From the author:
What is firmly anchored?
The epitome of heteronomy in your life are things we call anchor. In English-speaking countries, the term "anchored" is used, among other things, for people who are fully alive.
They have docked in the harbor and protected themselves against possible storms with several heavy anchors. However, the anchors have sunk so deep into the seabed that the ship can no longer leave the safe harbor.
Is it normative or self-determined?
Enough of the metaphors. You know what I'm aiming for. A sense of security, antagonistic consumption cravings and certain expectations of society make sure that as you grow older, you bind yourself more and more to things and obligations that ultimately make you strange.
Standing with both legs in life gets a positive association. To have a career, to own property, to accumulate status symbols and to secure yourself in the best possible way is considered standard-compliant, although these very anchors can prevent you from living a self-determined life.
Whenever something holds you - be it contractual obligations, emotional ties or financial restrictions - you give up a small amount of self-determination and leave the decision-making power to a third party. By catching some anchors and taking on more responsibility for your life, you're taking that freedom back.
Minimalism as a life setting
Very helpful in reducing anchors is the approach of minimalism. Under the motto "Declutter your life", minimalists try to counteract the overload with things. It's about much more than clearing out the apartment and renouncing consumption.
The basic idea of minimalism is to assign more importance to the really important things in your life and to free you from everything superfluous. That's what your self-determined life is all about - you take control instead of letting yourself be controlled by all the influences and things in your life.
Which anchors really improve your life?
Look at the following list of anchors and consider exactly which of these things put more strain on you than they give you pleasure and make your life better:
- Financial anchor: Dependency on a source of income, debt, insurance and pension, recurring payments for rent, utilities and service providers, as well as minor contracts such as subscriptions or memberships.
- Material anchor: Statics symbols or expensive hobbies, possessions such as cars or real estate, home furnishings and clothing, gadgets, televisions, memorabilia and paper documents.
- Social anchor: Family, relationships and friendships, club memberships, voluntary activities, social commitments and expectations, such as family celebrations or family tables.
- Emotional anchor: Self-doubt, conventional ways of thinking, fears and harmful habits.
Which anchors burden your life?
Of course, there are anchors that are not bad for you. Relationships, certain possessions and responsibility towards your social environment can add value.
These are the anchors that burden you, bind you to a place, make you financially dependent and take your time without enriching your life at the same time.
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