I saw this great little meme online recently and thought there was so much wisdom in it.
As you may know, Marie Kondo, creator of the KonMari method is all about decluttering your space (and therefore your mind). She encourages us to discard things we don’t need, organize what we have and continually ask ourselves “does it spark joy?”. This is of course a complete simplification of her method (and you can read more here).
What I like about Marie Kondo is that she asks us to imagine an ideal self or an ideal life and discard those things that do not promote or remind us of that. “Stuff” is emotionally draining – we can easily feel overwhelmed if we do not focus mainly on what is important
This clever little graphic suggests there is much wisdom in this for our use of social media as well. Do we follow people who anger us? Make us feel bad about ourselves? Do we follow brands that promote bad habits or whose values do not match our own?
Do we scroll mindlessly, wasting hours of our time each day (check your phone usage if you don’t believe me!), or do we focus on staying, connected, informed and inspired? What is the purpose of following a particular account? Perhaps if you can’t answer this, it might be worth reconsidering.
I have to admit to curating some of the accounts I follow on Instagram a little more selectively since looking at this.
And it did make me wonder – are there other parts of our lives we could take a KonMari approach to?
Are there people who make us feel worse about ourselves and the world? Could we afford to spend a bit less time with them? Change how we interact with them?
Are their habits and practices that don’t contribute to our ideal self? Could you shave away some unnecessary or destructive behaviours?
Do you do too much? Are there things you could minimize and simplify as a choice to rush less and be more mindful?
This is a really good line of thoughts for parents these days – who seem to be under pressure to make sure their children do a variety of extra-curricular activities whilst maintaining their grades and also having time for play. But what about your time for yourself? We all need that. And children (younger and older) need time to be… well… children. We don’t need to timetable their lives away, nor our own.
And in the same vein, could you use the concept of sparking joy to adopt better behaviours? Can you combine the things in your life with things that spark joy? If you like listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, could you do this whilst walking the dog, doing the ironing or cleaning the bathroom? Could you combine a workout with a catch up with a friend?
Sometimes when we focus on less, but choose the things that make us feel positive emotions more, we can create richer lives with less emotional wastage and more sense of purpose.
So that’s your challenge for the week! Focus on what sparks joy!