You may remember at the start of the century, the growing interest in the United States with the Chinese philosophical system of feng shui. If you’re unfamiliar with it, feng shui professes the importance of harmonizing everyone with their surrounding environment. Evidence of this ancient practice dates to 4000 B.C.
Like many westerners, Sharlyn and I were curious about feng shui so we purchased a few books and read some articles to learn a little more about it. Historically, feng shui practices have to do with orienting buildings and their structures, such as doors and windows, relative to local features such as bodies of water or stars. Please note that I in no way profess to be an expert in feng shui. The main thing that I took away from reading about it is that the practices are designed to make your life easier.
That’s what really caught my attention. More than 6000 years after the start of feng shui, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates was believed to have said:
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” Had Bill known me at the time, he probably would have made me chairman of the board.
And this is where feng shui becomes important in unretirement. Chances are, you won’t wake up one morning and say “Today I will quit my full-time job and focus on my unretirement gig.” Instead, what most of us do is find some spare time to work on gigs on the side. No spare time? No gigs.
So find ways to create a little some spare time by making your life easier. One of Sharlyn’s favorite quotes is by celebrity chef Alton Brown, “Organization will set you free.” So get organized and harmonize yourself with your inbox, your desk, and your to-do list. Focus on the things you do repeatedly throughout the day and find ways to do them easier and faster. A few minutes here and there can really add up.
When planning for your unretirement, you don’t have to be a feng shui master to understand the value of a little harmony.