Derek Sivers
from the book “Hell Yeah or No”:



Life can be improved by adding, or by subtracting. The world pushes us to add, because that benefits them. But the secret is to focus on subtracting.

Imagine a number line, with 0 on the left and 20 on the right. Say I want to be in the middle, at 10. But I’m at 17.

number line showing 10 and 17

“What can I add to get to 10? I tried adding 8 but that didn’t work. Maybe 3 would help. I should go all out and add 50.”

number line showing 10 and 17, with line going forward from 17

No amount of adding will get me to where I want to be.

The adding mindset is deeply ingrained. It’s easy to think I need something else. It’s hard to look instead at what to remove.

The least successful people I know run in conflicting directions, are drawn to distractions, say yes to almost everything, and are chained to emotional obstacles.

The most successful people I know have a narrow focus, protect themselves against time-wasters, say no to almost everything, and have let go of old limiting beliefs.

More people die from eating too much than from eating too little. Most of us have too much baggage, too many commitments, and too many priorities.

Subtracting reminds me that what I need to change is something already here, not out there.