The Life-Changing Magic of Focus

Right now, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has taken the YNAB team by storm. It is a book about—well, tidying up—but its effects are pretty powerful. Julie and I are giving it a shot. There are lots of garbage bags involved and it feels great.

But what is even more important than the tidying up itself, for us anyway, is this question about joy. One of the fundamental rules that the book will teach you, as you are tidying up and purging, is this question about joy, “Does this bring me joy?”

And, of course, because I am me, I immediately think about budgeting and Rule One: Give Every Dollar A Job.

As you start getting rid of clothes and books and papers that don’t bring you joy, you can breathe a little bit easier, and you are able to enjoy the things that are left—the things that do bring you joy—in a whole new way.

If you apply the same truths to your budget and your categories, thinking about what really brings you joy, you will quickly surface the things you truly, truly care about.

A laser-like focus on only the things that bring you joy will give you power. That focus let’s you decide whether or not something brings you joy and empowers you to do something about it. Focus breeds creativity, ingenuity and more focus.

Check out the book, but don’t be surprised if you find your money—and how it is flowing out of your life—needs a little tidying up as well.


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Until next time…