Could you live with just 100 things?
If you were so fed up with consumerism, and how much we are pressured to acquire, would you react by going in the opposite direction?
Dave Bruno did.
The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul details Dave Bruno’s rejection of consumerism and his quest to get away from the desire to consume and acquire that he felt was robbing him of his soul.
The book takes a rather meandering journey from where he was to how he made the decision to how it was implemented. He explains how he came to decide on 100, what the “rules” were, as well as how it affected his family. It also looks at people’s reactions.
One of the most interesting things I found about this book was the process he used to let go of some of the baggage of his past. The story of how he let go of the idea of building a model train layout hit particularly close to home, because living with a model train enthusiast, I understand how difficult this hobby is. Dave Bruno laid forth his honesty with himself and how much he felt lighter when he admitted he was never going to build the full-blown layout.
One idea, about a quarter through the book, gave me pause. It’s how as Americans we are constantly buying things that are not quite right, and how this fuels our quest for more. I thought about this as I looked around my office and reading area. Both are littered with tools that are not quite right – particularly my writing instruments and notebooks.
The 100 Thing Challenge has caught on. Many people have taken it and found profound shifts in their lives.
While I find the idea of downsizing intriguing, particularly as I look around my spaces, I don’t think I’m up for a 100 thing challenge. However, reading the book coincided with a Decluttering Challenge I took with a women’s group I belong to, and it added fuel to my enthusiasm. I was really honest as I purged my bookshelves. The books that I would not read again, or would never get to, went to be donated. I attribute that directly to reading The 100 Thing Challenge.
For those of you who have read this blog for a while, you know that I am not an advocate of radical anything. The same goes with possessions, either acquiring or ridding myself of them. But a gentler take on the 100 Thing Challenge I believe is worth thinking about. After all, what would you do if you didn’t have a “need” to buy things? Would you be able to leave your job and pursue something else? Live life on your own terms?
It’s worth thinking about. And a good place to start is by reading The 100 Thing Challenge.
Book: The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul
Author: Dave Bruno
Harper Collins, publisher of the book, provided me with a proof copy of the book enable me to write this review.