When Harry Met Sally was one of my favourite movies, back in the day. If you’ve seen the film, the above scene of Harry stalking Sally in the personal growth section of the bookshop will be familiar to you. For me it’s all too familiar.
There’s something so optimistic about reading one of these kind of books. In the last year I have read a few – one was the excellent Willpower by Roy F Baumeister and John Tierney. It gives you very useful tips on how to master your thoughts and resist temptation. Whilst reading it I thought, this is excellent, I must read it once a year to invigorate my willpower – will I? No. Oh the irony.
Another was by Ariana Huffington (founder of the Huffington Post) called Thrive. She’s a bit of a human dynamo, Here’s what I took away from Thrive; life is short, don’t be that person who never enjoys the now, who doesn’t pay attention to your nearest and dearest. Be present, you may not be here next week. I hope Ms Huffington rereads her own book once a year.
But one of the most interesting books is one that is selling like hot cakes at the moment, it’s called The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Ms Kondo is a professional tidier, her business is going in to homes where the owners need help to reduce the amount of clutter they are holding on to. The main argument of her book is that we are all living with too much, we are moving into bigger houses with better storage to accommodate our too much, we are buying more and ever cleverer storage for our too much but it’s not making us happy. So why not make it less – much less. Then, instead of tidying or feeling overwhelmed by our over stuffed homes, we can have time to do more. She has a point. Ms Kondo’s mantra is, does the possesion bring you joy? If not, and if you don’t need it, dispose of it. The author acknowledges it isn’t easy, and that sometimes we hold on to things because we don’t want to let go of the past – or are scared of the future. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who feels overwhelmed by too much stuff.
All this reading may be classic displacement activity, but I will have tidy cupboards!