I used to feel like the weight of the world was always on my shoulders. Coming from a not very wealthy family, I thought I would have to work hard and somehow be the savior so I focused on materialism. Growing up, being around smart and successful people, I thought that I would have to fit in and belong so I lied. Being impatient and naive, I took shortcuts to get what I wanted so I cheated. When things started coming together, I became a afraid of failing so I stopped living and regretted it. When someone did me wrong, the anger made me want revenge so I could never forgive and forget. In reality, none of these things were barriers in my life. They were not bricks that I had to carry on my back. All of this was in my head. I forgot to live lightly. The forces of my mind weighted so heavy on it that it weighed down my body.
Be Light with Less Stuff
When we do not know exactly what we want in life, we default to wanting everything. If we want everything, the solution to that problem is simply to make more money. Need a new car, make more money. Need a bigger house, make more money. Want a vacation, make more money. But keep in mind, in the end, it's all about stuff. For what reason? we don't know. We just wanted more stuff and money because someone told me that it would make life better. But no one told us that once you got some stuff that you would get bored and needed more stuff.
I used to be so obsessed with the idea of more. I had so much pressure to keep getting more and more stuff. After reading The Magical Art of Tidying by Marie Kondo, I started getting rid of stuff. That was when I realized I had so much stuff. I wondered why I had so many shoes that I didn't wear. So many books that I didn't read. So many people that I called friends that I didn't talk to. I wanted a house, then a vacation home. I wanted a new car, then another car. So many obligations. I realized getting rid of stuff was liberating. In the movie Fight Club, Tyler Duran gives to himself the ulimate revealation about materialism, "The things you own, end up owning you." The more that I threw away, the less that I had to worry about it. When I cancelled the music subscription that I rarely used, I did not have to pay for it anymore. When I threw out the shoes that I wore once a year, it no longer took up space in my closet. When I threw out a shelf of books, I no longer had to remove dust from them anymore. When I decided that friend was more of an acquaintance, I never needed to do small talk anymore. In the end, my life just became not lighter with less stuff physically but mentally it felt like there was less to think about. I was living without not just physical baggage but mental baggage as well.
Be Light with Less Validation
For the most of my life, I always knew that I never belonged in any group very well. It took a while to realize that it was fine to not belong to every group. In life, we all end up walking our own unique paths and no one can walk for us. It is natural to have the drive of belonging to become paramount in our lives. It helps us become safer in big groups. It helps us have a easier life. It helps us feel more self worth. Wanting to belong is not a problem because we should want to belong in our loving families or surrounded by like minded good people. The problem comes when we want to be liked by everyone. But we are limited as human beings. We have only so many hours and so much capacity. We cannot be everything to everyone. If we are trying to do that, we end up having to pretend and exaggerate. Sometimes those little white lies become big monstrous ones. We sometimes begin to believe our lies. Keeping track of all those lies and trying to please everyone becomes this heavy mental and physical burden that will eventually burn us out. One day, we figure out that we are not even true to ourselves. Living a lie. Once I realized that it was temporally and physically impossible to please everyone, I just decided that I should only care about belonging and being liked by the people who loved me for me. It liberated me from the burden of what other people thought. I did not have to try to please and thus exaggerate reality for validation. Less lies means less things to keep track of but also living in the ocean of truth makes you feel like you are floating; weightless in life.
Be Light with Less Guilt
Sometimes there is so much pressure to just get somewhere. When are you going to get rich? When are you going to retire? When are you going to get married? When are you going to do everything on your bucket list? Why are we all in such a rush? We are already here. We are already living. Alive. Capable. With plenty of opportunity.
In the rush of life, we forget our values and take shortcuts. We cut in line. We cheat. We step over people. We ignore people; sometimes when they need us the most. We kiss the ass of people who can help us and forget the ones who need help. When you do those things, you wrong people and you carry a bit of guilt. We are in such a rush that we forget to right those wrongs but when we are so desperate for something, we do not even have time to say you are sorry. In the end, ask why are you in such a rush? The destination is not as important as the people along the way. Slow down. Say sorry when you're wrong. Pay back people that you are indebted to. Fix the problems that you caused as best as you can. I realized after failing and failing that shortcuts only took me further away from life. I took people for granted and overlooked important values. Once you realize, you can start mending fences and live a life with less guilt. You did no wrong and nothing is holding you down.
Live Light with Less Fear & Regret
Once you get something, the fear of loss becomes great. You finally have some respect. You finally have some money. You finally have some love. There were a lot of times in my life where I thought I did well and I somewhat made it. Perhaps not made it but I was in a good spot. Sometimes it was just a lie to myself that I had something but I really had nothing. Thinking that way makes people complacent and in someways scared of losing things. We stop taking risk and left us with the regret of the possibilities. I would say to myself that back in the day, I would have done this or that. But now I just sat around waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen. When you do that, you are living in fear of failure and that fear of failure will end up in regret. For you entire life, you will look back and think of what ifs instead of living in the possibilities. Jeff Bezos lives by the regret minimization framework where you project yourself out to your old age and ask yourself if you will regret a decision. If yes, then just do it. If you say no your whole life, you will be living with the burden of regret. Then regret will follow you with every aspect of your life. Why didn't I find the love of my life. Why didn't I do what I was passionate about? Why didn't I travel the world? Live with less regret and there will be less holding you down.
Live Light with Less Grudges & More Forgiveness
So often, the world seems so selfish. Dog eats dog. Eye for an eye. We climb over each other's backs during times of desperation. Often we take rejection personally and in essence, it is merely someones opinion. We hold grudges and seek revenge. We think the world is against us and it is ultimately unfair. We hold the heat in our hearts and it burns dark. People always say the greatest revenge is massive success but who cares about revenge. Just do let it go. Forgive and go on with your life. When I was younger, every time someone wronged me, I used to want to get someone back. They captured my mind and my heart. They forced me to become distracted and unfocused but most likely the other person might not have known that they wronged me or probably did not care because they were fighting their own demons. In the end, when you hold a grudge, it weighs on your mind and your heart. It eventually takes precious time away from your life and weighs on your body. If you simply say, I forgive you then all that hate goes away and you can just live freely again. Hate is heavy. Love is light.
Just Let it Go
There's so many things that we can easily let go. Our grudges, regrets, guilt, need for validation and materialism are all mental responses to all the negative external traps in the world. Most of the time, bad things just happen to us or we bring it upon ourselves but we can respond negatively with hate or neglect which results in a grudge, some guilt and regret. Or we can just respond in a way that is open, honest, and loving. If we do this, we do not carry any of these things on our shoulders as we leave. We leave and go about our lives living lightly.