One thing I’ve noticed about article titles that get my attention is that they mention a quantity of something that I didn’t know I wanted to know more about. It’s as if the quantification of a thing that may or may not be countable justifies its existence as an article or blurb. These titles also usually have a judgment word (best, fun, gross, epic), and of course the subject of the list.
Take the fictitious example, “Ten Odd Uses for Pocky.” There are three things that jump out here. First is the phrase “uses for Pocky.” This is remarkable because the only thing I ever thought to do with Pocky was eat it. So the possibility that I can do other things with Pocky is intriguing.
Second, someone has decided that these other particular uses could be labeled as “odd.” Not only are there things to do with Pocky aside from munching, some of these things are normal, and at least ten are officially odd. So Pocky is even more interesting now: those little twigs of yumminess have a) constructive utility, and b) it is borderline weird. Who knew.
Third, the title calls out exactly ten of these odd uses for Pocky. Not some random quantity, but exactly ten which is a nice number for humans. Also, it subtly implies that someone has done a bit of work and has chosen to write about these ten odd uses for Pocky and not all the others. It’s like a “top ten” without actually saying it. Someone did the work for me? Someone figured out this puzzle so I don’t have to? Of course I’m going to read it.
So with these titles, I cannot resist. Obviously it’s a hook, and it annoys me that I am not immune. At least I am aware of it.
Getting back to the point about article titles that get my attention: here is my first (beginner) effort at creating a title quantifying something you didn’t know you wanted to know more about.
Fifteen Reasons to Assess Your Junk
1. Nobody is going to do it for you.
Right up there with doing laundry, paying bills, and managing life in general, you are responsible for your junk. It might be time to consider how you can adultify yourself in this regard.
2. There might be some serious treasure in there.
If it’s been a long time since you took a look at your junk, you might be surprised to rediscover what’s in there. Or even if you think you’re fairly familiar with it because it always seems to be in your face, consider approaching it with a different attitude. Ask, “How can this stuff help me today?” Chances are there’s worth in there. If not, you know what to do with it.
3. All you ever really do with it is move it around.
Whether you’ve moved it from one domicile to another, or you’ve shifted the location of your junk more than once, it’s probably time to get real. What’s all in there, and what’s really meaningful to you? What is actually WORTH keeping at a soul level?
4. A lot of it is old and stagnant. You deserve better.
Old and endearing is one thing, old and fusty is another. Take an item in your hands if possible, sit with it for a few moments, and decide whether the energy it brings to you is deep and uplifting, or low and sort of repelling. You do not need to keep items that bring you down, no matter their original introduction to your life.
5. Although it’s really big, in terms of real junk, less is more.
We all have a lot of junk and wading through it is a lot of work. Spare yourself future effort and make a commitment to keep your junk to a most meaningful minimum.
6. To you it’s just stuff, but to others it’s “issues.”
Some people carry around a lot of stuff. No judgment here. But other people can tell.
7. It may be responsible for your lack of energy, malaise, allergies, or other physical ailments.
Whether or not you are aware of it, having an excess of junk in and around your life can drain you physically and mentally. It is true: you don’t even need to think about your junk for it to have an effect on you. Imagine an invisible cord of energy reaching between you and each item in your heap. This “trickle depletion” of your energy can affect your physical and mental health.
8. It scares away the good stuff.
Every pile of junk has a certain mojo that the good stuff isn’t so sure it wants to affiliate with. Become a welcome resting place for the good stuff and its own happy mojo. The good stuff will find you.
9. There is a secret law of personal conservation of matter: When you clear space in your life you attract new experiences.
The good stuff knows when there’s no room at the inn. Make an effort to clear away the things in your life that are out-dated, the things that don’t support you in being and doing your best. Open your space and fun new things will be able to connect with you.
10. You may solve a few mysteries.
Not only might you find lost or beloved items while assessing your junk, you may bring together pieces of your life that didn’t make sense the first time around.
11. Your junk is always watching you.
Ok, so this one might be more of a projection — you’re not dealing with your junk and you feel it mocking you, either secretly or right to your face. Also, related to #7 above, this is another type of trickle drain. Your choice. Do what you gotta do.
12. You will feel lighter when you purge junk that you don’t use, can’t use or has no significant meaning for you.
Once I saw a video with a guy tossing his old, annoying glitch-prone printer off his backyard deck. He was exhilarated by the process. You need that feeling. Perhaps with a little less brutishness, though.
13. You gain power over it. Versus the opposite.
It’s not only about having power, being empowered, feeling powerful in your life. It’s about freedom from the inverse situation, which is what too much junk does to us.
14. You’re brave and you want to know what’s on the other side.
You know you’re ready for the challenge. Peck away with your junk assessment as time permits. It may take longer than you expect but at some point you’ll find that momentum takes over and your effort will be minimized. Then you’ll blow through and find the other side and know what life is like, junk-free.
15. You will experience increased energy. And year after year baby, energy is key.
Clear your stuff, be loose, feel free and live with energy.