put your house in order and discover what you really want to do14 Dec 2016
a few weeks ago, i tore through marie kondo’s wildly popular book, the life-changing magic of tidying up. i think i finished it in like four days… it’s the 2nd fastest i’ve read any book this year (only giovanni’s room was faster).
my old landlord and adopted dad, roy, was the first person who actually made me want to read it. i’d heard a lot about it in the media, but roy’s recommendation made me actually get it. i’m really glad i did, but even as i think about what i’m about to write, i can already hear it coming out hokey…
the dominant narrative (subtitle included) about the book is that it’s about cleaning. her methodology gets mostly talked about in a frame that’s about how to get rid of things. however, as i read it, her actual point is that by using her method to clean up, it’s possible to be happier and discover your life’s work (this is hugely important, imo, and will only continue to increase in importance as work and economy continue to behave like shifting sands…)
her signature question, “does this spark joy?” is a question that’s meant to help you decide whether you should keep a particular item or not. taken on an item-by-item basis, it’s a very useful question. however, the undersell is in the application of that question to literally everything you own. “the magic,“ then is that by getting rid of all things that don’t spark joy, you actually allow yourself to remember, rediscover, or discover for the first time what you actually want to do. kondo believes that our passions and true selves are surfaced when we only have possessions that bring us joy.
the most concrete example she gives of this is how it shows up in book collections. by going through your book collection, taking each book in your hand and only keeping the ones that bring you joy, you will end up with a much smaller library. the books you have at that point usually will be the subject matter that most excites you. it’s likely that you should be focusing your energy (career, hobbies, etc.) on those things. i think that’s an pretty incredible idea.
definitely added going through my stuff, konmari-style, to my list of things to do over winter break. there’s always room for more magic in my life.
ps - marie believes that the things we really enjoy and are passionate about don’t change over time. i’m not so sure about this, but i’m interested in her perspective because she’s been doing this work for way longer than me. i am definitely curious, though, if my coaching practice and jungle’s SNaP work will surface the same or a contradictory insights.
spell-check, link-finding, & formatting: 7:59