All I ever need
the occasional haiku
Love, time, and coffee
A haiku is a traditional Japanese poem.
It’s a poem that has nothing to do with rhyming, but of simplicity. It’s telling a story in 17 syllables. 5-7-5
The original minimalism.
I’m not much of a poet, or a writer, or a video star. But I’m really good at being not good at a lot of things.
In fact, being a generalist is my specialty.
Here are 3 ways Stoic philosophy taught me to worry less:
1) It’s ok to be uncomfortable
There’s a stoic principle of doing things that make you uncomfortable. You do this when you don’t have to so that when life gets a little difficult, you’re already prepared.
A little discomfort now makes you stronger later.
An example of this would be exercise. But you can use this principle with other aspects of your life as well.
You can use this principle to be less concerned with criticism. When you purposefully do things that you think other people will criticize (such as….write a haiku and post it on the internet), you start to become numb to the criticism.
Start with small things. I wrote articles for this website for a year before I let anyone know it even existed. I practiced with wearing the same clothes to work over and over again. (Turns out, no one cares. Of course, that’s as long as they have been washed and don’t smell.) Get out of your comfort zone a little every day and it will get easier and easier to do.
I decided a long time ago that I would live my life FREE. Free from the worry of what other people thought. I am far from perfect at this. I want to live an honest life. No hiding. Now I try to help other people free themselves as well. But to do this, you are going to experience criticism.
You can prepare for this by practicing being uncomfortable, doing new things, and pushing yourself past your previous limits.
Maybe that’s why I write and make videos. I hope that it can help someone, but also because they make me uncomfortable. Do I really sound that way? Am I really that goofy and awkward? The answer, of course, is YES. Get over it.
Writing and making videos help me to not take myself so seriously.
And that’s okay. Because that’s who I am. And I’m cool with that.
When you don’t take yourself so seriously, you don’t worry if other people do or not.
2) How you think is how you feel
There is another idea from Stoic philosophy that I freaking LOVE! It’s the concept that life is built around the “way” you think about things. It is more important how you think about something than the thing itself.
Very little is needed to make a life happy; It is all within yourself, your way of thinking”
In other words, your inner life is what will make you happy. How you respond to circumstances more than the circumstances themselves.
A man with a billion dollars sees a hundred dollar bill on the ground. He won’t think too much of it. The man with nothing sees it, and it may change his life. The hundred dollar bill is the same but the men’s perspectives are different.
How you think about something influences how you feel about it. And you get to control HOW you think. And that will help you control how you feel.
If you get anxious or worried, consider your perception may be off. Maybe you are looking at things from the wrong angle.
Try to see the right angle. If you are upset, then you have a problem. But change your focus and adjust. Maybe the problem is actually your answer. Maybe the obstacle is the way.
3) Eliminate excess
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
It’s interesting how often we feel we need more stuff. More stuff, more things, more gadgets, more apps, the next phone, new pants, new bike, etc. More stuff to make us happy. But more often leads us to feeling less. Less happy, less healthy, less good.
More junk in your life (physical or mental) will lead to stress, anxiety, helplessness, indecision, and apathy.
The only things we need more of: MORE LOVE and MORE TIME.
And specifically, more time to pursue the things we love and hang out with the people we love.
Give me that.
That’s all I will ever need.
And maybe a cup of coffee.
But that’s it.
Love, Time, and Coffee.
Have you ever suffered from mental fog? You just felt like you didn’t have enough energy. Or you couldn’t concentrate. Or you were depressed. Maybe you couldn’t sleep because of racing thoughts circling around your brain. Maybe you were worried about something or maybe you didn’t even know why you felt this way. It just kind of crept up on you.
Well, here’s a trick. Consider it a life hack. Use it at your own discretion.
Reduce mental clutter, by reducing physical clutter.
Eliminate excess in your house and in your schedule. The best place to start is a closet.
Empty your physical world of the things you do not need or love. Fill your world with the things you do.
It’s just that simple.
And now……here’s a look at my minimalist closet.