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Photo by Philipp Berndt on Unsplash

Or Why I Discarded Dogma Along With My Things

I’ve always liked things. Tech things and game things and book things — all kinds of things! There was always something to get excited about — something to save for and fawn over, until at last I could add it to my hoard (or at least until something better came along). Yet somewhere along the way, all of these things have managed to lose their luster. Not only that, but I find myself experiencing greater joy now in getting rid of them than I ever did owning them.

It leaves me asking the question…

Am I becoming a Minimalist?


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Photo by Caterina Berger on Unsplash

Why More Makes Life Feel Smaller

Recently my wife and I have been dropping off several large boxes at Goodwill. This isn’t the first time we’ve engaged in this particular ritual. These boxes were filled with nice ideas, modest hopes, several dozen “what ifs” and relics of a life so long ago as to be scarcely remembered. It’s not that we’re inundated with stuff by any means. In fact we have less than most people I know. Neither is it the case that we’re minimalists.

So what is it then?

Well, it all comes down to a fairly simple idea which has gradually taken root in…

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Photo by Jordan Donaldson | @jordi.d on Unsplash

When I was a teenager and on into my early 20’s, I had big plans for life. I was going to be a filmmaker. Not just any filmmaker, but a great one…maybe the best ever! You’ll have to forgive the ego of my younger self. He had a healthy appetite for delusion. Now a decade and a few odd years later, my life has turned out very much different from what I’d envisioned.

So what went wrong?

That’s an odd question when you think about it, and it may very well be the wrong question to ask. We often assume…

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Photo by Martin Wilner on Unsplash

Understanding the Role of Emotional Energy in Our Lives

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can give us the jolt we need to get started on something or carry something through, but it’s a fickle friend. As soon as you need inspiration to be there for you, its off somewhere, doing who knows what. All you know is that you’re left feeling decidedly uninspired, with a withered motivation.

Yet inspiration might be thought of in another way, and by another name. That name is emotional energy.

Emotional energy is what happens when ideas collide with joy. Something within us leaps at the prospect of bringing forth what only a…

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Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

Choosing Empathy and Kindness Over Ego

Asshole!” she muttered under her breath.

I must have been distracted. The years of illness had taken its toll on me by this point, and in truth I barely noticed her sitting there. I just assumed she was waiting for her prescription to be filled…same as everyone else.

I never actually heard her say the word. My wife mentioned it as we were walking away. I went from subdued weariness to raging indignation in a hot second.

It hadn’t even occurred to me at this point that I had done anything wrong, even if accidentally. With all this emotion swirling…

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Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Leaving room for mystery and wonder in a world of certainty

I don’t know whether there’s a God or not. I would like to believe there is. At various times, I’ve even felt some sense of something…transcendent, I suppose you could say. But then the moment passes and the feeling dissipates. There’s no clear sense of compulsion in any particular direction.

What I have noticed however is how effortlessly and often the notion of God is molded to fit ideologies of various stripes, whether they be religious, political, personal or something else entirely. The general sense of it often takes on a note of self-justification. In these cases, it seems to…

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Photo by Eli Francis on Unsplash

As modern people, we love our self-improvement. We’re constantly absorbing articles, books, and videos about how we can better ourselves in some way. Yet if we’re honest about it, how much is that really helping? I don’t mean to suggest that its of no help at all, but proportionate to our consumption, it seems a weak remedy. The problem isn’t even really about the advice we might take in either. It may very well be perfectly sound, and good advice.

The problem is us.

We’re more limited than we know, or at least more limited than we’re willing to acknowledge…

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Photo by Berkeli Alashov on Unsplash

Letting go of what doesn’t matter

Having the means to surround yourself with all kinds of excess has for many, come to be synonymous with “the good life.” I would suggest however that this excess represents instead the squandered life. We are after all beings of limited focus and attention. What we give to one thing, cannot simultaneously be given to another. It’s why we can’t have three conversations at once without our brains getting more than a little scrambled.

If we want to live a life where we meaningfully choose what we give our attentions to as opposed to having endless diversion and triviality inflicted

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Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

Small isn’t exactly in the modern vocabulary. Big dreams and ambitions are encouraged. Big egos are tolerated if not outright celebrated. It’s little surprise then that a concept as simple and as meek as Kaizen would go largely unnoticed.

What is Kaizen?

To put it simply, kaizen is the art of thinking small. It’s about looking for small ways to make improvements and taking small actions to implement them. It was originally conceived of as a way to help post-war Japanese businesses quickly get back on their feet, but I would suggest that its applicability extends far beyond the narrow…

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Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

I’m not what you would call a productive person. After a bleak bout with Crohn’s disease for much of my 20’s, I don’t have the energy for it and on top of that, I enjoy doing non-productive things like drinking coffee while watching Star Trek with my wife, or making pizza, or playing Overwatch.

Jazeps Tenis

I’m just an ordinary person writing for the sake of other ordinary people and for those who don’t yet know that ordinary can be a wonderful thing.

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