Jacob and I were discussing material possessions yesterday. To reduce stress in this busy age, should you get rid of almost everything? I realized that for me, such minimalism is not the answer. For me, contentment differs from stress by a very practical factor of 2, which I summarize in this personal version of the Micawber principle*: Drawers half-full, result happiness. Drawers overflowing, result misery.
What goes for drawers and cupboards applies to time, too. If all your hours are scheduled, you’re miserable, but if half your hours are scheduled, you’re stimulated. I don’t want empty drawers and I don’t want empty days. I want plenty of life and plenty of possessions. You just have to keep on top of that factor of 2 to make sure you are the master, not them.
*From David Copperfield: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.”
[27 July 2014]