I was just thinking about the post I wrote on design by removal. It occurred to me that this lesson may apply to life as well.
That is, if we want to improve our design, i.e. life, then we should be asking “what can be removed?” not “what can be added?”
This reminds me of a chat with James the other day:
me: Erin, who we work with…she has a great screensaver…have you seen it?
James: No I have not
me: It says…”Do more of what you love”
James: I like that.
me: Me too
James: I decided to quit my last job because of a guy’s Skype mood message. It was “Happiness is a choice”
What we’re talking about here is changing the proportion of enjoyable vs. not enjoyable. We want to get as close to 100% enjoyable as possible.
All too common, we try to maximize enjoyment by just getting more of it. We fill our cups and fill our cups and fill our cups with more and more, trying to make it so that the enjoyable overcomes the not so enjoyable. But, then we become over-worked, over-scheduled, over-committed and over-everything.
That approach has it it all wrong. We don’t need more enjoyment…we need less not enjoyment.
So, there is another approach: remove the not enjoyable. And, let the enjoyable, however much or little of it you may have, fill whatever time you have.