The Necessity of Living Unnecessarily

Unnecessary things are like USB ports. 

The unblinking man, sleepless and without dreams?
The unblinking man, sleepless and without dreams?

They are reminders, mementos, inspirational pointers that allow you and I to time travel… mental triggers of vacations past, adventures forward and unlived dreams. Unnecessary things are the seeds of a wild imagination and they make life worthwhile.

Todd Henry talks about Unnecessary Creating in a recent Accidental Creative Podcast. After listening, I realized that if all of my time is spent doing necessary things, utilitarian or on  purpose, I am missing something. (I highly recommend that you listen to the podcast and sign up for it.)

We waste our lives by grasping only what is necessary.

Here’s the rub: We all live by plan, by schedule and by routine. We have to and it helps us to function better. I eat the same breakfast and drink the same coffee every day. I have my vitamins in a plastic case that reminds me to take my egg shaped grassy-fish tasting pills. I feel more organic after eating the things and they keep me regular. Regular is good, but sometimes it can become a trap to avoid risk, the unknown or the uncomfortable. Unnecessary creating can be a way to Un-trap ourselves.

An unnecessary elephant, sitting on a shelf full of giants
An unnecessary elephant, sitting on a shelf full of giants

It used to be that as a culture, we attended church/mosque/synagogue and that gave us a weekly routine of unnecessary time. Our minds would wander and our Spirits could soar. We connected with belief, love and maybe even wonder. But in our connected, intelligent and scientific world, have we abandoned a routine that only the Unnecessary can give us?

  • When we create unnecessarily, we dedicate time and space for being creative in whatever way that means to us. Why? Dedicated time for unnecessary creating frees us. It allows a safe container where we can risk, believe in our creativity, experiment or explore interests not satiated by our daily work. Unnecessary time gives room for our Spiritual life, our Crayon Whisperer to emerge.
  • Hold on to something unnecessary: I keep unnecessary things in my home, my bedroom and my office because they remind me to go off grid once in a while. They are launching points. So rather than de-clutter, maybe your unnecessary creativity begins by holding on to tangible items that remind you to go off grid?
  • Daydreaming is another way to carve out some unnecessary time. Children daydream more than adults, so that must be a good thing!

James Altucher writes about how children laugh 300 times a day, but adults laugh only 5 times a day. Maybe children laugh so much because they have so much unnecessary time?

What about you? How do you hold onto the unnecessary?

Unnecessary but oh so fun!
Unnecessary but oh so fun!
  • Please leave a comment, because comments are well, unnecessary… comments take time. They are breaks from our routine that make us reflect. Thinking is always good thing.

If you like what I have to say, please share it and sign up for my blog.

Keep it real

4 thoughts on “The Necessity of Living Unnecessarily

    1. You are welcome. I appreciate the blog and your first two books. Love them. I am a creative who works in Management within Addiction and Mental Health. Creativity is what helps me to be resilient amidst change, organizational madness and the stuff the life throws my way. Thanks for what you do.


    1. Remember, you can binge on food for thought. It is calorie free and takes little time to burn off. Food for thought has a short life, though, it needs to be digested and acted upon.

      Keep it Real, Mom.



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