“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.” - Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
This fact of ownership goes beyond material possessions. It applies to our schedules, our jobs, our dreams. The tighter we cling to them, the more tightly they hold us down.
If we’re not in charge of our calendars, our income, or our aspirations, then they are in charge of us. And whomever is in charge of those, in turn, is in charge of us. How many of those entries on your calendar did you put there yourself? How many could you remove unilaterally, without others even knowing you did so? Can you quit that job or give up that business without consequence? When did you explicitly, consciously choose those life goals while removed from any social pressure? Did you choose?
It’s okay to have possessions and obligations as long as we do so with purpose. Too often we come into them by chance and hang onto them out of inertia despite the lack of any real, gripping interest. What extraneous things could you cut out of your life today? What, if anything, should take their place? How much less can you own? How much less would you own if you thought you could? What’s really stopping you?