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Why do we look to make additions when trying to solve a problem or work through one of our many life transitions? What if we reversed the equation and considered what we could subtract to improve our lives?
University of Virginia engineering professor Leidy Klotz has given this idea much thought. So much so that he wrote the book, Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less. I believe the ability to subtract helps us in our journey to define what “enough” is within our lives. A topic that has been central to many conversations as people continue to encounter expected and unexpected life transitions.
With most people, parents, in particular, the problem is we are overloaded. We have roared back from the Covid pandemic, determined to get back to our overscheduling and thus stressed-out lives. But what if we can step back and recall one of the benefits of Covid if we were lucky enough to see it? The ability to remove things from our lives which in turn make us happier?
This is the most significant takeaway from reading Leidy’s book, which was reinforced during our conversation. We are biologically conditioned to feel more competent and happier when we add things to our lives. But in reality, those additions create the opposite effect.
Leidy points out that we tend to use addition as a substitute for thinking. Research has proven time and time again that when we are hurried and stressed, we make bad decisions. So slowing down, and taking our time, naturally means we must subtract something from our day to let us think to make better decisions both financially and personally.
Please enjoy my conversation with Leidy Klotz.
Resources Featured in This Episode:
Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less
Brian Portnoy – Funded Contentment: Am I Going to Be Okay?