Addition by Subtraction

A recent guest post by Dean Dwyer on Angela Lussier’s 365degrees blog got me thinking….

What should be removed from my life … to give more room for more important things?

In Dean’s article, he says…

… I made a decision. I decided to quit at the end of the month. I crafted a complimentary letter of resignation indicating all the positive things I had acquired out of my experience, but stating that it was time for me to move onto to other things.

When January 1st came, I was officially unemployed with about 2 months of savings to rely on before I was out begging on the local street corner.

This initial period taught me my first really important lesson. Our minds are trained to focus on all that can go wrong. And while it is always important to have a plan in case the worst case scenario should happen, it is easy for that worst case scenario to dominate our thoughts and ultimately our actions.

As one of my favorite quotes goes, “Jump… and the net will appear”. Dean took the leap of faith that “sticking to what feels right for you” will pay off in the long run… and he was hoping that the “long run” would not be too much longer than a couple months.

To combat the challenge of thinking about everything that could go wrong, Dean decided to take some key actions ….

… I chose to eliminate three things. I stopped reading the newspapers (except for the sports section because t hat always has stories of great achievement). I stopped watching the news. News casts in general are designed to focus on all that is wrong with the world. For some reason, humans have a morbid appetite for death and destruction, but I didn’t need to be one of them any longer. Third, I decided to carefully control who I shared my story with.

That last one was the most challenging because what we do constitutes most of what we talk about with people, especially those we first meet. We are identified and continue to identify ourselves by our work. I had no work to speak of and as a result I discovered that many people just didn’t get what I was doing nor did they understand why I would be doing it considering the economic climate.

I found I was spending an inordinate amount of my time justifying my rationale for my actions. What rankled people most was the fact I had no answers for them. People need to see a clear destination in a story and mine had none.

I had no idea where I was going, how I was going to earn my living nor did I have any prospects on the horizon.

Quite frankly, people thought I was nuts.

Eliminating these things helped improve his focus and helped him create “the happy ending” to his story… eventually.

How?
First Dean started a blog… which he eventually quit to focus on income-generating activities. He then used his network of contacts and made a proposal to work for a friend who owned a business. His proposal was clearly focused on what he wanted to achieve and how he wanted to work … and it was immediately accepted and he has been successful in that position.

Dean also went on to launch a new blog called Quitbit.

It is about the power of quitting. I am looking to create a movement to get people to quit stuff that is holding them back from being who they truly want to be. It is addition by subtraction.

Because in the end we have all the tools we need to succeed.

What do you need to quit?
One thing I’m going to quit is … procrastination! I am going subtract activities that do not focus on my primary goals and work towards being more “true to me”.

What does that mean?
For me, it means that I will speak more often and develop more workshops & seminars (which will also help my cash flow). I will also streamline my real estate systems so that they work more smoothly and I accomplish more in less time. This will free up “thinking time” for me to apply to creative endeavors within real estate, art, speaking and more. It should be a lot of fun!
How about you?
What do you need to quit so that you can focus more energy on things that are truly important?

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