“When you decide to collect experiences rather than things, you never run out of storage space.”
—Joshua Becker, Founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist
Image from Unsplash by Chuttersnap
Did you know that the self-storage industry generates revenue of 38 billion dollars annually and that almost 10 percent of households use them? Many also have basements and garages full of stored items.
The volume of self-storage units in the United States alone could fill the Hoover Dam with old clothes, skis, and keepsakes more than 26 times.
Beyond the costs, consider the maintenance and generalized stress caused by the clutter and junk most of us would never pay for again if given the chance.
What are some strategies to lighten your load to live a simpler and perhaps more minimalist lifestyle? At the same time, what are a few life experiences you wish to collect that may only take up space on your camera or computer hard drive? What actions will you take today to make progress in both areas?
“Make today so awesome that yesterday is jealous.”
Most mornings when I work out, if I’m not chatting with one of my fitness friends, I find myself watching ESPN’s Sports Center. I particularly look forward to the show’s Top 10 Plays of the Day, to see the awesome feats of athletic excellence.
Consider your life a sport. What awesome events and experiences would make your Top Ten list for this week, this month, and this year?
If your list is not quite as awesome as you would like, you are not alone. On a day-to-day basis, we all get caught up in our routines and habits. One day seems to run into the next, with few, if any, highlights.
How can and will you step up the level of awesomeness today, and perhaps make this effort a new habit, to make all of your yesterdays jealous?
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
—Voltaire, 16th Century French Writer
Image of Voltaire from Wikiquote
Voltaire lived to be eighty-four years old. Considering he was born in 1694, that is practically a miracle, given the poor sanitation levels and lack of healthcare available in Europe at the time.
Perhaps it was his considerable appreciation for the world around him that had him experience life with a sense of greater abundance and awe. With such a healthy and robust view of life, who wouldn’t keep reaching for one more day, and then another?
How might you experience and more fully appreciate everything and everyone around you in the coming days? How would such a mindful practice lead you to a richer, more fulfilling life?
“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.”
—Stephen King, American Author of horror, suspense, and science fiction
Image from Unsplash by Aaron Burden
Last August, my wife Wendy and I took an extraordinary vacation with two friends. We went to Africa, Ireland, and Iceland.
As I so often do, I took a journal to capture our daily adventures, but found that I had surprisingly little interest in detailing our many wonderful experiences through the written word.
When I did write something, it felt like a recounting or summary of the days, and had none of the emotions and deep feelings of awe we experienced. I did, however, find that taking pictures lived up to the “thousand words” motto – and we sure took a bunch!
Reflect on some of the most important things in your life and consider how you experience them beyond the limits of any words. Feel free to reply to this post with your best description of what you observe, even if it falls a bit short of the full experience.
“Experience and enthusiasm are two fine business attributes seldom found in one individual.”
—William Feather, 19th Century American Publisher
Image from Unsplash by Peter Conlan
How much experience do you have in your current profession?
How enthusiastic do you feel each morning as you head off to work?
If you are among the fortunate few, you would score high on each measure.
If, however you are like many people, you often begin your work efforts or new job with considerable enthusiasm, and only minimal or modest experience.
As time moves on and experience increases, many find their excitement and enthusiasm beginning to fade, sometimes to the point of reaching a dead end.
What strategies and approaches can and will you take on to maintain or – better yet – increase your current levels of enthusiasm? How might this help you gain greater experience and mastery in your chosen profession?
“We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it.”
—John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
Image from Flickr by Danny Molyneux
Are you a sports fan? How many hours a week do you watch sporting events on TV? How often do you go to games or events in person?
Without question, the energy and excitement around sporting events – football, baseball, the upcoming Olympics, even golf – can be off the charts. Many people experience the by-product bursts of adrenaline through our proximity to these spectacles.
What if you lived in Roman times and were among the spectators in the Colosseum, where the game involved life or death? Clearly you would not wish to be one of the people facing the lions!
Where in your personal or professional life are you sitting on the sidelines as a spectator, thinking that somehow, you are actually in the game?
Where is it time to suit up and get on the field to actually experience life’s contests yourself?
If you selected several, you must have a considerable amount of life experience to share with family, friends, and colleagues who may be experiencing various setbacks and challenges.
Although I frequently encourage a “coach approach” to facilitate the internal learning capacity of those around us, please take the wisdom of today’s quote and note when it is time to share your stories and experiences generously as a contribution to those in need.
“Life is simply a collection of experiences. Your job is to increase the intensity and then the frequency of those experiences.”
-Jim Rohn, late American entrepreneur, author & motivational speaker
Life is about making memories. If you doubt this idea, you only need to examine Facebook and other Social Media sites to observe the highlights from someone’s vacation, weekend, or other significant events. We all like to see what interesting and sometimes amazing experiences our friends and families are having. Of course, we far prefer to engage in these experiences ourselves!
Create your own one week, one month, and one year bucket list to be more intentional about increasing the intensity and frequency of your life experience collection.