Let Go of What’s Not Important to Focus on What Is

AROUND THE ROOM ARE OBJECTS collected and pictures taken, still asleep under the cover of fleeting darkness. I should probably be sleeping too.

This is my favorite time of day, when I can feel the sun gently fill the room with its morning glow.

My room reminds me of how times have changed, and I with them. Change is healthy; we must move forward to become a more understanding version of ourselves.

Yet, it’s how we remain unchanged which makes us who we are. The subtleties we foster which give us our distinction, the essence of our being which harmonizes with the world —  through all that we endure, our untouchable core remains strong.

The journey is about connecting with that essence and building on it, to let go of what doesn’t bring you peace to thrive, as you.

Not needing things, acceptance, or approval, your essence is all you’ll ever need. 

On the walls are pictures and art that makes me think. Some books are stacked and shuffled, and some lean against each other like best friends.

These accumulated memories and objects evoke emotions in me, like a garden where my character grows.

There’s a part of me in the tokens of travel and the pages of the books I love. I think back on where the pages turned, memories that will always occupy my heart.

With each chapter left behind, I’ve taken a step forward.

These things bring me joy, but they’re just that — things — meant to come and go, like each season of life.

As a kid, I imagined I’d grow up and strive for a big house. I had no idea how I’d get there — hell — I still don’t.

It’s okay, because I’m after something different. I’m after the intangible, searching further within myself to discover what I’m made of.

I thought I wanted material things. Although as I get older, I realize I don’t.

Things can’t provide meaning; while your things speak to who you are, they don’t define you.

Meaning comes from the inner spark that ignites when you’re truly living, when the spirit within you is given a chance to breathe.

Finding what makes life worthwhile can be as straightforward or complicated as you make it. Often, it’s doing less, wanting less, caring about less, that provides the greatest peace.

This doesn’t mean stop being human. It means reflecting on what you genuinely love and focusing on that with the entirety of your being.

As Mark Manson delicately puts it in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck:

The world is constantly telling you that the path to a better life is more, more, more…
The problem is that giving too many fucks is bad for your mental health. It causes you to dedicate your life to chasing a mirage of happiness and satisfaction. The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it's giving a fuck about less, about only what is true and immediate and important.

Waking at dawn to put my feelings on the page — that’s what I care about.

Time continues to move forward, but right now is temporary; writing helps me understand how essential that is.

Kamakura, Japan
Kamakura, Japan

If you’re only thinking about what looks like success, you’ll go through life without knowing what success means to you.

How you look at the sky when nobody’s around, how you laugh and cry when thinking of the past, how you lose yourself watching the sun rise and fall — success is finding joy in the subtleties of living taken for granted.

Through the highs and lows, your heart remains as perfect as imperfect can be. To love the imperfection that makes us human beings — that’s success.

We must thrive on being different. This means caring less about what’s unnecessary and loving ourselves, others, and this planet more.

Just getting up in the morning feels like an uphill climb when we’re afraid of what lies ahead.

We believe achievements get us closer to our goals, and that happiness comes from achieving those goals which society deems relevant.

Obstacles are necessary, as a life without some push back is bereft of purpose. But it’s our choice to see them as never-ending problems, or as a chance to smile and question with an open mind.

When we simplify and let our mind and body be, we’re able to focus on what matters and take on those challenges as only we can.

Often, progressing can mean doing nothing other than letting yourself take a deep breath to enjoy where you are and how far you’ve come.

Right now, give yourself a chance to relax.

A future where I don’t have a big house or don’t appear successful doesn’t scare me anymore.

There’s meaning all around us, but it’s not in those things.

Meaning comes from how you connect with the world and with others; it’s how you change people’s lives by being you.

It’s what you make of today, and how your spirit works in harmony with what you do have.

We’re constantly scaling a mountain that’s impossible to climb. There’s so much pressure to keep moving that we forget how it feels to be still.

When we take life slowly, we’re able to turn around from the mountain’s face to watch the clouds dissolve and see what’s really there.

When you let go of what doesn’t serve you — the pressure to be perfect, the need to get ahead, the desire for things —  you may see that unclouded peak with your own two eyes for the first time.

 Now, it’s scalable, it’s beautiful, and you’re ready to savor the road ahead. But you may decide to turn around to enjoy the view for a while.

 Maybe you’ll see something that nobody else has seen, a fundamental part of you that’s always been there and is ready to shine. 

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