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Declutter

November 19, 2014

 

Life in the time of "Big Data" has led to the rise of specialists and a wide spread overwhelming confusion due to the amount of information that bombards us. We are able to learn anything, buy the most exotic and/or esoteric items, and eat food from any culture. This is the globalized world we were warning each other about, and it's not too bad. 

 

The problem is that having too much to choose from and too many details to resolve has led us to a constant state of angst.

 

Who is actually right? What is the best product? What diet will lead to my longevity?

 

Some have chosen to become completely ignorant and stubborn, closing their minds to any other idea or lifestyle other than their own, for fear that their realities may get shook. This is certainly an approach if you want to stunt your development as a person. 

 

The challenge is to be open to new ideas, cultures and trends, yet to stay simple and understand the basic purpose behind each. A very important revelation that I've had when learning new skills is to reduce and generalize. If you can't explain to a five-year-old how something works, then you don't know it well enough. Create your main branches, and then you can add more details if you need to. 

 

My challenge is as Einstein said, "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler". 

 

My approach is to create an environment where you have no choice, where choosing the only route is the hard route, where the only foods available are good foods, where I can't use my phone because its battery has run out or where I'm forced to run because I have no other means of transportation. When you don't have a choice, your ability to rationalize works in your favour; you convince yourself that things aren't that bad, or that you do it because you have chosen to do so. 

 

Barry Schwartz delivered a TED talk a few years back, describing how choice has paralyzed us and left us dissatisfied. 

 

 

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