Consciously Edit Your Life in 3 Easy Steps
I recently read a short post on Miss Minimalist by a young man named Vince. He was describing how he discovered minimalism and what it meant to him as he pursued the life he desired. There was one line in his post that really stuck out to me, here it is:
“Becoming a minimalist helps you edit and improve all aspects of your life.”
Image Credit: Nic McPhee
That got me thinking about the function of editing and how it applies to getting out of debt, growing wealth and living the life you desire. I love this explanation of what an editor does from the site The Editor’s Blog:
Of particular relevance is the concept of cutting out what doesn’t fit and that which is nonessential to the purpose of the story. If we take stock of our lives and pick up the editor’s pen, what might we cut that doesn’t fit our lives? What are we doing that is nonessential to the purpose of our story? And, how are those elements keeping us stuck?
The practice of consciously editing our lives becomes easier if we follow these three simple steps.
Step #1: Know your story
We all have a beginning, middle and an end to our lives, also known as our story. The beginning is written and published. While revisiting our history can help us understand who we are today, no editing is allowed so what we’re left with is the middle and the end. Most of us are probably somewhere in the middle part of our story.
So how can you edit what’s left? The answer is to know how you want the story to end. Armed with the whole story you can then edit your current lifestyle, habits, behaviors, relationships, location, etc. to ensure your story follows the path you desire. If you take the time to figure out your storyline now, you’ll have a better chance of achieving it through conscious editing.
Step #2: Identify the major points of your story
What are the key elements of your story that deserve your focus and attention? Maybe it’s adopting a child, getting a degree, starting a business, traveling, volunteering or [fill in the blank].
It’s likely that there will be several major points in your story so give it some real consideration and extend your thinking into the future as far as you believe your story will go. [Hint: it’s a copout to say that you will die young and therefore don’t need to worry about the “end” of your story!]
Okay, once you know what those major story points are, you can begin to focus your editing so that those are the most visible elements to your audience.
Step #3: Look for things that don’t fit
You’d be surprised at how many things we commit to, spend money on, give our attention to that don’t support our story. It’s these things that we need to work on consciously editing from our lives.
Where you spend your money is a very good indicator of where you are putting your attention. That’s why tracking your spending is so important. If you track and evaluate your spending monthly (or weekly if needed), you’ll find that you can easily spot places where you can edit.
Everyone’s story is different, but we’re all the hero in our own story. It’s up to us to edit the manuscript and give the hero the best chance at overcoming obstacles, dragons, bad guys, etc. If left up to chance, the ending could be unpleasant.
What’s Your Story?
I’d love to hear your story and the edits you’re making to help ensure your ending is a blockbuster! Please take a moment to add your voice to the Comments below.
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