I like to create challenges for myself. These challenges cover everything from walking one hour every day for a week to smiling at everyone I meet – an exercise which turned out to be really creepy.
In general, these challenges are fun and usually help me to learn something new.
Last week's challenge was to throw away one hundred things within seven days. I had no problem discarding the first twenty-five objects. Then my sentimental side took over. I started justifying potential uses for utterly useless stuff. How could I ever throw away my pink, one-shoulder sparkly disco dress and matching Lucite shoes? I might need them later or my daughter might need a Halloween costume.
After realizing that I had some unnecessary attachments to possessions, I was able to get serious.
First, I would pick an object then ask myself if I were to move, would I want to take it to a new house? If it made the cut, I then asked myself if I really needed it.
By using this simple technique, I was able to discard or donate ugly vases, old cell phones, answering machines, lamps, keyboards, puzzles, purses, clothes, games, and coffee cups.
Inadvertently, I found myself also discarding unwanted responses to people and circumstances including anxiety, aggravation and even guilt surrounding cutting ties with an old client.
By the end of the seven days, I not only got rid of 100 objects but also a few unwanted situations.
I felt lighter and more emotionally free. Then, magic happened. The universe responded to the literal and metaphoric spaces in my life by providing perfect upgrades. Out of the blue, a friend gave me a piano. Another gave me a gorgeous piece of glass art. Then I got a new client. It felt like my actions had a direct cause and effect. I created space by ridding myself of what I didn't want. In response, the universe gave me what it felt I needed.
So, this week, I present you with the challenge of coming up with your own game. This challenge can be serious or lighthearted. It can last for twenty-four hours or one week – it’s up to you. For instance you can eat only organic foods for five days, discard all the books in your house that you will never read again, avoid all social media for one full day, or leave your cell phone unattended for hours at a time. You can choose to listen intently when others speak, compliment everyone in your family at least once each day, or return every call and email within two hours.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you choose – that’s part of the fun of the game – taking control of your own life and making things happen.
Maybe it will be fun. Maybe you'll learn something about yourself. It’s not hard. Remember, you’re not making a permanent commitment to change an attitude or behavior – you’re just trying one on for size.