Reclaim Your Space: The Unparalleled Art Of Starting From Scratch

This Week’s BIG Idea

I formatted my computer over the weekend, and as inconsequential as that might seem, I found the process liberating. See, I often hoard digital files thinking that I might need them at some point. While that makes sense in theory, in practice it looks like a bunch of items that occupy digital and mental space. This led to amassing several digital collections of music, books, and movies over the years. So when I decided to format my main hard drive (something Windows now calls reset), it was scary at first. What if I need some of those downloaded files? What if lose something irreplaceable?

But I was surprised. Not only was the process quick and painless, but I felt relieved. Now my Windows PC runs better than ever and on top of that, I got rid of a bunch of software I wasn’t using but was taking mental space. Do I miss having a bunch of gaming clients on my computer? Not at all, but if it ever gets to the point where I really want to install Battle Net, Steam, and the Epic Games Launcher, I can do it in minutes. In the meantime though, I can enjoy the fact that I have no collections to take care of. Gone are the thousands of digital books that came from questionable sites or the backup of all the thumbnails from my site. So the “just in case” has been replaced by “let’s keep the absolute essentials”.

What I’m Working on

While I reset my Windows 10 computer and started from scratch on the main hard drive, I didn’t have the heart to delete the content of all of the other hard drives. Those have my movie collections mainly which I’ve been curating for years. Despite being a source of anxiety for years (I wasn’t curating content, I was hoarding it), I’m happy with the films I have in there now. Although there’s some work to do here and there, I’m finally at a point where I can say that most of the digital files I keep, I love. As obvious as it sounds, surrounding yourself with things you love can be transforming.

What I’m Listening to

In the latest episode of Deep Dive, Ali Abdaal interviews Nathaniel Cole, the author of The Art and Business of Online Writing. For those unfamiliar, that’s one of the best books about writing online and you can read my summary of the book here. I was so excited about listening to this episode that I started doing it as soon as saw that it was available. Although most of the topics discussed are things Cole mentions in the book, the interview was a terrific way to remember some of the ideas I haven’t thought about it in a while.

What I’m Reading

  • The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday: I just started rereading The Obstacle Is the Way. Although I already have a summary of the book on the site, I like coming back to certain books to rediscover some of their main principles. I noticed that most of the ideas from the book are fresh in my mind, so I don’t know if I’ll read it back to back all over again. That said, if you haven’t read it already, this is a great book and you should give it a chance.

What I’m Watching

There’s no shortage of videos on minimalism on YouTube, but I hadn’t seen this interview with Fumio Sasaki. Some of you might remember Sasaki as the author of Goodbye, Things, and if you don’t, check out my summary of the book here. In the short video, Sasaki discusses the transformative nature of minimalism and how it helped him professionally and personally. It also gives you a glimpse of what minimalism looks like in practice.   

This Week’s Quote

“Why do we own so many things when we don’t need them? What is their purpose? I think the answer is quite clear: We’re desperate to convey our own worth, our own value to others. We use objects to tell people just how valuable we are.”

Fumio Sasaki

Here’s a link to my personal website where I share chapter-by-chapter summaries of non-fiction books.

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