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Logical or emotional?


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The world is divided into two kinds of people: keepers and tossers. I’m a keeper.

My home and my spaces are full of objets d’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; it’s 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. And 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 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 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 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, help 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 as or better than the past.

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. 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. Rather, I remember the past and take those lessons into today and tomorrow. 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.

Yes, I fear fire. Yes, I fear burglary. Those would be harsh lessons of the present. Luckily, if everything were gone, I’ve spent so many years with these memories in front of my mind, they’d never be lost or faded. They’re etched into my soul, not just my mind.

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.

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.

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