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Keep. Add. Remove. Replace

06 July, 2020 - 3 min read

I remember watching a documentary on Netflix not too long ago. 'Inside Bill's Brain'. It's a 4 part series following Bill Gates around and gives an insight into how he thinks and operates. The one thing that stuck with me was his annual 'Think Week'. He finds somewhere remote on Lake Washington and spends the week alone with a bunch of books and a notepad and removes all other distractions.

After it aired I saw a few YouTubers trial their own versions of a 'Think Week' and they inspired me to make my own version. I'm no Billionaire or YouTuber so the best I could manage was 3 days way from regular life.

I packed up my notebooks and laptop and headed off for 3 days to be alone with my thoughts. I did a lot of soul searching and writing over the three days. I didn't do any coding. Instead I focused on reflection and planning.

On the middle day I took a road trip along the coast. The 'Great Ocean Rd' winds along the rugged cliffs between Anglesea and Apollo Bay. The constant hair pin bends were taking just the right amount of concentration to give me something to focus on and quiet my mind. It was really quite peaceful.

I arrived at Lorne and found a picnic table in the sun and started writing when I had an idea for how I might better plan out my life.

I got 4 pieces of paper and wrote 'Keep, Add, Remove & Replace' on each one respectively.

I asked myself:

What do I want to Keep in my life?

  • My loving wife
  • My family
  • Writing

What do I want to Add to my life?

  • A motorbike
  • Writing in public (like this)
  • Photography
  • Start a family

What do I want to Remove from my life?

  • Anxiety
  • In action
  • Negative people

What do I want to Replace in my life?

  • Journaling privately with writing publicly
  • Worry with Confidence
  • In action with action

You get the idea, but this had a profound effect on me. It's the only reason you're able to read this write now... I committed to writing in public.

If you are reading this I highly recommend you try it for yourself. I'll tell you why:

  • I felt gratitude
  • I felt hopeful and excited for the future.
  • I felt free
  • I felt in control

Powerful stuff but I was just scribbling in my journal and stumbled across it by accident.

It felt so good and clarifying that I plan to do it at least annually if not every 6 months or so.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. I'm active on Twitter and would love to hear if this helped you in anyway 🙂.

Please sir, can I have some more?Committing to writing daily