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What Murray Says to People

The Chuck It List

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not.
Add what is uniquely your own.”

– Bruce Lee, Chinese-American actor, martial artist and philosopher

Today, everyone seems to have a bucket list. Yes, there are still a number of things I want to experience and places I would enjoy visiting so I guess it’s safe to say that I have a bucket list, too. I think having a bucket list is fine but let’s not stop there – let’s be willing to dump the bucket we’re already carrying.

Start making a list of all the things you’re going to stop doing. Start making a “chuck it” list. Here are some good entries for your own chuck it list:

Stop comparing yourself unfavourably to others. There was a time when I felt so inadequate and insecure that I couldn’t celebrate the success of anyone else. I saw the success or good fortune of others as shining a bright light on my own deficiencies. Take imaginary inadequacies and add them to your chuck it list. Target genuine inadequacies and strive to overcome them. When you succeed, be happy. When others succeed, be happy as well. Celebrate the success of others and use it as motivation to achieve your own worthwhile goals.

Add fear to your chuck it list: irrational fear that prompts you to remain in protection mode, afraid to venture out into the world, afraid to go for your dreams. Fear has kept you on a small island for too long; that island is your comfort zone. Work toward becoming more comfortable with how and who you are. You may prefer to stay in the centre of your small island (the place where you feel safe and have everything figured out) but find the courage to venture out on the shore and to then dive into the great ocean of possibilities.

Let go of your past and the manner in which you have used it to define who you are. Stop blaming others for the state of your life or straining to foist the responsibility for your failures or poor decisions onto the shoulders of your parents, siblings, spouse, friends, teachers, colleagues or past employers. Each experience teaches us a valuable lesson. Remember that every challenge that arrives in your life comes holding a gift in its hands. That gift is knowledge which – with effort, awareness and perseverance – becomes wisdom, a priceless commodity.

Let go of your irrational need for the approval of others. Wake up to the fact that it is impossible to please everyone. Do your best. Be true to your values. Proceed from a place of honesty, integrity and self-awareness – move forward with love in your heart. Love is growth and growth is expansion. Don’t sacrifice yourself for the sake of avoiding confrontation or pleasing others.

Let go of the need to be in unnecessary competition with others. For too long, you’ve watched your neighbours and friends and felt locked into an unspoken rivalry. Remember, the size of your house, the vehicle you drive or the depth of your investment portfolio does not define your value as a human being. True champions are only ever in competition with themselves.

Add worry to your chuck it list. For too long, you have focused on what could happen and it has kept you stuck and afraid. Think back and you’ll realize that most of your worries never happened. Another word for worry is fear. Fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real.

Throw away useless numbers like your age and ideal weight along with notions such as you’re too old to change, unable to learn or no longer relevant in a changing world.
Sure, start a bucket list – write down all those things you want to do and see. Be sure to include an on-going commitment to self-esteem building and self-awareness. You’ll find something interesting happens when you add these two vital components: in order to achieve either, you’ll need to let go of a few things. Write those things on your chuck it list.

Byron Katie, best-selling author of Loving What Is and creator of The Work, writes, “I don't let go of concepts. I meet them with understanding [and] then they let go of me.”

Growing and evolving as a human being is the ongoing process of taking in new information, evaluating it, keeping what serves you and tossing aside what doesn’t. It really is that simple.