How to Own Less: The 10/10 Possessions Theory
Our material possessions mean a great deal to us. After all, we work hard for them. We buy them (and maybe we spend a lot of time planning and researching those purchases). We clean them, fix them, store them, insure them, and take them with us whenever we move house.
They must be pretty important, right?
How valuable is that stuff – really?
The 10/10 Possessions Theory is a challenge suggested by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, the writers, filmmakers, and public speakers known as The Minimalists.
They ask us to determine if those things we spend so much of our life energy acquiring and maintaining are really as important as we think they are.
Grab a piece of paper and write down your ten most expensive purchases from the past decade. These are probably material items, such as your house, car, furniture, jewelry, technology, or some other possessions you own or have owned in the last ten years. Maybe your list will include a wedding gown, hobby equipment, or new appliances. Think of the ten biggest-ticket items.
Now turn the paper over and make another list: ten things that add the most value to your life. This list might include beloved people, special places, or favorite rituals and experiences like early morning walks with a loved one, watching your child play her violin, a dinner or other get-together with the extended family, or something else. Take time to think of the ten things that make the biggest positive contribution to your happiness every day.
My ten most valuable things include my husband, kids, and grandkids, some dear friends, writing this blog and my books, singing Mozart, visiting the northern California coast, going to the theater, green hills and blooms in the spring and crisp weather and color in the fall, and a couple of other intangible but essential items.
Be honest with yourself when you're making your lists. You're going to put the Minimalists' 10/10 Possessions Theory to the test.
Did you find, like I did, that your two lists have nothing in common? Then you've helped prove the 10/10 theory.
Now... what are you going to do about it?
Related article: Throw a Packing Party and Gain a Simpler Life Today
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