Less

In the past 30 days, I have given away more than 25 books that I clearly had no intention of rereading. Canceled 11 subscriptions to various content services (including Blinkist, Economist, The Harvard Business Review among others). Plugged in my 2TB external hard drive to my mac and formatted it without even seeing what’s inside. I’m guessing a crapton of educational content and stuff that I know I might need in the next 30 years 😉

And guess, what? I don’t even miss a damn thing! The ones close to me understand how much I value and invest in learning and education. And here I am, chucking these subscriptions out of my life. For good.

Yes, I literally threw away money. A lot of it! But I’ve reached a point in life where I’m beginning to question everything. Particularly my possessions and how I choose to spend my time. I notice that the fewer choices I make, the more deliberate I live.

That’s the case with money, time and your possessions.

The modern-day knowledge worker is an information-porn addict. There’s so much content out there. How do you decide what to consume and what not to? How do you keep sane in the world of contradictory opinions and fake news?

There are millions of channels on YouTube. A hundred thousand and then some podcasts. A million books on Amazon. A billion websites (perhaps more).

How do you choose what to consume? And are you consuming content or is the content consuming you?

That’s what it felt like a few weeks back.

The answer is to be conscientious about your choices. You have to be your own curator to be able to consume information that resonates with you. Instead of 50 websites, you can opt for the top 5 or 10.

I don’t have 50 podcasts in my PocketCast library. Just 8. And I’m quite happy with them.

I have a massive Kindle library. Too bad I can’t share them with my friends. But that doesn’t stop me from organizing my library into groups/interests to make it a breeze to peruse through my library. Further, with all the subscriptions gone, I just have to focus on my books. I realized that I really don’t have the time or inclination for a deeper analysis of a business or a world issue. And yes, the book summary services certainly miss the point.

Everyone wants to speedread a book. I want to consume it deliberately. Have a debate with the author, mess it all up with red ink and review my notes. That’s how I prefer to read. It’s more satisfying than zipping through half a dozen summaries in an hour’s time.

I want to be a little more deliberate about my life. Yes, it doesn’t come easy. But when things get though, I have a much easier time choosing what brings me more joy and value in the long term.

Less is more. Less is just enough.

PS: Just remembered — I gave away my iPad mini 4 this morning. The only thing I do with this magnificent device is read books! And I can get it done with a Kindle too!