The Aha! Moment When I Stopped Chasing MORE And Started Aiming For LESS
For most of my adult life, I wanted MORE.
I’m not greedy – I just grew up associating better with more. And I suspect that this mindset is commonplace.
Do these thoughts sound familiar to you?
- I need to make MORE money.
- I want to pay MORE attention to my diet.
- I should do MORE exercise.
- I wish I had MORE vacation time.
- I would love to learn MORE about _____.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these thoughts. But realistically, more + more + more is a recipe for unhappiness and burnout.
A few years ago, I had an Aha! moment. It wasn’t associated with a dramatic life event. In fact, it was kind of funny.
I had scheduled a personal training session at the tail end of a busy workday (because I was trying to squeeze in MORE exercise). Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find a parking space near the gym. So, after twirling around an underground parking lot for over half an hour, I finally gave up and drove home.
The house was empty. And quiet.
And when I plopped down on my sofa, I realized that I wasn’t annoyed – even though personal training sessions are expensive and non-refundable!
I was happy.
I was doing absolutely nothing. And it was the high point of my week.
An Aha! moment is when something happens that makes you suddenly see things more clearly. In this case, the catalyst was that happy feeling.
It was a simple, easy kind of happiness. And it hit me that I wasn’t craving MORE, I was desperately seeking LESS.
For the next six months, I refused to add MORE to my plate, either personally or professionally. And I consciously looked for ways to make my days less congested.
Here are a few adjustments that had surprisingly big impacts:
- I replaced gym time with walks. From a physical conditioning standpoint, my walks may be less intense than personal training sessions and hot yoga classes, but they fit into my day more easily (and don’t require underground parking).
- I re-arranged my workdays. I delegated a few tasks, limited Zoom calls and meetings to three days of the week, and I became firm about taking an hour for lunch.
- I started saying ‘no’ more often. This was a big one for me because my self-esteem is closely tied to being helpful.
Flash forward to today…
I’m in a good place. And ironically, I’ve accomplished something BIG that I couldn’t have done without giving myself more breathing room. I wrote a book! And I may write another one… or maybe not.
For me, the biggest accomplishment has been making the mindset shift from chasing MORE to aiming for LESS.
Is my life perfect? Absolutely not!
But that simple, easy kind of happiness is commonplace now. And that’s priceless to me.
Kim Scaravelli is an entrepreneur, marketer, content consultant, and author of the book, Making Words Work. In it, she provides practical advice on how to strengthen your creativity and gain confidence in your writing skills.
Kim’s popular newsletter, Writing & Other Stuff, arrives in inboxes every second Wednesday, filled with writing tips, timely insights, and resources. You can sign up at kimscaravelli.com.