Tell me about something you’ve removed from your life
I’ve started asking a new question of everybody that comes on my podcast and it’s quickly becoming my favorite.
“Tell me about something that you’ve removed from your life”
Their answers always produce great “tape” (material for the show). You usually get a sense of their priorities because they have to explain what problem led them to removing this thing from their life. It almost always comes with a story:
Before I removed this thing I was … Then I realized … So I removed this thing … As a result I …
I usually ask a series of complementary questions that are about additions. What’s your favorite new time saving technique? Tell me about the best thing you’ve purchased recently. What habits are you working on?
While I love these questions, they’re not quite as foolproof. Occasionally, a guest will have added something to their life that produced life altering changes. On the other hand, a guest always has something they’ve removed from their life that produced life altering changes.
We’re conditioned to want more, better, faster, but sometimes the best way to achieve our goals of creativity, productivity, happiness, “success”, is to remove the things that don’t contribute, or, even worse, slow us down.
Before we try to do more and faster, we should think whether we should do it at all.
Before we try to add a new exercise to our routine, we should focus on doing the important exercises well.
Before we scour our environment for things that might bring us joy, we should remove our mindsets and attitudes that produce suffering.
Removing things is less expensive than adding things and enables more space to embrace what remains.
So, if you don’t get a chance to come on the podcast, I’ll ask you now. Tell me about something that you’ve removed from your life.