What is essential?

Most of the things we do, we do automatically. We pick up a pattern and stick to it unconsciously and probably unintentionally. We don’t consider often how a certain pattern or behavior affects us until an event happens that acts as a wake-up call. Many times is too late or you might be lucky and realized it soon enough. Either way, you lost time. And at best you lost only time. At worse you lost time AND got confused.

Breaking this autopilot mode is hard. But why should you even bother breaking it?

Well it depends.

We were not meant to consume all the worlds news, opinions and information 24/7.

This inevitably leads to information overload that will potentially burn you out and steal your ability to enjoy whatever you do. It can also get in the way of feeling fulfilled. You might have not found your thing just yet, but at least you want to have some sense of direction.

The word is decluttering and find what is essential. But how? How can we see clearly when it happens? There must be some behaviors and patterns that show us where we are heading.

We want to distinguish the fake or others desires versus our own that are real and genuine.

A fake one could be reading on Twitter that you need to have X amount of followers to make a difference in your blog and a real one might be ‘I love to write so I’m going to share on Twitter what I know and try to be helpful.

One that I see is a really obvious one. How happy I am in general when I engage in a particular activity.

Another is not acting on it. Not pursuing now what we want and default in preparation mode. We think we are not ready yet (which we might as well be) or say things like ‘after I do X I’ll be ready to do Y’.

By this time it has become a cliche that time is our most valuable asset. Yet we treat it like it is infinite,

Years ago I thought that the worst feeling of all was being embarrassed. Now I think it’s having the sense of realization that you have wasted your time pursuing something that you didn’t truly want.

Waste your time in the short term not that of an issue here. This is part of the exploration of what is worth spending time on.

But the feeling of wasted time in a long scale, let’s say months, years or decades is unbearable.

Something blocking our ability to see what is really essential to us is the unconscious desires of other people. We want to impress people. Or we are a bit confused and lost at the present time of our life. Or we see a friend succeed. We are playing this multiplayer game that narrows our vision on looking inside. ‘You must do this that way or “this is not important”. Lot’s of noise everywhere and very few silent places to rest your mind and listen to it.

There is a need to escape reality and alter our mood. We have heard that living life to the fullest is by doing and consuming as many things as possible and in as much quantity as possible.

‘Credit is unlimited’, they say and there is no pay day.

I think you don’t have to live with that mental model in mind in order to live a full life. Credit is limited. You won’t live forever. You can’t do everything but if you do what is essential to you, you will have the sense that you did everything many times.

Play the single player game. Silent the noise. Find what is essential.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

When there is nothing left to take away that means that you have the bare essentials in place.

Being able to realize your true desires, without the noise of the world getting in the way, is a true superpower. And being genuinely well-meaning to the desires of others, respecting them while pursuing your own. We can all go our way to get after it in parallel. No need to take someone else down so we can rise. It’s not a zero-sum game.