Should anyone ask, today I got rid of my CDs and DVDs

Many years ago I’d go on after work and weekend trips to Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus or the Virgin Megastore at Tottenham Court Road. I’d carefully browse the albums, hoping that they were good, often having to judge the album by the cover art or guess the quality based on the record label. And then plunk down 15 to 20 Pounds for an album.

And I slowly built up a huge CD and DVD library. These followed me to California, Back to London, then Munich. And have sat in my cellar for the last 8 years. A huge box that was unwieldy to move around and weighed on my mind as something that I should deal with. Something that I should sort out. Something that I should get rid of. Even though they were all ripped into a lossless format I still clung to the memory of putting them on a player, listening to them, sharing them. There was something about the physicality of them that I had a hard time letting go of.

And then I took them to a flea market and sold a few. And found a few that I’d wanted to double check I still had a good rip of. And then gave them all away. 

It feels good letting go. No more carting them around. No more 50kg of laser etched polycarbonate.

It’s interesting how the world is slowly changing from treasuring the physical to one where we subscribe to a music service for 100 Euro a year. But that’s another blog post. For the moment, I’m happy to have less stuff in my life.

Should anyone ask: the 30 day experiment

The idea is that for the next 30 days. I left the Vipassana course early. But I did learn a few things:

  • my brain is very busy:

  • I think about work about 80% of the time

  • I think about relationships about 20% of the time

If I’m thinking about work so much I need to work out how to harness that energy. This is an experiment to see what happens, if my life could be differently if I change a few things.

This is a list of things I would like to do differently.

Firstly, ask for help. So every single day, I reach out and ask for help. It could be contacting a friend and asking him to join me as a co-founder. It could be reaching out to a good friend and asking him for tech proofreading help. I’m going to reach out, and track what I ask for and then monitor the response. Another is asking an ex-boss for feedback on strategy. But every day drilling into a question or ask and then seeing how it works.

Secondly, I’m going to do more sport. While I was at the meditation course I found it incredibly frustrating to sit with 60 other people all focusing on something. I felt trapped, missed my freedom and could only focus on getting-out. But I did come away realising that I do most of my good thinking when I’m running. Problems untangle themselves with the repetitive pounding on the ground. But I’ve been in the habit of running and listening to podcast. So this goal is to run for 30 days (minus the days I’m doing other sport) just listening to music and not listening to and having my thoughts guided by a podcast. 

The third goal is sport. I’m so much happier when I’m doing sport. This goal is to do it ever day. Even if it’s something small like 10 minutes of stretching. But to keep it up. 


doing some meditation. That could mean getting up and meditating in bed or sitting in the living room. For just 5 minutes. 5 minutes every day and seeing what I’m thinking about and seeing where my mind is going. Some time for myself.

Fithly. Starting the “things that weigh me down list”. There a bunch of small things that I hate thinking about. Finance and invoicing. Physical things that hold me back. For example all the stuff in the cellar. The things that were once useful and are no-longer necessary. Paying bills. Piles of paperwork. These things build up and hold me down. This goal is to get them onto a list and out of my mind. And perhaps loop around to the ask for help lists.

And at the end of the 30 days: review progress. I sometimes feel I could be much more successful if I was more focused about achieving goals.

But to do this, what is success? Success for me is contentment. I get my contentment from learning. (a bit problem I had with the meditation course is that I didn’t feel like I was learning/I was learning but without the external stimuli and was hard for me go forward). My brain is a song and needs to be absorbing. Success is also financial independence. I need to charge more for work and also it would be nice to start building up more savings and indepence. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do the next months without a stable income. But we’ll see.

Success is also having a clear mind.  A freer mind. A mind that isn’t bogged down by concerns. My mind is constantly thinking about work stuff and it would be nice to find a way to restrict that to work times.

But for gods sake. Success is also about being happy and having fun. I noticed one of the guides at the meditation course was a very nice guy when I started talking to him about leaving. But before I got to know him he looked like a really stuck up guy. He didn’t smile and was running around with a very very serious looks. So to me success is about having fun and enjoying life.


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