On Elimination

Camera lens focusing on sunset beyond a canal

‘Tis the season of “more.”

If there’s ever a time of year where people remember to reflect and be grateful for life, it’s now.

Yet in the midst of showing our gratitude, we’re also preparing to add more to our lives. More to be ‘grateful’ for in the future. And I’m not just talking about holiday gifts and Black Friday deals.

As the year rounds the corner with the finish line in sight, I’ve already started to hear a lot of talk about 2021.

What new goals can I set? What can I do more of? What additional activities can I add to my life? What else can I take on to add even more value to my life and make 2021 my year?

I’m all for trying to continuously improve. There’s a lot of value in knowing the activities that make you happy and healthy, and doing more of them.

But it’s only one side of the picture. And I think the holiday season causes us to miss this important aspect.

Instead of simply asking, ‘What can I add to my life?’, reflect on what you can remove.

And it’s more than just material things.

Unhealthy relationships. Toxic mindsets. Negative self-talk. Grudges. Passively overconsuming information online that does not serve us. Biting off more than we can chew when setting goals — stressing ourselves out, failing to allow for a proper balance in life.

Ask yourself this — what do you feel you’ve had “too much” of this year?

I’m sure many people might answer, too much screen time, too much complaining, too much negativity or pessimism, too much lounging around.

It’s an interesting thought exercise which complements the question of “What don’t I have in my life currently that I’d like to add?” When we really think on it, we have more than enough. That’s where elimination comes in. What can I do less of, have less of, remove from my life, etc.

Adding more to our lives seems to give us something more tangible to measure and celebrate each year. When we think of gratitude and giving thanks, we hardly list out things we don’t have or things that we’ve successfully eliminated.

But removing from our lives helps heighten our clarity and focus on what we already have, as well as making room for any new additions.

We only have so much time and energy to give to the important things in life. Make sure you have enough of it left by eliminating what is not serving you, what makes you feel bad, and all the information overload that causes stress, anxiety, fatigue, and overwhelm.

So wherever you find yourself today and over the next couple of weeks — whether its surrounded by loved ones, experiencing an unconventional holiday season, enjoying yummy food, planning for the future–keep in mind that we can all benefit from eliminating things from our lives.

We’ll still have plenty to be grateful for, if not more.

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today, Happy Thanksgiving! And if you find yourself alone, isolated, or otherwise struggling this holiday season, please send me an email (liveinspired08@gmail.com) or contact me via Twitter or Instagram. I’m always happy to chat. Thanks for reading!

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