Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 10/08/18

I was wandering around my closet trying to understand how I had so much “stuff.” Racks are filled, drawers filled, shelves filled. When I’m home I wear a shirt and jeans and comfortable shoes. I don’t change four times a day like some debutante in the 19th Century.

Well, I’m a consultant, so I investigated, and I found congeries that I never had years ago but have amassed with shifts in social tides.

I have scores of tee-shirts, some faded and barely legible and some in mint condition and unused. I have them from Budapest and Amsterdam, Señor Frog’s Restaurant and the Hound Hike. There are some touting beer brands, and I don’t drink beer. I have dozens of baseball caps, from Hong Kong, Sydney, Honolulu, Prague, and my own Consulting Convention. Some are discolored, and some promote causes that I can no longer recall. I found magazines that support hobbies that I no longer pursue. But somehow, throwing any of this away seems like discarding some part of my past, an act of disloyalty.

I think this closet stuff is not much different from the mental stuff in our businesses and lives. We tend not to throw out beliefs, memories, attitudes that we were associated with at some point, even though they don’t make as much sense today as they did then.

The problem, of course, is that like my closet, you can’t put in new stuff when the old stuff is taking up all the room.

I threw a huge amount out. “What are you doing?” my wife asked.

“Clearing my head,” I told her.


Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

—Albert Einstein

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