Something to get rid of

The start of the year is always a time to see where you stand and where your life is, and a time for new year’s resolutions.

For me it’s always a time to define my goals, the results I want to obtain in my personal and professional life.

For the last couple of years I’ve been spoiling myself with a bit of holiday. We leave, no phone and hardly any internet, so we can unplug completely, we rest and free ourselves from our demanding routine.

For a while we have now been talking about stopping to decide what we want and what we don’t want, what we will focus on and what we will ignore. We have realised that for companies it is vital to define a vision and a mission, what a company is and does, but also what a company isn’t and doesn’t want to do.

If you have read my book you know I am reporting the well-known concept, not my own, of the 4 actions you can undertake to change your life and make it as you want it

I’ll remind you:

-  you can start doing something

-  you can stop doing something

-  you can do more of something

-  you can do less.

Since prophecies (or someone’s interpretations) tell us the world is about to end, or the world as we know it will, which is something that has already happened before, I am going to give you two examples from the automobile sector: Jaguar was bought by the Indians, the American president has given Chrysler a state grant on condition that they would let FIAT buy them. (Remember GM paid FIAT not to do so?)

Then, since everything is going to end, why not decide to end something yourself?

Here are a couple of things I have decided to stop doing:

  • I’ll stop checking my smartphone every time it tells me there’s mail or a message. I’ll stop behaving like a trained little monkey and will start being a wise human. Research says it is better to check your mail every 60/90 minutes instead of doing it all the time, as it increases productivity. Research was really not that necessary, all you need is common sense, but since now it’s  scientific data, I’ll increase my productivity and decrease my vibrating alert stress. I was perfectly fine during these two weeks away from my phone and nobody died  because of my delay in replying to their emails.
  • I’ll stop waiting for standard times to get in touch with people. Instead of sending a generic Christmas card to all my contacts, I’ll send an email every now and again just to keep in touch and say hello. And I might even drop that SMS in favour of a telephone call. Short, intense and sincere.
  • I’ll stop reading things I don’t care about and/or I don’t need: emails, useless magazines, and so on. I’ll do the same with TV and people. Better keep my neurons focused on useful, fun or beautiful information.
  • I’ll stop saying yes at work just to be polite. I’ll say yes if I like what I hear and/or if it’s interesting and/or productive. I’ll do the same in my private life. Maybe people will like me less but there you go. It’s my time, my money, my life and there’s a crisis. You need to spend well.
  • I’ll stop complicating things (this is gonna be a tough one). I’ll stay away from whomever complicates things. I’ll stop taking myself too seriously. It’s not worth it and it’s no use.

All of this was inspired by a nice article I read. It seemed to have been written for me but I share the inspiration and my decisions may come in handy to you, too.

My daughter asked me it there is really going to be the end of the world in 2012. I answered just the way my Father used to answer the same question when I asked it: “ I surely don’t think so. God doesn’t make such extraordinary things to destroy them. He might change them, but he is definitely not going to destroy them”.

This is what I think. Given that, let’s pretend the end of the world is really near. Let us use Steve Job’s advice and think it is about to end. What would you then stop doing?

If you stop doing things, you have more room for the rest. It’s like de-cluttering your wardrobe. There’s more space for new stuff. And you can even leave the space empty, no need to fill it all the time. Empty space means comfort.

If it hadn’t been for the great holidays I’ve been having in the last two years, when I was able to de-clutter, I’d still be what I used to be. No good.

Stop, throw away, de-clutter, eliminate. If you get rid of dead wood you can fly higher.

Let this be a fantastic 2012! One of those unpredictably excellent years.

Claudio

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