How I Got Happy from Doing Less

A few months ago, my wife and I bought a house outside of London. We had a clear plan for a kitchen extension and a complete house refurbishment. Just a side note: The extension would require the most significant time and financial investment.

Then last Sunday, Hana asked me this question: “What if we DIDN’T do the extension”? I started to feel uncomfortable after we did all the planning, from hiring an architect to getting a planning permit, but we sat with the question and gave it a real thought.

Finally, we made a groundbreaking decision: we’re NOT DOING the kitchen extension. As you can imagine, I was happy about the cost reduction, but most importantly, I got present to how much l love spending time with our two little boys and my wife, rather than thinking about “a bunch of bricks” that are not important to me at all.

We all share the following experience at work and home sometimes: 

  • There is so much to do, or 
  • I wish I had more time, or 
  • I do not want to do this and that, but I have to, and
  • Keep on rolling and do what we have always been doing.

Here’s a quick exercise I invite you to do this evening or tomorrow morning before doing all your usual stuff. Ask yourself the following question, “What will l NOT do?” and see if you can NOT do at least one thing.

Tip no. 1: Give yourself permission to play big – it shouldn’t be something too easy to give up.

Tip no. 2: Yes, it is OK to feel weird, uncomfortable, afraid, and have doubts. 

Tip no. 3: Tell everybody whom this has impacted that you will NOT do it, so they no longer have expectations of you doing it.

I would be curious to hear the impact on your life after you took one heavy “stone” off your chest.