The Question You Should Ask Yourself Today

The answer will not come right away.

4 min readDec 4, 2019

At 34 years old, I have experienced some things in life that have taught me that life could be hard. It could be cruel. Sad, annoying or just plain meh.

The years I have lived on this earth have also taught me that life, if looked at in a certain way, could be wonderful, lovely, and a great experience altogether.

After leaving my job in a big city, I decided to move back to my parents’ house. Losing my main source of income pushed me to look at all the stuff that I own and determine which ones to keep, sell, give and throw away.

Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

I had to revisit each item’s importance, relevance to my present situation, and function.

Some things that I saw that I gave away were:

Office clothes. I don’t see myself going back to office work anytime next year so I might as well give them away to girls I know who will find them useful, and wear the same size of clothes.

I-work-in-a-nice-office type of shoes. 2 pairs of black pumps — one flat, one with heels — same reason as above.

Sports clothes. Since I started practicing yoga, I have collected good-quality yoga wear. Shirts and leggings that I used for running and cycling are no longer needed.

Miscellaneous items that I purchased on a whim or were given to me as gifts. A woven mat, a fan, headbands, sticky notes, tank tops that fit me in a weird way, bandannas, etc.

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Art and office supplies that I kept ‘just in case’ I need them in the future. I never needed nor used them.

Purses that were given to me as gifts. I am not into bags like most women are and I can live with a backpack, a suitcase, and a canvas bag for all the days of my life.

In the middle of packing and out of nowhere, I had this BIG question in my mind that I never asked before:

What are the material things I own that, when taken away from me, can possibly diminish the quality of my life?

My laptop, my Kindle, my yoga mat, my journals, are some of the things that I thought of.

It’s my laptop that allows me to earn money. Kindle saves me from buying physical books and lets me save space, travel and move with my favorite books which I consider as one of the best sources of knowledge. My yoga mat is used for my practice. My journals and notebooks keep my secrets, reflections, ideas, and things I’m grateful for every single day.

It’s a simple question that we can keep asking ourselves from time to time.

Each time we acquire something new, we can go back to this question and see if the things we hold and keep in our homes increase the quality of our lives. Otherwise, they are not worth space anymore.

In this article, The Science of Happiness, American psychologist and professor Ed Diener said that ‘there is no one key to happiness but a set of ingredients that are vital. There are only 3 things that bring lasting joy: relationships, meaning, and goals.’

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Now we can take a look at the things that we have in our possession and see if these are helpful in improving our relationships, bring meaning into our daily lives and bring us closer to our dreams.

It’s a simple, all-encompassing question that everyone must ask.

If your ‘stuff’ is no longer serving you and does not ‘spark joy’ (thanks to Marie Kondo for this concept), it’s time to set it free.

The author is a writer, yoga practitioner, and a remote worker. Follow her tweets here. She also sends weekly letters to those who are interested to hear her thoughts on Ashtanga yoga, shifting from the office desk to remote work, writing (of course) plus bits and pieces of her personal life.