I have been reading a book called The Art of Non-Conformity, by Chris Guillebeau. It’s a great book about living life on your own terms, but he has a chapter on simplicity that I really like. You see, to truly live your life on your own terms requires either a HUGE bank account or a radical life philosophy.

Obviously, if you have a HUGE bank account, you can choose the house you live in, the work you do and even the people you hang out with. But most of us are not independently wealthy. So we have to find alternative ways to live the life that WE choose …instead of the one chosen for us.

One of the ways you can implement this is to eliminate the unnecessary things in your life. Two of the most helpful questions in this regard are:

“Why should I do this?”

“What will happen if I don’t?”

Should you do this? Will it get you closer to life you want to live? Or is it just busy work?

In fact, if you want to get serious, you can take the second question even further when you encounter something you don’t want to do. “Will the world end if I don’t do this? Will someone die?”

Assuming the answer is no, you can safely place the commitment in the unnecessary column.

As you begin down this road, you will quickly learn how to tell the necessary from the unnecessary obligations. And then your next step will be to say no to as many things as possible. Because saying no is critical to setting the terms of your life. And the more you say no to the demands on your time, the more you can shut out distractions that keep you from your key priorities.

So spend some time thinking about what your life would look like if it were lived “on your terms”. Then start saying no to anything that gets in the way!


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