Category: Life

Photo by Eleonora Sica (Creative Commons)

Opt-out of something today.

There is liberation in opting out.  It helps turn down the volume of noise in our lives.

In some cases by opting-out you can create room in your life for more good things.

What would be helpful for you to reduce?  

  • Hours watching television?
  • Hours reading news articles?
  • Bags of Doritos in your pantry?
  • Email notifications from Social Media channels?
  • Social obligations?
What would be helpful to increase?
  • More sleep?
  • More time with your family without smartphones present?
  • More time exercising?

I Opted-Out

I cancelled email subscriptions to newsletters (noise) that I never read.

And I turned off all email notifications on my phone You have mail.

I cancelled a credit card that never gets used.

Although subtle, these tiny reductions will help provide more clean moments in a day to focus on the things I really care about.

But what if I might need it?

I find that each time I go to Opt-Out I hear “but what if you will need it or what will they think?”

Where is that voice of self-preservation coming from?

Should I yield to its cautions?

Seth Godin calls it your Lizard Brain.  Watch his video.

My Lizard Brain is trying to stop me

I often choose not to initially embrace a particular position that seems extreme.

So instead of cracking the book on the Four Hour Work Week, I stare at it on my shelf in disagreement.

I assume that I will never be able to work only four hours per week, so why waste time reading about some delusional millionaire who tries to convince me it’s possible (Tim Ferris-Listen to a great interview)?

Then, the Lizard Brain quiets and I begin indulging the part of me that wants to be freer.

Provocative examples

  • What if all of your food did not come from a grocery store? Opt Out En Masse
  • What if you only checked email once per day? Four Hour Work Week-Tim Ferriss
  • Reuse, Recycle, Repair, Reduce-Patagonia’s philosophy on clothing

Opt Out of something today.

What is it going to be for you?

  • Was just thinking about a newsletter I get every week that I never, ever read. Its just never helpful and always trying to sell me something. But… I didn’t want to offend the person who sends it. Gonna go opt out right now. Thanks Aaron!

    • yeah….the hurt or offense of others is a good gut check but one thing I learned a few years ago is “I would love to be able to-meet you for lunch, join your group, contribute to your cause……but I am not”. Good luck opting out.

  • Aaron Johnson

    One of my most productive days in 2012 happened when I left my phone at home. It’s not that I’m on my phone much (it’s a dumb phone), but what it steals is focus, presence, my attention. I’m probably not going to leave my phone at home all year, but it may go on silent and off my desk in 2013.

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Posted on: 01 / 04 / 2013