- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 1 minute
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: New World Library
- Audible.com Release Date: March 2, 2017
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MRV9VRF
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers, and Recovering Perfectionists Audiobook – Unabridged
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Sam Bennett is sooooo dang good. I loved her first book, Get It Done, and couldn't give it away to thrilled other readers fast enough. I was really excited to read this one, and am happy to say it's EVEN BETTER... Sam tells the most beautiful stories while giving the most wise and wonderful advice on how to love yourself and your dreams enough to actually ACHIEVE them, one happy, small, do-able step at a time, while enjoying a larger, more loving relationship with the world and beyond in the meantime. Yes, she manages to do all that, all while encouraging your inner poet/composer/painter/Ghandi to come out and play and make a bunch of hilarious "Five Minute Art." It's hard to know what genre this book really fits into, and you won't care. I bought four copies yesterday, but think I'd better see about getting it in bulk. My list of friends I know who'll love it keeps growing. Thanks, Sam! You didn't just Start where you were - you FINISHED strong! Well done!
Her latest book, Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers, and Recovering Perfectionists, helps us recognize the two feet in front of us and encourages us to kickstart right from that very spot. Simple advice, but not everyone can deliver it in such a way as to make a difference. See what you think after reading this excerpt* on clutter:
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The Seven Kinds of Clutter Nobody Ever Talks About
An excerpt from Start Right Where You Are by Sam Bennett
As the creator of The Organized Artist Company, bestselling author Sam Bennett’s mission in life is clear: to assist people in getting unstuck by helping them focus and move forward on their goals.
That is also the intention of her new book Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers, and Recovering Perfectionists, which is based on the premise that small shifts in the right direction can yield big results in the realization of our creative dreams. We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.
Whether we’re talking about clutter that’s physical, paper, electronic, or mental, its defining characteristic is that it’s stuck. You can tell it’s clutter because there’s no movement, no progress, and no life — it’s just the same old story over and over again. If you have a lot of stuff but it’s in movement — for instance, you actually wear all of those clothes or use all that kitchen equipment, or the piles of paper on your desk are being handled, worked on, and pruned each day — then that’s not clutter. That’s just having a lot of stuff. Which is fine. You’re allowed to have all the stuff you want.
Much of the advice about getting rid of clutter seems to start with the cheerfully abrupt command to “Just do it!” But when you can’t identify the underlying beliefs that are causing you to become buried in clutter, that’s almost impossible. So I’ve listed a few of the root causes of clutter that rarely get discussed and a few tough-love strategies to initiate change.
1. Nostalgia. You love the memory. You love the person who gave it to you. You love the size you were when you bought it. None of these is a good reason to hang on to something you’re not using. Savor the emotion, make some 5-Minute Art about it, take a picture of it, and let it go.
2. Your fantasy about your future life. “Someday...” Yes, maybe someday. But not now. You don’t yet have a mountain cabin to decorate, so the moose head can go. You don’t yet have the sailboat, so the plastic tumblers with the cute anchors on them can go. You don’t have the time right now to turn that pile of old T-shirts into a quilt, so they can probably go, too. And if all this rough talk is causing you pangs, that is excellent news. Those pangs mean that you really want that fantasy future to come true. So then take a step toward that today. Start a penny jar for the down payment on the cabin, book an afternoon sail for this weekend, or start cutting the quilt squares this evening.
3. Future scarcity. “I might need this sometime.” Yes, you might. In which case you can go get another one then. I think this belief is actually a form of perfectionism in disguise: we perfectionists feel we must be prepared for every eventuality. This is an understandable and admirable goal but still no reason to hang on to something that’s just taking up space. Also, if you are going to let an imaginary future make your decisions for you, why not imagine a future in which not hanging on to whatever it is turns out to be the best possible decision?
4. Loyalty. There are few things more pleasing to a human person than the feeling of being in the right, and few things less pleasing than the feeling of being in the wrong. Sometimes you don’t want to get rid of clutter because it feels like admitting you made a mistake in buying this thing, that you misjudged. You want to believe in your past decisions, so you keep recommitting to those decisions long after they’ve been proved erroneous.
For example, you thought the yellow curtains would look great in the guest room, but they don’t, so you’ve never put them up. And now every time you see them in the bottom of the linen cupboard, you think, “I really thought those would look nice, but they don’t.” And then, to keep from feeling as though you miscalculated, you think, “Maybe they’ll look nice somewhere else someday.” My mentor David Neagle did me a big favor when he taught me Leland Val Van de Wall’s quote, “The amount of success you achieve will be in direct proportion to the amount of truth you can accept about yourself without running away.” The ability to calmly accept that sometimes you blunder will hasten your spiritual maturity and probably improve your decorating skills.
5. Anthropomorphizing. As a child, I believed that things had feelings. I remember giving extra good-night kisses to my stuffed Dumbo when he was new, because he had missed out on all the kisses I had given my other beloved wubbies over the years, and I wanted him to catch up. (Wubbies is my family’s word for all baby blankets, teddy bears, or special cuddle toys that a child loves especially and refuses to sleep without.) Well, I still believe that things have feelings. I thank my car for its faithful service, I express gratitude to English muffins for being so delicious, and I usually say goodbye to the house as I leave it, even if I’m just dashing out to run errands. I was recently near tears at the thought of replacing some old dish towels, because I felt it was disrespectful to all their years of hard work. If you’re feeling simpatico, then try making some 5-Minute Art about the thing. Then, say thank you to the thing and ask someone else to get rid of it for you. Just because you’re willing to say goodbye doesn’t mean you have to be the one to deliver it to the thrift store or, worse yet, the dumpster.
6. Replaying old tapes. Worry is mental clutter. So is repetitive self-criticism. Any other thoughts that never lead to an outcome or a new thought are just taking up space in your head. It’s important to your continued growth to distinguish between actual thinking and those old tapes.
Whenever you catch yourself running old tapes, clap your hands loudly, or start to sing an uplifting song out load. Perhaps you can imagine the old thought falling deep into the earth where it can be composted. You can also interrupt your own pattern by yelling out an unusual phrase like, “Peeny-Weenie Woo-Woos!” and then force yourself to think of something else. (A Peeny-
Weenie Woo-Woo is a fairly horrible cocktail that has achieved legendary status in my family, as its effects caused several of the normally quite reserved adults to get down on the floor and leg wrestle.)
7. The law of diminishing returns. The first one was great, and the second one was even better. But now you’re on your fifth, and the thrill is wearing off. Whether we’re talking about collectibles, books about space exploration, or red cashmere sweaters, take a look at the redundancies in your life, and see if there are a few items in the collection that can go.
When you are an expert on something, you tend to see minute variations as highly significant. Luke, a musician, composer, and teacher who is, at this writing, getting a PhD in music theory, informs me that his Telecaster and his short-scale Telecaster are completely different guitars, although I cannot really tell them apart. But he’s the expert, and he really does play them both. By the same token, I have six varieties of black high-heeled shoes in my closet, and they each serve a very different purpose. If you are enough of a shoe-lover to actually be using all your black high-heeled shoes, then that’s not clutter — that’s just having good taste. But if you are only using one or two, you can probably afford to let the rest of the throng go.
*Excerpted from Start Right Where You Are. Copyright © 2016 by Sam Bennett. Printed with permission from New World Library