I know you’ve heard the phrase “less equals more”. But how can that be? If someone breaks in and steals your stuff, you will have less, not more. If your house burns down and you lose everything, how can you end up having more? It doesn’t make any sense.

Or does it?

You know those days when you are so busy and you ask yourself, “where has the day gone?” While working on what’s in front of you, your mind is thinking about something completely different. Something that hasn’t even happened yet. Or perhaps took place in the past. Things are happening right before your eyes, but you aren’t really there. Maybe 40% of you, but not 100%.

Our brains can only focus on so much at a time.

Have you heard that people who are blind have a better sense of hearing. Or that people who are deaf can think more clearly? That’s because of less distraction. The same thing applies to us who work demanding jobs. Our minds are so filled up by the stresses of our jobs that we spend very little brainpower on things we enjoy. Remember, you can only focus on so much in one day.

This concept also applies to physical stuff.

I’ve been selling, giving away and throwing out furniture, books, clothes and other random things I’ve accumulated over the years. The more I get rid of, the more it seems I still have. Where did all this stuff come from?! After a year of sleeping in the van, I’ve finally come to the last of my things. I’m down to just a couple of bins.

Let me tell you, it feels fantastic!

It can be hard to let some things go, but in the end it’s definitely worth it. I wasted so much time and money buying this stuff, moving it around and finally trying to sell or get rid of it. So to protect myself from making the same mistakes, I’ve instilled a new rule.

I’m not allowed to buy anything.

Well, I can buy some things. Of course I need to buy food, gas for the van and other necessities. What I’m talking about is big ticket items. Especially items I really don’t need. Thoughts like: “Maybe I’ll go get a new pair of gym shoes this weekend.”

“Wait, do I need new shoes? Are the ones I’ve got now unwearable?” Not really, they are still pretty comfortable. “Okay then, forget it. Skip the shoes and go do something else.”

Talk about freedom!

Not only am I not a slave to my stuff anymore, but I’ve also been relieved of the pressures associated with buying. What should I buy? Is this the right color? Will it fit? Is it too expensive? Is there a different brand or model that might be better?

Having less is definitely more. More freedom, more focus and more joy and appreciation for what I do have.