Apartment Therapy On Why Not To Date a Caveman

Apartment Therapy On Why Not To Date a Caveman

Maxwell Ryan
Jun 3, 2013

People may disagree, but I think one of the reasons that successful people are successful is because they have LESS stuff.

Why, you ask? Because their brains are NOT operating out of some outdated primal urge... like a caveman.

During the Stone Age more stuff was good. The ONLY way to measure success or the ability to remain alive was with possessions. The more stuff you had (i.e. the more material for survival), the more successful you were likely to be. If you had a big cave filled with sticks and brontosaurus meat, that made you a big man on campus. In those days there was a logic behind holding on to possessions and things for years to come. Clutter did not exist.

Imagine being a caveman. You go over to your neighbors' cave and they proudly show you around, making sure that you notice all of the stuff that they have: the bearskin rugs, the many stone clubs, the bone tipped spears, the years supply of meat. You are envious and never invite them over to your cave because you don't have much to show for yourself, even though you've worked so hard. Your closets are largely empty. Your neighbors will also fend off the dinosaur and live longer than you.

With the arrival of the Industrial Age, we passed a milestone in civilization. It became so much easier to manufacture stuff that it began to lose its importance in our lives.

Cut even beyond that to NOW, where we live in a fast paced, complicated age – the Information Age. Now physical stuff has become so easy to come by that it has finally become more of a problem than a boon... Stuff is cheap and quality is hard to find.

But most of us are still thinking like cavemen and holding onto stuff from some primal, ancient urge that we haven't quite figured out how to adapt to our new world.

We are afraid to let stuff go and cling to mountains of meaningless possessions for dear life. We know it's not good, but we still struggle.

Imagine life today: You go over to your neighbors' house or apartment and it's neat and clean and airy. Their home is well considered, with empty space to breathe and a careful number of unique objects that range from useful to expressive. Their counters are clear. You are envious and never invite them over because you have too much stuff and are embarrassed by your clutter and lack of organization. Your closets are full. They will fend off all stress related diseases and probably live longer than you.

I see more and more successful people wanting more time and less busy-ness, more quality and less quantity, more space and less stuff.

In our day and age the virtues of brute force and stockpiling have been replaced, and only a caveman would still want to drag things home and believe that it will actually help in the long run.

The ability to edit is a shockingly modern trait and one that defines our age.

Editing is not a matter of money. It is a matter of intelligence, lightness of spirit and clarity of focus.

And it is hard, because, deep down, we're still cavemen at heart.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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