To Know How You Feel About Something, Say Goodbye

A valuable exercise to zero in on what matters most

Michael Thompson
SIMPLE

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Jasmine Chew — Pexels

My wife and I recently made a big life decision.

We traded in our relatively spacious apartment (by Spanish standards) at the base of the Pyrenees mountains and moved into a relatively small apartment (by anyone’s standards) near the Mediterranean Sea.

If it was just the two of us, downsizing wouldn’t have been a big deal as we try to live light. But with two growing kids who have a deep passion for all things toys, we’ve spent much of last summer in negotiation mode.

In the beginning, my wife and I were getting spanked.

Not gently.

It seemed like the dustier the toy, the more our kids put up a fight. Things really got heated when one of them burst into tears at the thought of donating his mini-sandbox despite us moving to the beach.

But the tides began to shift thanks to my wife doing something really smart.

“I’ve got an idea,” she said one afternoon. “Each night, until we move, we’re going to put five of the toys you haven’t played with in a while by the front door to donate, and in the morning, you get to keep the one you missed the most.”

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Michael Thompson
SIMPLE

Co-creator of two cool kids • Storytelling Coach •.Fast Co., Insider, Forbes • Free storytelling guide here: https://bit.ly/3h1KZeT