Rethinking Necessity in a World of Abundance

As I strive to become more conscious in the way I live my life I find myself rethinking what I think is necessary. When you are surrounded with abundance of wealth, information, distractions, tools, and services it can be easy to start thinking that all these things are truly vital. While some of them may be, most of them are not. Figuring out what is truly required to do your best work or be your best self is what living consciously is all about.

I think what really caused me to start to question my needs is the move I made to my new apartment a couple months ago.

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

Every type of work has certain tools that are truly vital to executing the job correctly. Carpenters need all of their hammers, drills, saws and other building tools. Seamstresses and tailors need fabric, thread, needles, sewing machines and whatever else is inherent to making and adjusting clothing. Jobs like this are pretty clear-cut with what tools are truly necessary. It's these "information worker" jobs where the line starts to get a little fuzzy.

What does an internet marketer need to fulfill his job requirements? What does an IT worker need? What about a blogger?

Remember how I said I moved into a new apartment a few months ago? At the time, I decided to not sign up for internet service. I was super poor and decided that I could use my parents' house, the public library, and other free wi-fi hotspots for my internet needs. I figured I'd conduct this little experiment for a month or so before caving in and getting internet hooked up at my apartment.

That was 5 months ago.

INTERNET-LITE BLOGGING

I'm a blogger and I do not have home internet access. What I thought was absolutely necessary to my career as a blogger turned out to be much more of a luxury than I thought. Rethinking what you believe to be necessary is truly at the core of living a conscious life. Try these steps to help break out of the advertiser and society induced fog that is currently clouding your vision:

  1. Pick an area of your life to examine: It could be your job (or even just an aspect of your job). You could try looking at your routines (like what you do after work) or even the way you eat. Almost any area of your life is open to examination.
  2. Write down what the absolute core of this area is: If it's your job, what do you actually have to DO on a daily basis to complete your work? For me, even though blogging requires access to the internet to post articles, almost ALL of the true work that goes into blogging, the writing, brainstorming and creation of products can be done without the internet. If you're looking at an area of your life other than work, think about this question: what would the "ideal" you do/act/look like in this situation?
  3. Honestly look at how you currently approach the situation: How do you currently behave? What is distracting you from focusing on the core essence of a specific area in your life? Is it a bad habit (or a series of bad habits)? Is it unnecessary distractions? Is it a lack of clarity of what needs to be done? Try not to pull any punches with yourself at this step. You want to have as clear a picture as possible about what is keeping you from your best.
  4. Identify what's truly necessary and boot the rest: In step 2 you figured out your core action or responsibility and in step 3 you figured out what is keeping you from that. It's time to use that knowledge to get rid of all that unnecessary "stuff" that is keeping you from your best. Be ruthless. Although, if you're worried you might eliminate something that you will truly miss, try just putting it away in storage for awhile. That way you can have a test run without it in your life. Chances are you won't miss it. If you're eliminating bad habits or trying to build new ones, commit for just a week at first. Give yourself permission to go back to your old ways if after a week you hate it. Again, once you start seeing the positive change I don't think you'll be going back to your old ways.

TRUE CONSCIOUSNESS REQUIRES ONLY THE TRULY NECESSARY

Necessary is not what the marketers tell us. It's not what the T.V. commercials berate us with, what our friends insist upon, what we see on billboards or in the newspaper. Necessary is only decided when you take an honest look at your own life and make some decisions. You get to decide what's necessary. Most people don't realize they have that power. You truly do and it is one of the most important realizations to living a conscious life.

Have you decided what's necessary yet?