From time-to-time I like to remind myself and readers of this blog what the 100 Thing Challenge is all about. I like to put it this way, “It’s not about the things.”
The 100 Thing Challenge is about getting out of jail — the prison of American-style consumerism. It’s about breaking free from the shackles of always feeling like we need to get more stuff in order to get to the dream life. (Ever notice how we just keep getting and getting stuff, but we never arrive at the dream life? What a mess!)
Two aspects of the 100 Thing Challenge have been most encouraging to me. First, it works. Nearly two years of living with a minimal, though completely adequate, amount of personal possessions, I’m no longer in the habit of consuming for consumption sake. My mindset and behavior have changed as a result of the 100 Thing Challenge. That’s freed me up for all sort of better endeavors than shopping, like spending time with family and writing a book and scheming about business opportunities.
The other part of the 100 Thing Challenge that has delighted me is all the cool responses other people have had to it. Lots of people have been inspired by the 100 Thing Challenge, not to take it exactly how I did, but to prioritize more meaningful pursuits than consumption. It’s awesome! The 100 Thing Challenge, it seems, has been the example that has given some people permission to say “No!” to go-nowhere consumerism.
That’s what the 100 Thing Challenge and a life of simplicity is all about. It’s not about counting things to keep or get rid of. It’s about freeing up space in our lives. Getting rid of the stuff that overwhelms and distracts us. Then making use of that space to do good things in our families, communities, and beyond.