I have been reading a book by Marie Kondo called: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
It is very interesting. The essence of her approach is quite simple.
Take each item in your hands and ask yourself the question, “Does this spark joy for me?”
If it does, keep it. If not discard. When you are all done, you now surround yourself in your home with only those items that spark joy. Everything else has been sent away.
Now obviously, there is more to the book than that or it would be a very short book. She discusses purging by category and not rooms and which categories to start with – the easier items like clothing, then books, etc. But it is all about surrounding yourself with items that spark joy.
I was thinking this same principle can be applied to other areas of one’s life. Of course, when acquiring “stuff” this is a great question to ask. Does it spark joy? If not, don’t let it into your house. You will be forced to deal with it at some point. This includes gifts we sometimes receive. Stuff flows into our homes effortlessly, getting rid of it is the uphill battle. Let this question be a gate keeper. Sometimes a gift may spark joy for only a short time. The joy of knowing someone cared enough about you to give you a gift. But the item itself, maybe not so much. It is ok to “re-gift” the item or set it free some other way.
But again, it is a much larger principal for our lives. There are activities and relationships in our lives that we spend time and energy on. This question; does it spark joy? This is a great way to evaluate how and who we spend our precious time. Are the activities you are doing spark joy? If not, maybe it is time to evaluate what you are spending time doing. Do your relationships spark joy? Or do you spend too much time with Debbie or Daniel Downer? Maybe it is time to spend less time with those people and find new friends that energize you.
We are all wired in a unique way, and certain things, places, activities and people will spark joy for us. Seek out these things and spend less time on the things that bring you down.
What is the opportunity before you?