Let go of your cruft

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Seth Godin wrote a blog the other day with a line which leapt out to me:

“This is the cruft that keeps us from moving forward.”

Do you know what the cruft is that is keeping you from moving forward?

To let go of your cruft, you first must look at what your cruft is so what is cruft and what, then, is your own cruft?

Cruft is the dust under the bed, the crust on the ketchup bottle. Cruft is also the useless stuff you keep, leftover screws from assembling IKEA furniture, cables for long since obsolete printers and computer peripherals. As Seth put it, cruft is also:

String too short to be saved

Poet Donald Hall told the story of a hermit in New Hampshire, a man who passed away leaving behind sheds full of hoarded stuff.

In one of the sheds was a box labeled, “string too short to be saved.”

That’s what we do with the trivia that gets in the way of our best work. The tiny slights, the small rejections, the bumps in the road that could be easily forgotten. Ideas too useless to be saved.

But we save them nonetheless.

This is the cruft that keeps us from moving forward.

What happens when we treasure the memories that serve as fuel, and ignore the rest?

In his blog, Seth is moving us beyond the physically inconsequential to the cruft that holds us back in life, both emotionally and in thought and deed.

In coaching, awareness is key, so the starting point is for us each to first realise that we have lots of cruft in our lives, then next to recognise what it is for us, then finally to look at letting go if it so we can move forward.

I wrote on this in “Matter, Antimatter, Doesn’t Matter”, starting with the thought:

“what if you took time to eliminate all the stuff that doesn’t matter from life ?”

The story I shared in that blog was:

“…back when I was in my last year of high school, a bunch of us nerdy geeks spent time hanging out and, as you do, had endless conversations about life, the universe and everything,

We were all studying Physics, and at the same time we were amused and baffled at so much of the stuff they had us learn, when some of it mattered, and some of it simply didn’t.

We felt super pleased with ourselves to come up with the idea that not only was the universe made up of both “matter” and “antimatter”, but also that there was a third type that we had discovered through our inventive reasoning. We called it “doesn’t matter”.

So, a thought to ponder. Are you busy ? If so, what about considering how much of your universe is filled with “doesn’t matter” ?”

Imagine what you can achieve if you can design your life, your work, your business, to identify, let go and discard of your “cruft” so as to do what really matters?


Originally published at Tom McCallum.