Monday, May 22, 2017

Maturing does not mean adding, but learning to subtract

personal growth

We do not always recognize it, but one of our greatest fears is the loss. In fact, as soon as we gain something or someone, instead of enjoying it completely, we are immediately afraid to lose it. In this way we spend most of our lives in a state of anxiety and pain, unable to enjoy our achievements.

The society is largely responsible for this profound and atavistic fear. In a sense, to everyone has come a very clear message: life is accumulating. That means we should always have more, because losing is synonymous with defeat in every sphere of life.

That message has penetrated deeply and obliges us to run continuously, in the vain attempt to get something new and better. Sometimes we run so fast that our speed dazes us. Curiously, in this way we forget to enjoy every moment, because we always have an eye on the future, a future that must contain more and more, because we mistakenly believe that "more" is synonymous with "better".

Life is the best teacher


Life, however, is responsible for putting everything in the right place. And it teaches us that at some point in our development what allows us to continue maturing is not continuing to add, but learn to subtract.

What should we subtract?

Whether we like it or not, we must learn to subtract people, even people who once were very important to us.

We also need to learn to subtract stress and tension or they will end damaging our health.

We must learn to subtract ties, aware that life is constantly evolving. This does not mean wanting less, but accepting what we can’t change and move forward.

We must also learn to subtract expectations, understanding that they are a totally useless source of disappointments, frustrations and tensions. But that does not mean that we have to stop dreaming.

It is important that we stop adding things and begin to embrace a more minimalistic lifestyle. Things do not fill emotional vacuum. Instead, we can learn to restore the contact with the simplest things.

We must also learn to subtract projects, especially those that are not ours and do not really make us happy. Choosing wisely experiences, instead of stirring up with stimuli, will allow us to live more fully.

Finally, it's important to subtract everything we do not need and it does not make us happy, but adds only unnecessary stress.

The fear of subtract is won by learning to let go


Growing up with the idea that we should always add we resist to subtract. But once the initial resistance is over, you will feel a great pleasure in getting rid of all those things that creates tension, suffering or that are simply useless.

Gradually you will feel lighter, and this will take you away worries, anxieties, and tensions. With a lighter luggage on your back you will enjoy more your journey. The key to happiness is not to have more, but to want less.

Steve Jobs was an example of minimalism, a trend that became even more evident when he knew he was sick and faced his mortality getting rid of everything he did not need.

When Apple's former CEO, John Sculley, visited Jobs for the first time at his home, remained impressed. He then described his visit: "I remember Steve hardly had home furniture, he had a picture of Einstein, who admired a lot, a Tiffany lamp, a comfortable chair, and a bed. He didn’t think it was necessary to have a lot of things around, but he was incredibly attentive to what he chose".

You can start with small things and follow with psychological cleansing in other areas of your life as a sort of deep detoxification. Remember that when you eliminate something because you do not need it, you earn more than you lose. This is a really worthwhile change.

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Maturing does not mean adding, but learning to subtract
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books

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