What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

the seduction of analyzing problems to death

on March 1, 2014

Ahhh, people ask me questions, lost in confusion
Well, I tell them there’s no problem, only solutions

—John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”

Along with de-cluttering my house, I want to de-clutter my head. What’s the proper place, use, and weight of the convictions I live by? Like this:

One of the most powerful principles I know is: in this life and world, no “pure simples” exist. Everything has places in systems, in relationships. So, when I’m trying to solve a problem, I ask questions about the whole system in which it has arisen. If I rush to a fix before understanding something about why there’s a problem and what else it involves, I risk making more of a mess.

Say that my desk is cluttered to the point stacks have started moving to the floor. I think, “I can’t complete this important project unless there’s some room!” So I scoop papers, notes and post-its into whatever box comes to hand. Where to put it? Hummm, here on top of the last such box I filled in a like fury. I finish the project, but don’t get back to the box till I need something I hope might be in it … ah, here it is … what to do with the rest of the contents, now emptied on the floor? Put them back in the box.…

I’m not going to change that pattern by berating myself. I could just stop creating those boxes of condensed chaos, but the real problem won’t be solved till I understand myself, my workflow, and my workspace systemically. Take a deep breath. Think. Feel. Think some more.

However, that understanding need not be pursued to the atomic nor galactic level. Enough to get started is enough. So today I shed taking the problem of clutter so intently that I stay stuck. I embrace those points where I have some grasp of the problem and turn with good humor to working toward the solutions.

shedding style: release

Comments welcome … what might you shed today?

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