Which side of ‘stuff’ are you on: logic or emotion
The world is divided into two kinds of people: keepers and tossers. I’m a keeper.
My home and my spaces are full of objects of memory. I have piles of things. Boxes of things. Bookcases of things. Walls hung with things. And closets full of things. My personal things. My stuff.
Many people would look at my things and think, “You have too many things.” That’s not what I think. I think I need one more thing — maybe two more things.
But maybe it’s time to say, “I have enough stuff. Time to concentrate on writing, family, legacy, children and grandchildren.”
As I mature, I find myself hanging on to or purchasing things that reflect some moment, some situation, some significant event, or some memory of times gone by. Right now, half of you are reading this and saying, “Yep, that’s how I feel.” And the other half are saying, “Why doesn’t this guy just throw crap away, like I do?”
Today I read a short passage that basically said, “It’s just an object. Take a picture of it so that you can keep the memory, and then throw it away.”
Some people agree with that philosophy. I don’t. I don’t have objects: I have life.
Many of the possessions that I have saved or bought over the years are a direct reflection of that life, and the experiences, lessons and memories of those reflections. When I look at things that I have collected, they make me remember, they make me think and they make me smile.
The article I read said, “Have experiences. Not stuff.” I say have experiences AND stuff. And there’s a reason — a deep, emotional reason.
Whether it’s a letter written to me by my 7-year-old child (now 37) or a plate that she made for me at Christmas, pictures that I took while I was living in Berlin in 1967 or a little piece of the Berlin wall, my things are a remembrance of times that helped me mold a philosophy. Their physical and mental presence creates an experience base that allows me to live today to the fullest, and the peaceful confidence of knowing that that wisdom will also prepare me for tomorrow.
My past life — ever clear in my mind from my amassed stuff — and my present life where I have everything in full view, helps me march into my future life with a solid foundation of experiential wisdom, internal happiness and an expectation that the future will be as good or better than the past.
I’ve always been a collector. I’ve always been a saver. (Well, not a saver of money, but a saver of things.) I’m great at earning it. I’ve never been great at keeping it.
How about you? You may not be a saver of things. But if you are, you understand and relate to exactly what I am talking about, whether it’s a baseball card, a piece of art, a book, an autograph, a letter, or a photo.
I’m emotionally attached — tossers are logically detached.
And, I think all the people who are “tossers” only toss to a point. They’re not about to toss an old photo of their family, especially if one family member or more has passed on. They may toss away an old T-shirt, but not a handwritten letter from their mom or dad.
Everyone to some degree is a keeper. And just because I am an uber-keeper doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my sense of reality — quite the opposite. My emotional past keeps me grounded in the present.
I don’t live in the past. I don’t revel in the past. Rather, I remember the past, and take those lessons into today and tomorrow. And having my stuff around me keeps those lessons ever in the forefront. I’m able to teach lessons because I have learned lessons.
I’ve spent the last 17.5 years writing about my experiences, my philosophies, my lessons learned and how I’ve taken those lessons and made them success lessons — even if they were not successful at the time.
Reality about my stuff: Yes, I fear fire. Yes, I fear burglary. Those would be harsh lessons of the present. Luckily, if everything was gone, I’ve spent so many years with these memories in front of my mind, they’ll never be lost or faded. They’re documented for all time and etched into my soul, not just my mind.
Whatever your feelings are as you read this, luckily for you they are your own. I’m not challenging you to become a collector. I’m not challenging you to save your stuff. I’m merely sharing with you what my stuff has taught me and what it means to me.
I’m blessed to have a partner (she’s a tosser) who tries to bring a sense of reality to my mass of stuff. And once or twice a month, she’ll put things in front of me to help me purge a thing or two. I’m grateful for that, and for her.
In sales, 95 percent of people buy on emotion and justify their purchase logically. Maybe you can learn a new lesson in sales from your own purchases, whether you keep your stuff or toss it.
Free Git-Bit: A bit more on emotional sales is yours for the taking. Go to www.gitomer.com and enter the word EMOTION in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org