Often in life it’s what you don’t do that helps you succeed at the things you want to succeed at. To take a look at this we can start pretty simple.
It’s not eating that extra piece of dessert, and maybe not having dessert at all. It’s not having that additional glass of wine, or not having any at all. It’s not eating what you shouldn’t eat to help you hit your goals of having a healthier diet.
For a successful diet it’s what you don’t eat that makes you healthy, as much as what you do eat. I believe what you don’t eat or drink is more important to good health. I can eat a healthy salad for dinner, but if I have 4 glasses of scotch afterwards, that is going to have an effect on me. If I eat a box of twinkies for breakfast, no amount of salad is going to keep those pounds off.
For financial success, it’s what you don’t buy as much as you save that helps you achieve your goals. If you outspend your income, making more purchases is not going to help you make up the difference. You have to spend less than you make to keep money in the bank at the end of the month.
It’s the show you don’t watch that gives you the time to do other things.
As a musician, I far too often get to the end of my day with the regret of not doing something I wanted to do, practice. It took me far too long to discover the profound realization that there are two things that I need to do to practice. The first thing is to stop doing something else, and the second is to just go practice. Or more often in my case I should not even do the other thing at all. Just go practice.
For the past couple of years, I have been working really hard on this thought of “Doing Less”. Trying to do less in my day, not more. Taking things off my list. Letting others do things. Finding other people to help do things that are important. Making space for me to do what is important. Making space for people that are important.
It’s very uncomfortable at times. There is so much pressure in our society to do more. To do less is so opposite. At first you will feel guilty. “I should be doing something right now”. Or, “I really should get that done…” referring to something that you feel guilted into.
Well, as for me, today I am going to try to keep the list really small and only do the things that really matter. The things that really make a difference.