My pockets are full. I’d like to say it they were full of money, but I tend to carry a collection of small items that may or may not be indispensable. I carry what I think I will use on a regular basis, is fairly easy to carry, and mean something personal. If I had a cool Batman utility belt, I would have it filled most likely. I like small gadgets. But, with everything, there must be a limit and carrying 50 pounds of stuff is too much for even the ultra-dedicated. So, how do you choose what you carry and what does say about you?
I became interested in the concept of EDC or Every Day Carry (a good website I enjoy looking at is Everyday-Carry.com). For most people that I have read about online, that concept tended toward weapons, survival, and other stuff of questionable use (at least, in my opinion). There is always a wide selection of what people actually carry and I am very interested to see what people decide to dedicate their very limited personal storage space in carting around. So what is useful and what is valuable?
It is said that you can tell what a person values by looking at how they spend their money. Do they give to charity? Do they spend all their money on fast food then complain they can’t lose weight? Do they visit Starbucks often but complain they have no money to save? Do they spend more than they earn? Money talks, in more ways than one.
That led me to wonder, what does the stuff in my pockets say about me and my values? Before you can examine your stuff, I would suggest that you consider how it is organized. I believe there are about three concentric circles of stuff that radiate outward from the person:
- EDC or on your person – items you would have in your pockets pretty much at all times
- Within arms reach, but not on your person – items you would carry in a coat, purse, backpack, other storage device that is not with you 100% of the time, but is very often at arm’s reach
- Ten-foot rule or very common places – items that you keep in your car, office, bedside table or dresser, etc.
Do you have an idea where your things fit within these three circles? If not, sit down and make a list. Be specific and detailed but not to the point that you have a list of hundreds of items. Just the items you interface with often, you want or need to have with you at particular times, and items that have meaning for you. Do you have a particular pen or brand of pen you always use? Do you rotate through a number of similar items (knives, key chains, etc) depending on where you are going? Do you need a Sherpa to help carry your stuff?
In an upcoming post, I will explain what I have in each of the three areas, why I chose those items, what I would change and why, and how those choices speak of my values. Until then, get working on your list, start thinking what those items really mean to you, and how your past and future choices express your personality and values.