Aaaargh. Don’t get me started on complexity; don’t get me started on “Stuff”.
Everybody wants to be successful. The bad news is, we are trained by society to associate success with “Stuff”.
Not just in the material sense (fancy cars, big houses, trophy wives, expensive mistresses, hot tubs, designer furniture, designer clothing, designer kitchens with Italian marble floors, fine wines, art collections etc), but also “Stuff to do”:
Dinner parties, ladies’ luncheons, social climbing, networking, cocktail parties, second homes, community involvement, political activisim, PTA, Soccer Mom’ing, complicated love affairs that go nowhere, unsuitable daillances, social intrigues, obsessive gossiping, cooking classes, yoga classes, pottery classes, creative writing classes, tennis lessons, tango lessons, poker games, theatre, symphonies, art openings, magazine launch parties, opera, epicurian delights, horse breeding, ethnic restaurants, wife swapping, cult joining, celebrity worshipping, name-dropping, online forums, online rants, online dating, Instagramming, Twittering, Facebooking, blogging, cool hunting, culture-vulturing, Summers in Tuscany, Autumns in New York, Winters in Colorado, weekends in San Francisco… a totally full schedule, jam-packed with “Stuff”, all day long.
And we don’t just stop there! Because we now need our total, never-ending “Stuff” fix, it’s no longer enough to have our personal lives crammed with “Stuff”, we need to cram it into our professional lives, as well:
More product features, more product upgrades, more marketing campaigns, more advertising campaigns, more junk mail, more focus groups, more endless meetings that start at 7am for no reason, more memos, more mission statements, more white papers, more working weekends, more brainstorming sessions, more blue-sky thinking, more team-building exercises, more PowerPoint slides, more sharp-dressing employees with fancy job titles, more visually-pleasing personal assistants, more prestigious office addresses, more buzzwords, more catchphrases, more infographics, more international conference calls, more office politics, more hysterical emails sent at 2.am.
Stuff, stuff, stuff…
Which is kinda strange, considering the most successful and happy people I know generally don’t live that way. The most successful and happy people I know are very good at ruthlessly editing out “Stuff” from their lives. They tend to live calmly and quietly, like a New England pond on an early morning in August.
Leaving only time for the important “Stuff”…