Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Elimination Of Non-Essentials

Beside the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

Most of us spend much of our lives performing all kinds of tasks that we believe must be done. I’ve come to the conclusion that much of what we do is either the result of our own personal agendas or the agendas of others. Think of all the things you do. If you died today would someone else assume your tasks? If you stopped doing some of the things you do, would anyone notice? Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist and author of the “Hierarchy of Needs” made a statement once that “80% of all work is BS”. How many of you reading this think that many of your work related tasks have no real value? The above quote, however, is not just about the non-value added tasks that too many of us perform. I think it is also about discerning, not only what is essential or non-essential, but what needs our involvement and what does not. We human beings want to control and manipulate everything to suit our needs. The damage we have inflicted on our planet is proof of this. There are way too many control freaks and micro-managers in life and not enough people of wisdom whose desire is to influence and not to manipulate. Life is not a competitive sport. We don’t have to control or beat everything. Certainly there are essential tasks of daily life that must be completed. However, much of our activity is just self-created busy work or the demands of someone’s else’s agenda. The universe knows what is essential and what is not and I’m pretty sure the universe can manage itself without our ego-centric agendas. Some things we need to do, some things we need to influence, some things we need to let be, and some things we need to simply ignore.

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