Why?, one might ask. I will retort, why not?
This value connotes nothing. The dictionary defines zero as the line or point from which all divisions of a scale are measured in either a positive or a negative direction. A good starting point, right. So why aim for it when I have clearly moved from where I started.
Moving up is always a goal…. in our studies, career, family, wealth, possessions….. We work to reach a certain point to satisfy our urge to get to a higher plane. As we reach each life’s goal, we can’t wait to move up another notch. In our economics class, we were taught that human needs and wants are insatiable. Maslow said that new and higher level needs emerge even if we have not fully satisfy old needs…. that is human nature. Unmet needs are the staple that consumes a person to desire to be better today than yesterday (just like how Spiral Staircase does for love) …. for life.
With that comes our desire for a better self to be able to be good in what we are doing so that we will move up, earn more and acquire more. This is the life cycle for most of us. That is also the path I chose for myself….. after graduating from the university, even finishing graduate studies, getting married and raising a family, juggling between careers and ventures; buying a house, making it bigger and better and stuffing with all sorts of things. I used to pride myself with being among first-time user of the latest gadgets and connected to just about anyone and anything.
It started rather inconspicuously…..
Once upon a time, our home used to be just a box with two rooms and few things. Hubby, me and our eldest daughter stayed in one room and the help stayed in the other room. It was fine, we fitted and got everything we needed. Then, came middle daughter and only son. Readjustment in living arrangement were made including five family members sleeping altogether on the short side of the bed to fit in. Expansions were made which made living comfortable over time. Now we are all comfortably fitted in the bigger house. As we age we want to fill the house with things that made us happy and comfortable. Without noticing it, what used to be so refreshingly airy, light and easy on the eyes seems so full and brimming with stuff. We became collectors. It is not necessarily bad. We earn those for ourselves because we worked for those. It actually doesn’t sound too good saying it.
Last year, the house had a good shake up and I stumbled on a lot of broken and unusable items in shelves and cabinets gathering dust and new things that remained unused for so many years. I decided it was time to let go of so many things that clutter the house and our lives. Less is Best was born. I already disposed of a lot of these things, yet we still have clutters scattered all over waiting to be sorted and decided on. Here is one area where the goal is being set to 0….. new acquisitions, clutter, stress. As I declutter, there is more space to move about. Empty space is a lot easier on the eyes too. I still have a long way to go as I have mounds of stuff all over the place …… some are hard to let go…. sigh
Other 0 goals follow: 0 credit card balance. I am down to 1 credit card from a high of 5. Twice, I maxed out balances for a number of cards and had a hard time coping from payroll to payroll. I finally eased the debt through a combination of steel determination, low-priced credit and discipline. I vowed never to go to that situation again. I guess I made progress but that is not just my goal for my finances… I have to up the ante. I must caution this is a hard area because there are lots of temptations. I may have eased up on my lust for material things but I’m just human….. There are other things that give pleasure….. like sensual and visual pleasure from experiences ….. more on this in another post. The consolation from this switch is that … it is clutter-free and refreshes the soul. But I must watch out for careless habitual spending and still exercise restraint.
0 is also the goal in tardiness and absences at work. A positive value for these brings negative consequences in terms of leave credit or salary deduction, sometimes both. Like for credit, I once maxed out my leave credits because of career hopping and sickness. It was like starting all over again…. like hitting ground 0….. as a certain number of leave credits is required to stay in the payroll, meaning receive salary on time. It took time to earn back those leave credits…. with the monstrous traffic and the need for a break at times. Again, I vow never to be in this situation and 0 in this department will ease my trouble.
After all of the ups and downs in life, being at that point may not be bad at all. Starting or restarting at point 0 may just be the place where one can have an opportunity to start all over again, mend things or move in another direction. Isn’t that point too what being grounded is all about. Everyone has to start somewhere and point 0 is that point when the mind is clear, the possibilities are endless and the perspective is fresh.