One of my all-time favorite quotes is “Less is the new more“. It’s a favorite not because it sounds cool (though it does!), but because I honestly find this quote to be the key to happiness.
One key to staying content in life is to learn the power of letting go.
Since childhood I have had the tendency to be a person who wants to keep everything I have. I come by this tendency honestly!
In my childhood home, my mom has a storage room where she has a huge collection of junk which she might never use, but she has difficulty letting it go. Whenever I visit my parents and go to the storage room, I see my broken DVD player, my speakers from my college days, and so much “stuff” that is useless except perhaps as cherished pieces of my memories.
Whenever I talk with my mom about getting rid of all of this “stuff”, she tells me that she can’t do that because she has an emotional connection to these items or she feels she may need them some day.
I really can’t blame her, though, because what she describes is a common force of human nature. So common, in fact, that it is acknowledged and exploited by top corporations!
Have you ever wondered why Apple launched its physical Apple stores where anyone can go to try Apple products?
Apple is using the psychology behind ownership to market their products, and it’s working out great for them and for many other companies. Undoubtedly Apple products are great, but it’s the actual Apple store which made the biggest difference in bringing them from nowhere to becoming the #1 mobile computing brand. Apple uses the psychology of ownership to market their brands.
Whenever we hold anything in our hands, we feel the ownership of that thing. When you hold an Apple product or any other product in an experience store, you want to own that product. You feel connected to anything that you can hold and touch. This is of the main reasons why all the major gadget companies started opening their physical experience stores.
This is also one reason all the relationship experts suggest that we hold the hands of our loved ones – because it is such a powerful method of connecting one to another.
The point here is that we become so connected to the things we have around us and to the people we meet in life, that we find it very difficult to let go of anything or anyone. We find it hard to get rid of old things from our homes fearing we might need them some day. We find it hard to leave behind our past relationships because they have served us in some way in the past and again, we fear the loss.
“Let go” are two words which form a small but powerful phrase that can change your life right away.
Last year when I came to realize the significance of the concept of “less is the new more”, I started getting rid of stuff that was no longer of use to me. I began giving things to the people around me who might need them or be able to sell them.
It was not easy to let go of things that I possessed for years, but once I started cleaning out my closet, I realized that I suddenly had less burden in my life. This also impacted my decisions to buy new things.
Last year I shredded all my high school grade sheets, certificates which are of no use. I got rid of all those documents which I once believed were important to keep, but now realize are no longer of use.
This was a difficult process while I was doing it, but later I realized that everything I discarded from my life is one less thing I have to worry about.
It has been a year since I “let go” of all of these things, and based on my experience I feel comfortable offering you the following life hack: Get rid of stuff that you no longer need and that is no longer relevant to your life.
Give your “old stuff” to someone who does need it, or give it to a charity that will find someone who needs it. Be it a collection of your books, clothes that you no longer wear, or anything else that may once have been important to you but no longer serves you in your life, let go of it so that you can move on and make room for better things to come!
Benefits I have seen by following the concept of “less = more”:
This is the greatest advantage I have noticed in my life from the process of letting go. I no longer have to worry about the security of the gadgets that once sat unused in my drawer for months. When I travel, I don’t have to worry about all of the things I keep in my home because honestly, I don’t have much there! The things I truly need are always with me, and I have less worry to carry!
The fact that less worry = more happiness is a no-brainer. But we are also happier when we make someone else happy. Whenever we give to people who have less than we do, their joy and their gratitude are priceless gifts to us.
If you think about it, this is a great exchange: I’m turning my worries into someone else’s happiness. Everybody wins.
I didn’t give everything away. I turned some of my old things into extra cash by selling them. And the entire process has affected my spending habits, as I am more conscious of what things I want to bring into my home and my life, and thus I am more thoughtful about how I spend my money.
The real takeaway suggestion from this post is that less= more. Release everything that is no longer of use to you.
Be it costly clothes you no longer wear, books you have already read and enjoyed or people who are no longer a positive influence in your life – let go and you will quickly begin to see the benefits of “less = more”.
Give what you can to someone who will find your old things useful, and perhaps they will remember you in their blessings.
In truth, you are the one who will be rewarded, because you will be happier when you have less – which is actually more.
For more on the concept of “less is more”, enjoy this TED talk by Graham Hill:
What are your thoughts on “less is more”? Have you tried to implement this concept in your own life? If so, what impact did it have on your life?
If you believe in the concept of “less is more”, be sure to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and let others in on the great secret of “Less is the new more”.
This was originally published on my personal blog.