Thursday, January 29, 2015

Excuses, Excuses

Today's wisdom comes from a book entitled
Learn to live better with less
Mary Carlomangno

(and I JUST noticed that this book was written by the same author as "Live More Want Less" that I featured on Monday and Tuesday.")
Way to go Mary Carlomangno.
You are rocking my blog this week!
In some aspects, her books are similar.  Both address the art of simplifying.
What I really like about "Secrets of Simplicity" is that it breaks things down into seven chapters/categories....and each chapter offers not only advice and good information, but also questions for you to answer, which makes you really think about the areas in your life that may be holding you back.
The first chapter is "Release."
It discusses routines, habits, and excuses.
I know that I am notorious for coming with excuses for not doing things.
(Like hopping on that darn treadmill, cleaning the bathroom, organizing my office, etc.)
Here are some of the things the author has to say about it:
We all have excuses and justifications for why we hold on to things and habits.
While teaching a group of students in Manhattan, I learned that excuses are as creative as they are plentiful.
Identifying our excuses can be a good start when we are deconstructing what makes us hold on to our habits.
At the start of each class, I asked each student to write down and excuse, post it on a bulletin board, and release it to the universe.  By the time the class ended, each student was asked to defend his or her excuse to see if it was still valid.  Typically, more than half of the students would amend their earlier idea of what the actual excuse is, learning that most, if not all the excuses revolve around four major areas: time, motivation, emotion, and energy.

Get control of one of these areas and you hold the keys to your escape plan.  In simple terms, clutter and unhelpful habits can be eliminated when:
* Time is devoted.
* A commitment is made.
*  Emotion is released.
*  Everyday action is taken

We must first accept that we participate in a self-perpetuation cycle.
In that cycle, we add new things to our already packed lives in an attempt to comfort ourselves.  But, in adding more, we create imbalance, which leads to the desire to add again.  Recognizing our excuses is a crucial step in breaking the cycle.
Now it's your turn.  What are your excuses?  Be thoughtful about what the real excuses are.  Avoid vague language that is emotional rather than practical.  Challenge yourself to find what is holding you back from release.
1. Write down one of your excuses:
2. What feelings do you experience when you think about this excuse?
3. How would you feel if you didn't need to use this excuse?  What would you accomplish?
4. What do you think your excuse represents in your life?

excerpts taken from "Secrets of Simplicty"by Mary Carlomagno

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