The Learning Process & Purging

The Hoarder Mentality

I will put my hand up and say that I am a recovering hoarder. I used to feel an usually strong attachment to objects that I owned and so I was averse to leaving anything go. Losing something or leaving something go almost felt to me like losing a part of myself. On reflection, I can see that I carried this approach into other areas of my life. It was my way of thinking so it was only natural that it followed me around.

A Minimalistic Approach

Things started to shift when I started to learn a little about the minimalistic philosophy. While I didn’t feel the urge to embrace minimalism in its extreme, I decided to take on board some minimalistic approaches. I looked around my house and I started to declutter.

After doing this on a number of occasions I felt a two fold effect. The first thing I noticed was that there was less going on in my house, things appeared more clear and simple. The next thing I noticed was that I started to feel less of an attachment to objects. The free space seemed to have brought more clarity to my house as well as to my mind.

The logic I see behind my detachment from objects comes from during my clear outs, when I was looking at an item, in two minds whether to let go or not, I forced myself into making a decision. Up until this point I had left indecision hang over me. I couldn’t see this indecision because it wasn’t in my awareness, until minimalism came into my field of attention.

Simplification through purging

In the learning process I like to map things out. I make a plan that acts as a blueprint for the direction I need to go in. I don’t make these plans too detailed, in fact the lack of precise detail allows for flexibility, fun and adventure. Here is an example of such a blueprint for understanding the Flask framework.

Python — the controller (logic)
Jinja2 — allows Python to talk to templates.
HTML within templates folder
CSS and JavaScript, images etc within static folder
HTML, CSS, JavaScript, BootStrap
ORM — SQL Alchemy

Up until this year I tended towards holding onto my old plans and blueprints. The logic was that I may need to refer to them in the future. However, I have started to realise that if I am relying on old patterns of thinking then I might not be making much progress at all. I also realised that less is more and when I have a clear, simple process I don’t have to think too much about it and I can iterate and move forward quicker. I previously made the decision to narrow my focus, improve my process, and above all keep things simple. It seems like purging the old ways is now an important step in this process as it allows me to make room for more efficient and precise systems.

Did this blog post help? Can you think of a time when you did a clear out and you felt all the better for it?