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January 20, 2020
Word of the Week: Simplify
As I was preparing for my graduate school finals back in December, I turned on my iPad to discover that when Andrew had logged me out of my account a few weeks prior, none of the notes I had taken in 2019 saved. Every single one was gone. All of my class notes. All of my biz notes. All of the notes from the courses and trainings I had attended across the year.
At first, I felt a wave of panic (mixed with anger):
How could this be?
Had I just wasted an entire year of my life?
This is all Andrew’s fault.
Would I ever get back the knowledge that I had lost?
I am so stupid.
What was I going to do?
But then, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I had learned everything I was supposed to. Nothing was “lost.” And if I was meant to revisit any of the material again, I would re-learn it with fresh eyes. Not from my old notes.
That’s where I think we’ve got the learning process a little backwards. We aren’t meant to retain everything that we learn in a book, class, or training. Just what’s important and relevant to each of our individual journeys.
Besides, knowledge doesn’t just vanish. Every little insight stays with us in some way, whether we are aware of it or not. We draw upon it when we see the world in a slightly different way. Or ask a question we might not have otherwise asked. Or dive deeper on a topic we didn’t know about before. Or share an opinion on something we hadn’t realize we cared about.
So instead of having a meltdown about losing all of my notes (which I 100% would have done in the past and was two seconds away from doing this time), I used it as a time to simplify my life. I gathered up all of my old notebooks, journals, and binders lying around our apartment and went through every last sheet of paper. I tore out a few pages and kept a few of my favorite articles but for the most part, I chucked it all (four garbage bags full to be exact).
It is a liberating feeling to trust that you have all the knowledge you need inside of you. The books, the classes, the trainings…these are merely activators of your own inner wisdom. And when you can trust in your own inner wisdom, you realize that you don’t need to lean so heavily on external resources as much as you thought. Whatever you remember at the time is exactly right.
Ask Yourself: Are you someone who tends to take a lot of notes or do you trust that you’ll receive whatever information you need at the time? What areas of your life could use some simplifying?
Weekly Mantra: Less is more.