The other day I wrote what I thought would be my last post of 2013, with the seasonally appropriate topic of accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions. However, as I work through the last few things I need to accomplish this year I can’t help but think about next year and what I might want to do differently and thought I would put keyboard to screen (pen to paper) for one last 2013 entry, besides I had this great image I wanted to use.
I’ve certainly delved into the realm of resolutions in years past and for the most part they all involved an addition of some sort — more exercise, create a budget, increase veggie intake.
But as I sift through numerous email, hosting and social media accounts this morning I’m coming up with a different theme for 2014 — doing less and being more. I read an article along these lines earlier this year, I guess it just took a bit to resonate with me.
In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with information and distractions — most of it self inflicted. We watch too much TV. We spend too much time playing video games (guilty). We work more than we should. Basically we are driven by a more is better mentality that is constantly reinforced by society.
So how can doing less mean being more?
Since I live in Napa Valley, surrounded by thousands of acres of vineyards, I can’t help but make an analogy with some of the rock stars of our great wines — the vines.
Many vineyard owners will tell you that each year they nurse their vines to the brink of death. They do this in an effort to get the maximum potential quality of fruit, versus the maximum quantity of fruit… less is more.
You see, a grape vine also has the more is better mentality. If left unattended they would grow uncontrollably and their fruit would be useless. That’s the reason they are pruned annually, have a specific number of shoot positions and the ratio of leaves to grape clusters is managed with precision. It’s all about focusing on the fruit of the vine, not how much space the vine takes up.
For me, applying this theme to the coming year means I have to stop trying to be all things to all people. It means saying no to projects and allowing time to recharge. It means increasing the margins in my life so there’s room for things that add value. Ultimately, I think, this all boils down to three bullet points:
- I can’t take everything with me.
- What I choose to bring with me matters.
- I’ll have to leave some things behind.
As I work towards clearing the pollution from my mind, living deliberately and playing the guitar more, I invite you to do the same.
And every now and then ask yourself, “Am I doing less and being more?”
Happy New Year!