing I didn't really want it anyway.

Today, I ask myself a few questions before going down a road like that: (1) Why do I want it? (2) Do I need it or want it? (3) Will I still want it tomorrow, next week, next year?  If I cannot come up with a good reason to have it, then I probably should not get it.  If I need it (and really do need it) then I should get it.  If I just want it, that's not bad, but then I really think hard on the 3rd question, will I still want it tomorrow.  Sometimes, I will even give myself the 24 hour rule.  If in 24 hours, I still want it and am willing to get back out and get it or go back on-line and order it, then I will get it.

I am happier with less.  Less things makes me appreciate what I have that much more.

29 April 2012

Music as a part of life

I love music.  Ok, not all types of music, but my tastes are very eclectic.  I love to hear new music, find new artists and even a genre I didn't know existed.  I have surrounded myself with many ways to have music playing in my life all the time (Sirius/XM, Spotify, Pandora, Internet Radio, Grooveshark) as well as some good friends that have varied musical tastes that love to share too.

I don't understand how some people will not explore outside their musical comfort zones.  Have they tried and found the music not to their liking?  This is like not travelling to new places because you once went somewhere and did not like it.  Do they not know where to go to find new music?  Really?  Ever try something called the Internet?  Do they want to remain closed to new things?  Well, nothing I can do there except shake my head and sigh.

Music is part of being human.  Don't put down someone else's tastes in music.  You can say you do not like it, but music (like any art) is about what speaks to you and there is nothing that is wrong about that.

Share and spread the music in your life.