January 31st Show
Prepare for February,
Ancient Chinese Philosophy @ Harvard
This month, the category to master is paperwork!
There is little that runs in the background of our brains and weighs us down faster than the piles of unattended to paperwork. So this month we are taming that beast!
First things first (thank you Stephan Covey, Rest in Peace!) Buy a shredder!!! It protects you and is oh, so gratifying!!!
Mail: Touch it once! when you go get it, immediately sort, recycle garbage, open and stack bills to be paid, and file necessary documents. Take this time to do a critical review your mail. It will save you WEEKS of time over the long term if you dedicate 30 minutes at the end of one month worth of mail.
1: Can you get the bills delivered online
2: Can you set yourself up to auto-pay the bills
3: Can you receive important documents by email instead of snail mail
Taxes: Collect all the necessary parts, they should all have been received by now. Put them into a file folder and calendar a time THIS MONTH to do them. There is no reason to fretfully be anticipating the pending doom of doing them last minute. Look forward to enjoying your April and being one of the first to be getting any refund you may have earned!
Insurance: Insurance is changing, often and dramatically. Its a process to go through, so set a separate time to review each of them, homeowners, health, auto, etc. so you don't get overwhelmed at the thought. And sit down with someone in the industry to do it, it will save you money! My health insurance meeting took an hour, if I had failed to do it with him, I likely would have started on my computer then bailed on the whole process and ended up with none.
Bills: When was the last time you review the bills that you have some say in. Cell phone, they change the cost and value of your plan regularly, call them and have them find a tighter more cost effective plan that matches your actual usage. Cable, how much and what are you watching... is it maybe available on Netflix? If so, dumping cable, buying an AppleTV (on time $149) and Netflix ($9.99 a month) could likely save over a $100 a month! You get the point, take the time to review your bills and stop overpaying for what you don't need.
Legal Docs: It doesn't matter your age (assuming you're over 18) or your marital status, you want to have a Will. If you've get legal docs already prepared but they were done years ago, it's time to review. People move in and out of our lives, they die, they get divorced, etc. take the time to clean them up so your wishes are current and known. Your inner circle will thank you.
From the decluttering bible, The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo:
1- Tackle Categories, Not Rooms. A living room can be an overwhelming thought to completely declutter, but if you start with books, and then back it out to just the top shelf of books, that... you can manage.
2- Respect Your Belongings. Go with me here... think of how your belongs feel about how you are treating them. That shirt that feel off the hanger and nobody bothered to notice that has dust balls in it on the floor at the back of your closet... depressed. Someone else may love it obsessively... they should have it. Scarves that bring out the beauty of your eyes, waded up together in a basket...? miserable. Fold them so they feel beautiful and you will too.
3- Nostalgia is Not Your Friend. The concept here is primarily to keep you from bailing down a rabbit hole when you are purging books and say... come across an old letter, then all the sudden you've got your box of photo's and vintage treasures spread out everywhere with a glass of wine and the afternoon is lost. Do not read the letter!
4- Purging Feels So Good! Your things must give you JOY, so when purging, in silence, having offered a prayer of support, every piece you touch, be honest with yourself about what it does for you, if it's not pure JOY for you, it may be for the next guardian. Let it go. Once you do, it's like losing weight in a time-lapse!
5- Fold. Many things that are taking up precious hanging space could be folded and would likely be "happier" as she states. Special folding technique and a beautiful presentation will leave you thrilled at the process.
6-Fall in Love With Your Closet. Now that you own only your very favorite things and your things can now breath, it will having you falling in love with your now edited collection of fabulous all over again. You can now recognize your personal style, getting dressed will be a breeze and putting clothes away will no longer be a chore
Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory... aka Ancient Chinese Secret
The course taught by Prof. Michael Puett at Harvard, the 3rd most popular course on campus, promises to change your life by giving concrete, counter-intuitive, and even revolutionary ideas, which teach them how to live a better life.
Young people today have witnessed the generations ahead of them actively defending the right to protect being miserable in their "good" jobs like martyrs because it lets them afford buying things to impress people that they don't even like and they are miserable. This current Harvard class has decided they are going to sign up for that.
Here's the link to the article "Why Are Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy?"
The article goes on to discuss our behavior and activities and how they affect the way we perceive our experiences. Amy Cuddy, below in her TED talk was referenced and is brilliant.
We referred to the artist below, Lindsey Stirling, as an example of a young person being supported at doing what they loved and the amazing result and benefit for the rest of us.