It’s more expensive than we think to keep up with the expectations of others. When we dress to impress, we limit the time we spend on other activities, whether for career development, or even just “getting a half a second to think.” When we watch or read what doesn’t interest us, only to be part of the conversation, we lose our inner voice and our own perspective on our life’s values and our critical edge.
It’s not about being curmudgeonly.
It’s about “standing in your own truth” and being honest with yourself. If you can admit what you like, dislike, and your faults all simultaneously, you can live with better resolve. You don’t have clutter weighing down your mind or abode. If you only need to register one thought before doing something, rather than ten, then you’re ten times faster. You can still have those additional thoughts for decoration or maybe as sanity checks, but they’ll be more enhancing additions than distracting detractions.
That’s where downsizing is key.
When you get to a point where your distractions are minimal, you can engage in other activities fully. I’ve been reading Dracula with most of my “free time” over the past week and I’m over halfway done. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I was worried about watching some television show, anime, or playing the latest videogame. I’ll mix it up, of course, but if writing is my primary passion, and reading helps with that – and studying Dracula has been effective for me in that regard – then it’s better than playing games to impress acquaintances.
Better to engage in cultures of your own accord.
When you try to do things “for others” you end up giving your time and energy carrion to vultures, no matter how innocent, and it’s difficult to carry on with your own interests. There is a balance, of course, and half of that balance is for yourself as well. If you find yourself in situations with people where you don’t quite enjoy that time, why pursuit it? For the fame of being around those people? Same with things.
If you own things because you think they’ll impress people, are they really that impressive?
I’ve found that through donating or selling the objects I care about less, the remaining objects gain new value. I might listen to a CD I haven’t listened to in years because I’m not weighed down by other CDs. I might actually have the time to get around to doing something, or if it’s not really worth that time, I can finally decide that it’s time to be honest with myself and get rid of it. If, instead, I wanted to have as much going on as possible to appear busy or cool, then the end result will be owning a collection of things insubstantial.
I’ve gained much by downsizing much.
Not through altruism, rather a sense of having more effort to engage in what I want to engage in.
|Quotes:  Someone at work.  Someone else at work, but this one is a mentor of mine.|
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Why do things you don’t want to do? Well, some people are just innocently influential, others are vultures that prey on your time, and other times, still, we just get bored and want to enjoy that which is popular. Do it all for yourself first and foremost.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: While writing this, I came up with the idea for this shot – all my junk, some of which was influenced by these culture vultures, with the book I’m reading of my own fruition in the foreground.|
|Written On: October 9th [16 minutes, from 12:08am to 12:15am at “downsizing is key,” from 12:40am to 12:49am, WordCounter]|
|Last Edited: October 9th [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|