Don’t Stuff the Bag

Some thoughts about unpacking a busy life

Words by Andrew Rocha

Standing on a moving walkway in an airport with luggage
Photography by White Field Photo

A person’s relationship with their material possessions can be seen at your local airport. People try to cram as many belongings as possible into a packed bag, hoping they can zip it up and satisfy the airline’s luggage policy. Any item that has the potential to be helpful goes in the bag just in case we need it at our destination.

I used to fill my life with seemingly helpful commitments, goals, habits, and obligations, hoping they would help me become a better person.

I filled my calendar with tasks to be “productive.”

I filled my reading list with recommended book titles.

I filled my phone with podcasts to stay informed.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of these aspirations, but I was only looking to add more to my life. I was cramming everything in as if I were stuffing a bag, not considering what was already there and what made sense for my own journey.

Looking back, some of the best changes in my life have started with less.

Letting go of useless tasks helped me focus on my values.

Deleting my book list helped me find the joy in reading again.

Removing my podcast queue helped me become more mindful and present.

This year, I plan to add more value and joy to my life by removing the clutter. I don’t plan on flying anywhere anytime soon, but my life will still be lighter because of it.

Andrew Rocha

Andrew runs the Successful Steps Blog, where he writes about achieving success one step at a time. When he isn’t writing, he can often be found walking, reading, or being in nature.


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