The Must List


Nick and I live in an 800 square-foot house farm house. It’s much bigger than the tiny houses that I often find myself dreaming of for a vacation home, but it can feel small, especially when we let it get cluttered by stuff. This inevitably leads to semi-yearly purging where we throw away, donate, sell and gift until our space feels under control again.

I’m feeling the need to purge again. As I was thinking about what I might get rid of, though, I struck me how hard it is to let go of things sometimes. I don’t know why really. If I think about it happiness is achieved through living a meaningful life – a life that is filled with passion and freedom, a life in which I grow as an individual and contribute beyond myself. Growth and contribution: those are the bedrocks of happiness. Not stuff.

If that’s the simple, unsexy truth, I needed a list…a “must list” if you will…of the things I must have to live a meaningful life. My hope is that this list will help me distinguish between the physical things in my life that support happiness and meaning and those things which don’t (and by definition can be let go of).

Here goes…

Carry’s Must List

  • I must eat healthy food at every meal
  • I must exercise consistently
  • I must meditate daily
  • I must spend time exercising my creativity (e.g. writing, taking photographs)
  • I must grow as an individual (e.g. through meaningful experiences)
  • I must build impactful, loving relationships with friends and family
  • I must contribute to others
  • I must be grateful and thankful every day


What do you think? Would you have the same things on your list? What would you add?

Photo:  Arek Olek

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