Monday, October 09, 2006

Don't Make Lists

Along the lines of living simply, I ran across this list made by David Kadavy a while back and taped to my wall next to my computer. It is a pretty good credo that I have been adopting.

1. Walk – No, I’m not saying “go for a walk,” I’m saying design your life so that you walk more. Live close enough that you can walk/bike/razor scooter to something that you frequent whether that’s work, a grocery store, a friend’s house, a bar, or preferably – all of them. Why spend 15 minutes driving to a gym to spend half an hour on a treadmill? If you’re fortunate enough to have legs that work – use them.

2. Smile – All of the time. Even when the cashier gives you the wrong change. People’s intentions are usually good, especially when they’re dealing with someone who isn’t being a dick.

3. Drink Water – Or I could say “don’t drink soda or coffee.” It’s a waste of money, health, and teeth. Save your caffeine tolerance for when you really need it.

4. Buy Used - When you buy used you get the adventure of discovery, and avoid the flat artistic experience that comes with only consuming the contemporary.

5. Underorganize – There are a number things you can apply this to, but I can’t give a better example than my “inbox/outbox” method of doing laundry. Should you keep all of your financial documents etc. in a filing cabinet? Probably, but recognize when your organizing reaches the point of diminishing returns.

6. Live Small – What’s that, you can’t afford a three-bedroom, three bath house with a huge yard and garage in a neighborhood where #1 is possible? Good. Then you won’t buy so much crap. You’ll save money in the long run, and you’ll be happier, too.

7. Remember How Adaptable You Are – How long could you live if you were transported to the middle of a forest? You would probably surprise yourself, so don’t be afraid of perceived “big” changes in life. It’s a part of human nature to do what is necessary to reach at least previous levels of happiness, but risks succeeded will get you there and then some.

8. Don’t Make Lists of Rules – or Follow Them

My current passion has been addressing "Live Small" though I am far ahead of the average American and their "affluenza." Being able to walk and bike to work and stores in Boise has made a vast quailty of life improvement. I only drive when I have to leave town or time demands haste.

Underorganizing is a facinating concept. I am looking for a system that will allow me to google my way through the piles of bills I am buried under. Recently I have been switching everything over to e-billing and that has lighted the load considerably. My next method is to switch my filing from biller (e.g. Phone, Water, Sewer) to month (e.g. March, April, May) then when the years overlap to simply chuck it or archive depending on the contents. I've asked to get my names off of mailing lists to no avail, but maybe I'll just start returning junk mail without postage to the sender. That should ebb the tide considerably.

Leaving caffeine behind would be difficult, and I'll ignore that one for now, though water certainly has it's utility and I've been attempting to switch from dehydration to hydration at least by 2PM each day. It is a start.

Smiles! I've been having fun with this one. The only problem is getting someone to look you in the eye to begin with! It is not as bad in Boise as it was in Delaware, but some days I think I have to step on a stranger's foot to get them to look me in the eyes!

With the right sense of humor it can be a very amusing game, one a play every morning on my bike ride to work. As I approach someone, I slow down, smile my best smile and utter a jovial "Good Morning!" 50% of the time I get no response at all, 20% of the time I get a smile and 30% a reply. If I walked I think my success would double. They must respond quickly and let's face it, at 7:30AM no one is sharp.

I have noticed recently my success rate is increasing, and just this month I've been receiving salutations! Just last week I received three in my four mile ride to work!

Yes, I think one person can change the world it just happens one person at a time. Like a disease, only happy.

David has some more great ideas such as "Google Vs. Yahoo Organizational Strategies", Grocery Shopping Is a Waste and the ever popular "Suburban Development Name Generator."

I'll continue to keep you updated as we find out how adaptable I am.


Anonymous said...

HA! Yes! My mind control plan is a success! I should try moving to Idaho though, as life can get pretty complicated in California.

Anonymous said...

This is great.

Coffee, I will never give up.

But I've got the smile thing down-pat. That and the "living small" thing as I proceed to giving up everythign I own in my efforts towards moving to Bulgaria. :)


Brent said...

I have no idea how David knew I wrote about his list. Must be that trackback thing on some of the blogs.

This series of tubes we call the internets is going to change the world. Thanks Al Gore!