A Little More of Less
“You needn’t own an object to experience it.”
Inside Minimalism, Vol. 1
Based on our exclusive subscription series, Inside Minimalism Vol.1 is a collection of 50 short and relatable essays on simple living by a small team of writers from different backgrounds, but who all share a deep appreciation for minimalism as a way of life. Enjoy a curated collection of beautiful writing with a single one-off purchase and support independent creators.
Words by Shawn Mihalik
Without habits, goals are just abstract aspirations, and you're unlikely to achieve them, except by accident.
In fact, I don't set short-term goals. Instead, each month, I choose a few things I want to focus on, and then I pick habits that support those focuses.
For example, if one of my focuses is to finish writing the first draft of a novel, an important daily habit will be to write either a certain number of words each day or for a certain amount of time. If, later, one of my focuses is getting that novel published, a good supporting weekly habit would be to query ten agents.
For me, jiu-jitsu is a focus essentially every month. Now, some weeks it's less of a focus than others, depending on what else I have going on that week. But during weeks where it's a main focus, the supporting habit is daily, or even twice-daily, training sessions.
Why focuses instead of goals? Because, at least for me, goals lead to attachment to outcomes, and attachments tend to weigh us down. If I framed jiu-jitsu as a goal instead of an area of focus--that is, if I trained specifically for the goal of achieving the next rank--I might get discouraged when I'm not promoted "fast enough," and then I might train less. (Confession: There aren't really any mights here for me. I learned this lesson because it happened, more than once.)
Focus, on the other hand, spurs me to consistent action.
Why not give this a try this month? Pick your focuses, assign yourself some supporting habits, track them, and see how much you've accomplished when the month is over, no goals necessary.
Words by Leo Babauta
In any kind of negotiation, your ability to walk away is your strongest tool.
Those who can walk away from the negotiation — legitimately walk away, not just make a show of it — are in the strongest position. Those who are convinced they need to make the deal are in the weakest position.
This is true of negotiating when you’re buying a car, closing the sale of your new home, haggling in a foreign flea market, or trying to get a raise.
It’s also true of anything in life.
Know that there’s almost nothing you can’t walk away from.
If you are convinced you need a nice house with a walk-in closet and hardwood floors and a huge kitchen, you now have a weakness. You will give away precious life hours and savings to get it. Someone else who knows that those things aren’t absolutely necessary can walk away, and not need to spend so much money (and thus work hours) on that kind of house.
If you are convinced that you need Stabucks grande lattes every day, or an iPhone or iPad, or an SUV or Cooper Mini or BMW … you are in the weak position, because you can’t give it up. Someone else might know that those aren’t essential to happiness, and can walk away.
If you know that the man who is treating you badly (but who you just know will change someday, because, you know, he loves you) isn’t necessary for you to be happy, you can walk away. If you know that you can be happy alone, and that you need no one to make you happy, you can walk away.
If you know that there’s almost nothing you can’t walk away from, you can save yourself tons of money. Years of time. Mountains of headaches and heartaches. Boatloads of suffering.
You don’t need to walk away from everything, but you should know that you can. And when the cost of the deal is too great, too dear . . . walk away.
A Little More of Less
A few other articles we think you might enjoy…
→ This Much Debt Is Gross! by Joshua Fields Millburn
→ 8 Little Notes to Help You Pull Back and Reset by Courtney Carver
→ Spring-Clean Like a Minimalist by Emma Jayne
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