An important part of being a man is not being needy. This of course applies to girls, but it applies to everything—except your desire to not be needy, of course.
Tribal leaders of ancient Mesopotamia would give away all of their possessions every five years, not as an act of sacrifice, but because they realized that letting go of stuff is the way to live the best life possible. Their followers would divvy up their leader’s possessions. They needed them. This is why they were the followers.
You have work to do and money to make, so I wouldn’t throw out everything you own—even though this will essentially happen when you get divorced—but throwing away three things that you think you need will get you the same results.
By results I’m not talking about a more organized life. Typically when this “throw your stuff away” advice is given, people only advise you to throw away the frivolous clutter.
That’s not the point of this assignment. The point is to throw away what you need.
Just like you’ll be more powerful while negotiating a business deal if you fill up your bank account with money, it’s easier to negotiate life when you fill up your psychology with awesomeness. This is manifested here in the idea that you can deal with loss and change, and you don’t put too much value in that which is outside of yourself.
And this isn’t even about simplifying your life, because throwing away important possessions doesn’t simplify anything.
I know right now you’re thinking, “so this is why Maverick threw away his father’s dog tags at the end of Top Gun?” Yes, this is why.
Here’s how it works: You think you need your high school yearbook, right? It has memories, and signatures, and pictures in it. But once you throw it away by taking a dump on it or whatever ritual you want to perform, and it’s gone forever, you realize not only are you still alive, but you feel better. Why? You didn’t get rid of a value, you realized that the value was in you.
A yearbook is a good start, but there are plenty of things that you think you need but really don’t.
Your favorite shirt that you need to look good? You don’t need it to look good.
That family heirloom your grandmother gave you? I hate to break this to you, but your grandmother gave it to you because World War II figurines are crappy and she didn’t have the heart to throw it out. You do.
Throw away a girl’s phone number after meeting her, especially if you really like her. Guess you didn’t need that.
This isn’t some Fight Club, anti-capitalistic, anti-materialistic crusade. I love things. But just like girls, you can only truly want something if you don’t need it. And sometimes you have to deal with loss, or rejection from a girl, over and over until the idea that you rule, all on your own, is pounded into your head.
Other things that are good to throw away:
- Your mattress, its limbo between your bedroom and the dump can be in your yard as a trampoline.
- Anything nostalgic, nostalgia is just self-pity over things.
- Books that you keep on your bookshelf for the sole purpose of making you look smart.
- Plates, best done in a fashion commonly referred to as “target practice.”
- Sunglasses, you were just going to lose them anyway, so take control of the situation.
- Thumb rings and their matching Affliction t-shirts and your matching lameness.
- Your computer (just kidding, you actually need that).
Do you throw away your girlfriend to prove you don’t need her? We’ll save that topic for another post.