Momentum Podcast: 420

Tidying Up?

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

I never imagined I would share a podcast about cleaning your house. I have been following the Marie Kondo method and it has changed my life. Stick with me, this method is a very specific way of purging your house and creating crazy organization. I believe every one of us must consistently and consciously lower the pressure and noise in our lives so that we can move forward and progress. This method of tidying up teaches you to identify what you really do and do not like and what you really do and do not need in your life.

I have a recommendation for you, try the Marie Kondo method. You can buy the book or watch the Netflix series. I would love for you to see what it's all about and teach yourself to tolerate less. Let me know on social media what you think!

Full Audio Transcript

I never thought I'd be doing a podcast about cleaning your house, but today is my second time with Cadey through the KonMari method of tidying up your house, which don't mistake this for cleaning, it is a really specific method of purging your house, and then organizing to the extreme that is life-changing. This is my second time through. I want to share some of what I've learned with you.

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off, and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then re-write them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average, and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority; the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. Instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.

If you've listened to my podcast for any period of time, you know that one of the things I believe every one of us must do as evolutionary hunters, as entrepreneurial personality types who are highly sensitive, who have high processing capacity, who have drive for gained advantage, we perceive unique connections, we have this bias to improve the world around us, we have high sensitivity and awareness, and future focus. We are that small population that goes into the future, imagines a new reality, comes back to the present, and demands it becomes real. And those conditions, that being who we are, it makes it so we feel more pressure and noise, and so we have to consistently and constantly lower the pressure and noise in our lives so that we can show up in a way that is progressive, that moves us forward, because every one of those attributes I just shared, when there's low pressure and noise in your life, high processing capacity is incredible because you can actually think faster than most people around you.

But you get high pressure and noise in your life, that same high processing capacity turns against you, and you can't see the forest for the trees. I know. I know, because that's the battle I've been in my entire life. Is to lower the pressure and noise enough so that I can have the focus and the awareness, and the ability to grow the business I want, have the family I want, and create the life that I want. And so consistently and constantly lowering pressure and noise has been a focus for me.

So, a few years ago I was at a Genius Network meeting, and Joe Polish mentioned the book by Marie Kondo, and I think it's the Magical Art of Tidying Up, or something like that. Or, the Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, and it's Marie Kondo with a K. When Joe mentioned it, I looked up several different summaries of it, and read the summaries, then flew home thinking about what would it be like if everything in my house sparked joy. Look up some summaries, or watch the Netflix show that's out. Actually, I looked up summaries and then watched the Netflix show, and it all clicked why this was so transformational the first time through. Because, what she teaches is a method of purging your house, and then getting crazy organized so everything has a place, because it has this incredible effect on pressure and noise in your life that really is crazy game-changing.

I know, because this is my second time through, and I'm having these realizations this time that have made this time easier, and I'm much more aware, so I wanna share them with you. Here's what happened the first time. Cadey and I got up one morning. We talked about we were gonna get rid of everything that didn't spark joy, and we started with our clothes, and I remember I got rid of all of my suits, all of my dress shirts, all of my ties, and today I'm having this realization that back then, it wasn't so much what sparked joy, I was shocked at how much of my stuff I couldn't stand. When I asked did this spark joy, there was like a no wait, I wore suits because I thought I had to. I wore dress shirts because I thought I had to. I kept thinking that I was going to get to a place where I would like that stuff, so I first started buying decent suits, and then I started buying designer suits, and then I started buying really expensive designer suits, then I moved on to custom suits, and custom shirts, and having clothes where my name was stitched into the lapel, and I still couldn't ... or not the lapel, the label on the inside. On the lapel, that would be super weird. But, even then I was uncomfortable. Every time that I wore a suit, it was uncomfortable.

I did it because, like I said, I thought I had to, and so that day I just decided to get rid of all of it, and here's what I realize today happened in my life. That purging, that getting rid of stuff, started me questioning everything in my life. I don't know that I had the realization back then that I do now, because here's what I realize today, going through everything, is I generally liked everything I had, but I just realized that some of it didn't really spark joy. I wasn't excited about it. It wasn't something that I really liked. It was something that I had, maybe just because it fit.

And so today I got rid of a bunch more stuff. Tons of stuff. I'm shocked at how much stuff there is, because I've already done this. I mean, there's probably gonna be 10 large garbage bags. Maybe more. I think between me, the kids, and Cadey, it's gonna be another 10 or 15 large ... I think I'm just gonna have 10 large garbage bags. I had like 200 t-shirts. So I'm going through them, so many of them did not spark joy. What I'm realizing is today I was much more defensive about what sparked joy.

It's almost like I was thinking to myself I wanna make sure that everything really does spark joy, because here's what happened the first time I did this. By changing my closet that I walked into every morning, and got dressed in, it changed the foundation of my life. I know that sounds crazy, but just think about the fact that you walk into your closet every day, and if you had a closet like mine, your surrounded by stuff you're tolerating. You're surrounded by stuff you're putting up with. You're surrounded by stuff you're wearing because you feel like you have to, and when I got rid of all that stuff the beginning of my day, every day was different because I was surrounded by stuff that I generally liked, and I thought back then sparked joy.

