Applying Light Packing to Light Living

As many know, I’m a light packer for most trips. I recently returned from a trip where I didn’t need to go as light as I usually do and therefore did not. What I found was that there were a few pieces that I brought with me and ended up not wearing. Not for any particular reason — just an extra sweater and an extra pair of pants that I just ended up not needing. It caused me to question whether I really needed either of these items at all.

Here’s the thing about packing light, it’s about more than being able to take only what you need in order to carry less and move fast. It’s not just about knowing what you really need (versus what you think you need) while on the road. It should also help you evaluate the truth of what you need most days at home too. Because, if you can live out of one bag for a week or more while on the road, with some minor additions there is little reason you could not live with the same amount all the time.

For instance, here’s a guy who travels with one backpack all over the world full time. There is no reason he can’t do the same if all of that were in one box and he lived in the same place.

I know some people have jobs that require them to have wardrobe or other items that are a bit more than others. I get that such an idea in not for everyone. I’m also not arguing everyone should live out of one bag. What I am saying is that there is likely little reason why many couldn’t do so. I’m also saying that if you have developed the skill of packing light when you travel, perhaps you could use that as a starting point to apply the same intentions when you are stationary.

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Random Notes and Recent Thoughts #3

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Here are some short ideas I have yet to fully flesh out but are complete enough to share right now anyway. Perhaps in doing so they will drive a discussion that will lead to a longer post.

  • When “No” is your default, the things that fight their way to “Yes” have a deeper value and meaning. They not only have to earn their place, they have to maintain their worth to keep it. “Yes” is important. “Yes” means that something really matters to me. But, this is only the case — and I would argue only can be the case — when “Yes” is not easy and “No” is the default.

  • It is not enough to simply accept, put-up-with, or ignore those things that might drive us nuts about our partners in a relationship. We must learn to appreciate them. Find the ways in which those things might, in fact, be a part of what makes the other person so great. Unless we do, we risk it becoming the chink that becomes a hole that, under pressure, breaks the dam.

  • Like wide margins in a book makes it easier and more pleasurable to read, leaving wide margins in your life makes it easier and more pleasurable to live. Also, having margins in a book leaves lots of room to make notes, observations, doodle, and offer your thoughts. So goes margins in life, too.

  • The reason for quantifying your commitments, and making the time and space for them on a calendar, is as much about committing to your tasks and projects as it is to committing to the margins.

  • The gulf between irresponsibility and opportunity is bridged by intention.

  • Kindness is a habit. One that is strengthened and improved the more you are so.

  • Always get the best paint you can buy. The difference between the good stuff and everything else is measured in decades and, in some cases, centuries.

  • Just a little bit more effort goes such a long way because so many do so much less than the minimum required.

Your Independence Day

When the American Revolutionaries gathered to declare their Independence from Great Britain, it was really just the beginning of a hard fought war to actually achieve that goal. It was not until the Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783 that this freedom was secured.

It is because of this that one might find it a good day for personal reflection. One to seek, discover, and declare those things in life we want to declare our own independence from.

Is there is an unhealthy relationship in your life you know it’s time to be free of? Maybe, there is a task or project that hangs over you. One you need to either complete or walk away from. Or, a habit or addiction that is time to break free of. Then, there is freedom from debt or financial freedom. Freedom from having to worry. All of us have something we wish we could be free of.

Perhaps, this is a good day to declare your independence from something. Sit down, grab a paper and pen, date it, write it out, and sign your name. Tack it up in a prominent place so that you are forced to remember this day — your independence day.

Freedom from anything that takes away value from our lives is, like those brave revolutionaries discovered, worth fighting for. And, stating definitively what you are fighting for is a reminder of what makes the time, effort, blood, tears, wins, losses, and every thing else it takes worth it.


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