When talking to people about making positive changes in their lives you’ll get all sorts of excuses about why they “can’t” do things. Pretty much everything can be put into one of two categories: Fears, and anchors.
Fear is such a huge issue that it will get its own post(s) soon. It is such a deep, overarching issue when it comes to living the life you want, that I don’t even want to get into it right now. Just know that fear will rob you of EVERYTHING.
The other category, and the one where most legitimate excuses fall into, is anchors. Just like keeping a boat locked in one location, and unable to float around freely, anchors are anything that is keeping you locked into your current lifestyle. They can be pets, mortgage or lease, physical possessions, obligations, your job, relationships, etc.
This term in this context was popularized by The Minimalists, in their book “Everything that remains”. I highly recommend it.
The first thing to understand is that anchors aren’t inherently good or bad, they just are. They are anything that keeps you in a particular lifestyle. A serious relationship is going to anchor you in certain ways, even if you enjoy those ways. A job is going to control many aspects of your life (where you live, when you wake up, etc) even if you love that job. So anchors are not always bad, they just are.
But for the most part our anchors are not things that we are super passionate about, and we are unaware just how much of our life is dictated by them. Something like our physical possessions can make it much more difficult to move. The more items you have the more time and money are spent maintaining them, and before you know it a large percentage of your life is spent maintaining having these things.
It is SO much easier to live the life you want if you minimize the anchors in your life. Think of what you could do on a day you wake up with no obligations, no stuff to take care of, no chores to do. It’s incredible. So much of our days are spent maintaining certain aspects of our lives that we won’t really even care all that much about.
One of the best anchors to cut loose is that of your stuff. Americans have SO MUCH stuff, and almost none of it adds true value to our lives. It takes, time, money, space, and mental energy to maintain. It requires you to have a bigger house and pay for it. It requires you to clean and maintain it. It requires you to organize and move it.
So just having a lot of STUFF can anchor you by making it so you can’t live without ALL These things that you wouldn’t even need otherwise. The freedom that comes with being able to let go of your physical possessions (or any other anchor) that don’t add value to your life, is immense. Let it go!