Sunday, December 24, 2017

Startup Chile and my 100 Things Challenge

If you didn't catch it on my Facebook Live / Instagram Live you might not know our company, 7 Generation Games, was selected for Startup Chile! So, I will be heading to Santiago in a few weeks to work on developing a game for the Latin American market.

If you just read this blog and don't know me personally, you might not know that I am sort of an "anti-hoarder" and am constantly going through our house throwing or giving away clothes that don't fit anyone, books no one reads and electronics no one uses.

Living in a one-bedroom apartment in Chile will give me the perfect opportunity to winnow down everything I use to less than 200 things.

If you're not familiar with the 100 things challenge. It's a pretty simple idea: .

  1. "Excess does not equal success".
  2. Reduce everything you use to 100 things.
Now, this isn't a hard and fast rule that you MUST have a magical number of 100 things and everyone who does it is free to make up their own rules. For example, one person counted underwear as a group, as one item and a phone and its charger as a single item.  The originator of this challenge, David Michael Bruno, limited his 100 things to "personal items" since he is married and has kids, it's probably a lot easier to implement this for yourself than insist everyone in your household do it. 

I can see how these rules can allow you to really cheat, though. I must have at least 40 pairs of socks and there are at least a dozen iPhone chargers in this house. So, I decided on these rules, but I may revise this before I go.

  1. Any item I need counts as one item as a group. For example, I wear disposable contacts and can't see without those. My 6-month supply of contacts is 1 thing. 
  2. Since I planned to do my laundry weekly, I counted a week's worth of socks as 1 item, a week's worth of underwear as a second item. Anything beyond that gets counted separately.
  3. A pair of something is one thing. A pair of shoes, a pair of socks, a two-piece swimsuit. 
  4. If something is useless without a thing, then it counts as part of that thing. For example, a computer and charger are one thing. A microphone is a separate thing.
  5. Any gifts or purchases will have to replace something I get rid of.

So, I'm starting today to winnow through my things and see what I absolutely have to have and what I don't need at all.  I'm going to start with my list of things I absolutely must have. Once I get past 25, I think there might be some things I will switch off the list but these are things I use every day.

  1. Contact lenses
  2. Reading glasses  -  I am taking 2. I'm counting these as one thing because I really will be unable to work if I don't have them, and these are prone to breaking and being lost. Currently I have at least 5 pairs in the house, so I'll leave the other 3 here.
  3. Prescription glasses - for when I'm not wearing contacts
  4. Sunglasses - two pairs, one because my optometrist says I really need to wear sunglasses to reduce my chance of cataract surgery and the second because I got 3 pairs for Christmas and could not choose. Besides, I like sunglasses

So .... my first six things all have to do with being able to see, but it brings home to me how fortunate I am to live in the time and place I do. The funny thing is that when I was competing in judo, without correction, my vision would have actually qualified me to compete as visually impaired, if there had been such a classification back then. Because I could not afford contacts, I actually trained and competed  "visually impaired" for my first seven years in the sport, including winning a national championship and the U.S. Open. Once I got contacts and could actually see the scoreboard, the time and my coach, it was pretty helpful. 

I expect to learn a lot from this 100 things challenge, including thinking about  what I value and why. So, 94 things left. Suggestions welcome. I'll let you know how it goes.

To see what other things made the cut, read this post.

Want to know if I'm seeing any benefits from the 100 things challenge? Well, as a matter of fact ...

While you're waiting for our bilingual game from Startup Chile, head over to the app store and check out Aztech: Meet the Maya - learn history and math, improve your Spanish (or English)

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