Edit, don’t Accumulate

Your life is your story. Write Well. Edit Often. Susan Stratham

The first half of your life is focused more on accumulating: success, responsibilities, family, friends, hobbies, identities. A mid-life crisis is often about feeling weighed-down by all of this. Focus on what’s most important in your life and start the process of editing that which doesn’t serve or nourish you.

~ Chip Conley

So much wisdom from Chip Conley (for a great and recent summary, see the podcast notes from his talk with Tim Ferris, also listen to that podcast). The quote above comes from a post Chip wrote: “The Advice I Wish I’d Been Given at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50” and was one of two pieces of advice to a 50-year-old.

So, inspired as I often am by Chip, some thoughts on Editing, Life and Leadership.

I recently turned 54 (sorry Chip, my friend, you’ll always be four years older than me!). This advice, when I heard it from Chip at the Modern Elder Academy, resonated strongly for me, as I’ve been editing my life for some years.

Editing goes way beyond material things, but also to our work, who we choose to commit time and energy to, even ourselves, perhaps shifting towards a greater awareness and presence that can come from shedding certain levels of identity (ah, see some of the things I can take time to look at with an edited life!).

Regular readers will also note a recurring theme for #OpenLeadership of distilling to simplicity, to leading from Context. Great leaders edit their message ruthlessly and lead from that Context rigorously.

Often in life, it is fair to say that we need to get to the middle of our life before we are in a position to start editing in some ways. However, in leadership (of self or others), you can edit, hone, distil always.

Also published on Medium.

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