Have you ever felt an urgent need for physical space? Ever felt the need to expand your mind as well? Ever been craving to learn something new? If your answer is always yes, keep reading…

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — GeorgeBernard Shaw

Often we don’t really notice the extend of the environment we live in, our home, our work, even the city we live in. We get caught in our day-to-day through our routines, habits, responsibilities and lifestyle — everything seems absolutely normal. Yet personally, at a certain point I started to unconsciously experience a “suffocating” feeling.

I’m saying “unconsciously” because only today I am aware that it was “there” — around me and inside me. Are you starting to understand what I mean?

No? Neither did I back then! Only after manifesting itself repeatedly, feeling hold back, unable to develop and challenge myself, only then I started to notice that something significant had to change. That same space, those same environments, everything I had, was becoming meaningless to me.

“I’m tired about all this stuff I see everywhere I look” — that’s what I thought! I looked at that old Guitar and I remembered: “That’s my brother’s!”, has to go! Next, that nice retro-style desk, “I don’t have space for it”, give it to someone! That comfortable space-taking Chesterfield sofa, replace it! That pile of old DVDs… “I still have DVDs?!”

 

Awareness for mental space

Obviously, just getting rid of things won’t make a significant difference and this is not what I intend to transmit. For me it was rather the start of a journey to greater self-awareness and understanding of what I really value and how I actually want to live.

How much am I really learning about myself?

After gaining more space I observed myself in it and I started to feel more comfortable, not just physically, but mentally too. Now I seemed more creatively inspired, I had again so many interests that motivated me and I couldn’t wait to do everything I wanted. Procrastination was gone!

I went scuba diving, improved my French, learned more about executive psychology, talked with people about collective intelligence, signed up to yoga lessons, explored volunteering projects and let myself be guided to mindfulness activities — my mind was creatively expanding again…

Consciousness of being, not having

Once you remove all the clutter around you and gain space, this reality then has a direct impact on your mental state and creativity as well. It provides you with a certain readiness and openness to discover something new that gives you greater meaning. It’s this process of exploring, learning and challenging yourself that enables you to evolve as a person and ultimately to achieve the growth that you desire and that you are truly passionate about.

We’re human beings, not human havings!

If you’re then able to take some distance, re-observe yourself and take your time for reflection, you get the chance to encounter yourself as how you truly ARE. What you’re good and bad at, what you like and dislike, what attracts and repels you, what you really want and don’t want at all anymore…

In this state you can appreciate that the secret of real happiness lies naturally within the human as a being, not as a having. So, get out of your shell! Be the person that you want to be, remove all the clutter around you that holds you back from truly being. Make mental space for creativity and you’ll again be able to learn something new and different — adding another ingredient that makes up who you are.

6 key take-aways

  1. Look around you and notice all those elements in your surroundings that are just “nice to have” or that aren’t used actively & regularly.
  2. Take a decision whether these things can actually bring you value or not for your being — today! If not, get rid of them, donate them or store them in your basement.
  3. Observe yourself in your “new” environment over the next couple of days and notice how this “new normal” makes you feel.
  4. Now ask yourself: What am I learning about myself? How could I challenge myself now? What inspires me? How would that help others? Build on your previous observation, explore and be creative!
  5. Get into action mode and put these new “ingredients” together! Choose how you really want to be.
  6. Enjoy what you do! ?

It’s this process of exploring, learning and challenging yourself that enables you to evolve as a person and ultimately to achieve the growth that you desire and that you are truly passionate about.