I’ve just finished reading Stuffocation by James Wallman. If I’m honest, I found it really hard going. Ironically, the book itself is now just ‘stuff’ that I’ve got left in the house that I don’t need.

It’s not that that I didn’t like the idea of the book. Living more with less is a powerful message that has really resonated with me. It’s more that this message could have been written in about two pages and not the 358 that this takes up.

The key message in the book is that stuff doesn’t bring happiness – experiences bring happiness. And there’s an important environmental message accompanying this too. These principles have really hit home with me and I’m going to do my best to follow them in future.

The most useful part of the book is the appendix: The 7 habits of Highly Effective Experientials. Here is my interpretation of these seven habits:

  1. Know your stuff: Only buy stuff that makes a difference and adds value to your life. Do you really need it?
  2. Find your ladder: Do something that you love. Life is about enjoying the journey, not reaching a destination.
  3. Be here now: Don’t treat experiences as a tick list. Enjoy them – be in the flow and savour the moment.
  4. Be your own audience: Do things for you, not so you can share your experiences on Instagram to make yourself look great and impress others.
  5. Put people first: Put simply, connections are what makes life. Build them and enjoy them.
  6. Spend well and feel good: Use your resources carefully, consciously and sustainably. Be mindful of the energy, time and money that you use so that using it makes you feel good.
  7. Choose life, choose experience: Be less goal-oriented and worry a little less about achieving the future. Slow down and enjoy life and value experience. Memories live longer than dreams. Be happy.

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