But here's what's interesting. Stuff that definitely I felt like sparked joy back then, today didn't anymore because I've gotten to the point, I feel like my meter, my tolerance level has gotten less, and it's more fine tuned. Here's what I know about the most successful people I've ever met. Their level of tolerance for nonsense of any kind is like zero, and it's part of the reason they're successful. They don't tolerate the wrong people, they don't tolerate the wrong processes, they don't tolerate the wrong strategies, and they have an almost hyper sensitivity to what you should and shouldn't tolerate. I've always wanted to increase my hyper sensitivity.

I've been successful, but I've also had a lot of challenges and a lot of failures in my life. A lot of people issues, and relationship issues, and sometimes I feel like I need way more judgment in those areas. I surround myself with systems and processes that help and make it easier, but what I realize today is that first time around of clearing everything out made me feel more confident. It made it feel easier. It made life feel easier. I also started making better decisions, and I started realizing there's things in my life, and my business, and my relationship that I really wanted to correct and make better, and start moving forward in a much more progressive way. It also made me less tolerant of being in the wrong situations, and less tolerant of the wrong things in my business.

This time today, as I went through my closet, that's why I was so much more aggressive, and it was so much easier. I'm down to a fraction of what I've ever had since I've been an adult. Its just this completely different feeling. I do want to share that the first time through, it was hard. It was really hard. It wasn't like I just breezed through it and threw every suit away. I mean, I agonized over it because they all cost a fortune. They were all custom tailored to me. There was a time in my life when I couldn't afford suits. There was a time in my life I was bankrupt, and to be getting rid of suits that cost ... I don't even wanna guess, because it wasn't just suits, it was dress shirts, it was dozens of pairs of shoes, and I was at a point where I felt like I had to keep spending more money to be comfortable, and it didn't matter how much money I put into clothes, I was never comfortable in all of that stuff. I'm more comfortable in a t-shirt and pants that you can do a full squat in, so I can move around, because otherwise things feel constraining, and I don't feel comfortable.

When I did this the first time, what happened was ... I mean I'm realizing now I got more creative. I was asked to speak a lot more. My platform got way bigger. I was more polarizing. I started attracting more of the right people, and less of people that I didn't really wanna work with, or weren't the right avatar, and I think its because what also happened by purging is that getting rid of all the stuff I didn't like increased my tolerance level to what I was willing to have around me.

I'm a lot more transparent with people. Not because I wasn't transparent before ... I feel like I was, but because I feel like I'm more sensitive to what I can and can't deal with, I communicate with my team a lot more about those things, and so I think I'm a lot more clear and I get the right type of help. Not that I ever got ... it's hard to say you get the wrong type of help, but because I'm more clear about what I want, or what we're going to need to do as a company, that level of transparency, that level of me communicating what's really going on for me, we're succeeding in an entirely more dynamic way, and it's way more fun because ... and I know this sounds crazy, but that first time through cleaning out my closet, over the course of months afterwards, and really I feel like years afterwards, it kept reinforcing every morning what I had tolerated, and what I no longer did, and how much easier things were.

Each day ... here's what happened the first time, too. It wasn't easy. I actually didn't just throw everything away. The method for cleaning out your clothes is very specific. She has you get all of your clothes in one place, and then look at them all at once, because it's overwhelming, and she wants you to see the volume of clothes that you have, and then you get present and aware, and there's a whole method she explains. Thanking your home, thanking your clothes. Then you go through your clothes. The clothes that you really like, you know the clothes that you really like. The ones that you don't, they don't spark joy, and you just set them aside, and you give them away, or we're gonna donate them.

What happens is you start to get more sensitive to what you do, and do not like. If you keep going through her method, she has a very specific method for doing the same process throughout your entire house. Now, the first time that I did this, I did not get rid of everything. I actually moved it all the way out to the garage, but I didn't get rid of it. I had this attachment. I think part of it was to the value. I've been in places in my life where I didn't have a lot of money, and I think I just had trouble letting it go.

But here's what I know now. Now I'm thinking through it, and I remember months later I felt great once we changed everything, but months later when I finally had the stuff taken out of the garage, I felt lik this entirely new level of release, and a new level of what I wouldn't tolerate. Here's what's happened. I've realized I won't tolerate a lack of results, so I have to be a lot more present, and a lot more aware with my team. I've realized that I won't tolerate feeling uncomfortable with how I feel with my wife and my kids, so we've added process, and we're spending more time together, and we're communicating more clearly. I think that all of this was really kicked off by going through this the first time, so I have a firm recommendation for you. Buy Marie Kondo's book. It's Kondo with a K. Or, watch her new show on Netflix, Tidying Up. Or, go read some summaries online and see what her method's all about, because it really is life changing, and it will help you tolerate less.

I think if you're a business owner, lowering pressure and noise is one of the most important things you can commit yourself to, and I've searched my entire life for the best processes to lower pressure and noise, and that's what I've done. I've created those processes to run your business. What Marie Kondo has done is created those processes for you to first go through everything in your life, and then be less tolerant of what comes into your life. So, first go through everything in your life and remove what you won't tolerate, and then continue to fine tune what you're willing to and not tolerate, and it is absolutely game changing.

Check her out on Netflix, or read the book, and let me know on social media what you think. I'd love to know if you take action on this, and I was a recommendation, tell us the story, show us some pictures, let us know what happened because I think it's absolutely game changing.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,


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