In childhood, my mother told me many times to clean up my room. I didn’t really listen to her because I thought it was meaningless. Along the way, I learned the importance of that activity. But it’s now that I finally appreciated the full meaning of that sentence. It was when I heard Dr. Jordan Peterson.
A lot of things the world need to be fixed. Our government and economy aren’t perfect. But those are complex problems. We don’t really know how to fix these problems even if you think you do.
There are also another issues. Maybe other people around you behave badly and you want to change that all. It’s not a good idea. You don’t know the lives and personalities of these people. Their behavior may be linked to bigger dragons. And maybe even it would be right to help them, first, you need to do something else.
You might not know the solution to complex world problems YET but there’s one thing you can do to improve the world and the people around you. This is…
Clean up your own room!
Yes, I mean it.
Everybody can do it so you can too.
It’s under your possibility. So this is where you should start.
Fix the smallest thing around you that need to be fixed. It’s going to give you some sense of winning. It might sound ridiculous but believe me, it works. You will improve yourself a lot in a process and the people around you as well.
Your goal should be to set your house in perfect order. You clean up your room object by object until you got it perfect.
Why Should I Even Bother?
You might find it trivial BUT it’s not a cliche. This is a wise idea. Once you observe yourself while cleaning up you will discover some changes within you as well as around you.
1. You’re Fighting Chaos This Way.
You’re creating a brain muscle responsible for creating order out of chaos. Every time you meet the new challenge you will find a way to constantly fight chaos.
Every time you see something around you is broken and need to be fixed you will take the action and improve it.
2. You Will Seek Opportunities For Improving Things Around You.
Since now, everything will be better for you and for the people around you. You’ll start fixing things around you. One by one. It’ll give you eventually a lot of improvement around you. You’ll be in a completely different place then you’re right now.
3. Everything is Heading Towards Chaos.
It’s called entropy. You need to maintain fixing staff or everything around will fall apart. That’s how you’ll get fatter if you stop working out. Your friendships are also gonna fall apart if you don’t take enough care. That’s why we should have control over things around us.
4. You Might Contribute To Chaos Yourself.
What makes you sure that if something around you is not right, it’s not your fault. Chances are it is indeed. Don’t bring up hell to the world! Make a world a better place instead.
5. You are Building a Foundation.
If you wanna achieve some great things in the world you need to first master the lowest level. You need to start small to become big one day. When you keep improving every day it is gonna make you the unstoppable machine. Once you have some small wins it’s easier to go for the bigger one because you create a warrior’s mindset that way.
6. The Room is You.
While your room is a mess, your room is a mess. There is a connection between your mind and your surroundings. Once you clean up your room, your mind immediately is going to be clear. And you probably would like to have a clear mind so that you can focus deeply on your projects and reduce stress.
Where to Start?
Here are a few simple places to start cleaning up “your room”
- Start every day by making the bed.
(You’ll achieve the first victory in your day and set right mindset)
- Clean up your desk.
(It’ll make you less disoriented)
- Organize your workspace.
(It’ll make you focus on most important things)
- Organize your notes.
(It’ll ease your mind and save a lot of time)
- Fix your wake up routine.
(It’ll make you get up with a clear mind and fully rested)
- Fix your diet.
(It’ll give you more energy)
And so on…
You get the idea.
Soon, you will see some patterns where you can see things around you that are broken and fix them.
You know what to be fixed. Sometimes it is just hard to take the first step. Make it so easy that you can’t say no.
You Need to Start Small
Pick one thing at a time and put in a right place. To define the right place you need to define your goals. Because your environment should help in achieving them. You make your choices through your hierarchy of values.
Pick the smallest thing so you know you can do it and you would do it.
You need to go down to the lowest level.
Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung once said the interesting thing:
Christians often ask why God does not speak to them, as he is believed to have done in former days. When I hear such questions, it always makes me think of the rabbi who asked how it could be that God often showed himself to people in the olden days whereas nowadays nobody ever sees him. The rabbi replied: “Nowadays there is no longer anybody who can bow low enough.”
Stay Within Your Domain of Competence
Be aware which things you wanna fix. Make sure you start fixing smalls things. Why small thing? because you’re sure you’re able to fix it.
You need to stay within your domain of competence. When you see a helicopter broken on the street, don’t be so ignorant trying to fix it (unless you are qualified for this of course).
Same with all other cases. Don’t try to help all of the people. You may not be able to. And chances are they may drag you down into their problems or even their pathological life.
Create a Habit
Seek options to improve small things around you. That should be your new habit. Try to clean up your room for 15 minutes every day. Also, every time you see something is not in the right place, change it. Ask yourself:
“What little thing may I change that will make my life slightly better?”
And answer truthfully. I might be painful but it is the only way to making your life less painful.
Ask yourself this question every week. Remember, consistency is the key.
Later, You Can Start Gradually Raising the Bar
When you master little things around you it’s time to go for a bigger one, like creating a vision for your life, setting goals. You might even start your own side project.
Finally, when you set your house(life) in perfect order you can go to your friends and family. But be aware, not everybody likes a change. The best way to help the others is to show them a good example in a polite way.
As I said at the beginning I was skeptical when it comes to cleaning up my room. I used to put all the things around me. It was a mess. I felt anxious and overwhelmed.
But when I started cleaning up more often, I found it is a good way to relax. Also, it’s a lot easier to focus on a demanding task like writing and I’m not so distracted when there no unnecessarily things around me.
Same happens with small tasks that were not completed and areas in life that were not sorted. I felt a lot of relief when I completed old tasks, fixed my diet, came back to regular exercising at the gym and a lot of other stuff. I feel like I’m in control of my life right now.
This Path v Another One
What are the alternatives?
- Looking at your own mistakes
- Giving a good example to the others
- Clear mind
- Taking action
- Fixing yourself first
- Blaming the world everything is bad
- Allowing chaos to spread
- Being overwhelmed
- Daydreaming/ setting too high goals
- Telling others what to do
What’s Your Action Now?
Go, pick up ONE thing around you and put it in a place it belongs to. Then you probably see another object and you will do the same. And after you think it is enough, congratulate yourself, because you did a good job, moved towards discipline and an order.
Then you might get a paper and a pencil and write down everything that comes to your mind that is not right in your life. Then you know what’s next…
Get up and clean up your room! (Metaphorically speaking)
Now rinse and repeat.