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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, body art, dancing, self-empowerment, coaching, effective communication and, last but not least, vegan gluten-free food and good movies.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Why decluttering one's life, one day at the time, could be the most important thing you will ever do - Part 3. Emotional minimalism

Do you know the difference between speed and velocity?
How fast are you going through life and changes, and which one is your personal velocity?
Last but not least, who is dictating the pace of all this and what is non-negotiable to you?

US columnist, speaker and business writer Dale Dauten, author - among others books - of The Max Strategy (1996), The Gifted Boss (1999), Better Than Perfect (2006) and Mandatory Greatness (2013), famously said:

A meeting moves at the speed of the slowest mind in the room.

[The famous railway Tunnel of Love,
located between Klevan and Orzhiv (Ukraine)]

This is true for meetings, lessons, classes, workshops and any kind of social situations where you have different people spending time and sharing experiences together and therefore generating some kind of group dynamics.
This is true in your private life as well.

This means that, if you are very fast but you deal with people way slower than you, in the long run, you can either keep your pace while losing the people around you, or keep the people around you while slowing down and changing your pace, in order to meet them where they are and/or to wait for them.

Be demanding and set high standards. Do not be risk averse, because you will never have perfect information. Speed of execution is as important as quality of execution, and even failure can be a learning experience.
Johan de Nysschen

It is up to you to decide, and it usually not an easy choice, and above all never a choice where the mentality "one size/fits all" can apply. On one hand, there is no black and white logic, there is no right and wrong, and yet, on the other hand, there is always a price to be paid.
Most of the time, this price is going to be paid in emotions, solitude, and sense of/lack of belonging.

["The less you respond to negative people,
the more peaceful life becomes" (Karen Salmansohn)]

Emotions, even the "bad" ones, are actually not bad per se and they can help you to decide how to move forward in your life and which direction could be a good fit for you.

The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you.
Anthony J. Mahavorick
better known as Anthony "Tony" Robbins

In my humble opinion, like with almost everything else in life, it is merely a matter of knowing which price you are willing and able to pay. And being honest, with yourself and with others, about the price and your intentions.
Both price tags and intentions matter a lot and Seth Godin beautifully explains in his post The pleasure/happiness gap:

More than ever before, we control our brains by controlling what we put into them. Choosing the media, the interactions, the stories and the substances we ingest changes what we experience.

[Like electricity, emotions run fast, spread fast 
and are invisible to the eye, and yet very present.
From which kind of emotions do you want to be infected?
Image credit: ISO Republic]

How carefully are you picking the thoughts, the ideas, the input and the people in your life?

Most negative thinking was inherited or internalized, and there’s no reason to believe it.
Ora Nadrich

The people we surround ourselves with play a big role in our lives.
They are able to leave us better than they found us, or to leave us... feeling even worse than before.
They can give us energy o take it from us like the so-called "emotional vampires".
They can help us to fight and defeat doubts and negative thinking, or they can feed them and sharpen our fears.

What do I want to feel? What do I want to think? What do I want my focus to be?

[This beautiful quote in Spanish says, more or less:
"It's not that I don't want... it's that I don't want to want
Thanks to Inma for it!]

While practicing emotional minimalism, my previous guidelines about minimalism still apply:

- Understanding the why, the what for, the reasons behind every relationship in your life. Are these people adding value to your life and bringing you forward?
- Focusing on what matters the most to you, because of you and not because of what everybody else says. Be aware of peer pressure and unhealthy group dynamics and decide for yourself.
- Practicing self-awareness on a regular basis. For example, you could ask yourself once in a while "What do I feel, when I spend time/interact with person XY?".
- Knowing what is non-negotiable for you. In any kind of relationship, there are items that are either non-negotiable or nice to have or a plus. Do you know yours?
- Going to the core of your own desires, expectations, and vision. Which kind of relationships and people do you want to have in your life?
- Identifying wants and needs and being very selective about them. Can you differentiate between short-term gratification and long-term satisfaction?
- Choosing quality over quantity. At least to me, life is not about how many faceless Facebook friends you have. 
- Avoiding the excess and eliminating the redundant from your life. This can also refer to acquaintances or people that you can't relate to any longer. In German, for these cases, there is the expression "sich auseinander leben".
- Being open to change how things have been so far, for you. Which new people in your life can make a difference and help you to grow, and how different from you they can be?
- Stepping outside of your comfort zone. Relationships are all about OOAK scenarios, exceptions, new experiences, new settings... Scary, and yet very rewarding in the end.
- Enjoying the whole process. With how much uncertainty, change and emotional intensity can you deal, while enjoying it?

If I should sum up the whole concept of emotional minimalism to a sentence, to me would be:

A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.
Henrik Ibsen [1828-1906]

And then decide for yourself if they are worth your time, energy, emotions, effort, and care.

This one is for Ollie L. Grazie mille.

Tags: Minimalism, Minimalism life, Minimalist principles, Alternative lifestyle, Decluttering, Emotional minimalism

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