Ep 144: Add More To Life With Subtraction
When kids are driving us up the wall and we want to regain control, we add rules. Then, later down the line...we add more rules. Soon we find ourselves trying to figure out a rule for every video game and homework assignment. As humans and parents, we’re wired to add more and more structure, attempting to create a sense of security. But sometimes the answer doesn’t lie in addition–it lies in subtraction!
We often fail to consider that maybe instead of putting more on our plate, we can instead take something away. This is because in our evolutionary pursuit of survival, humans have gained an affinity for acquisition. We used to hunt and gather to acquire food, but in our modern world, this need to attain means we like to add new objects, responsibilities, and ideas to our life. When uncertainty rears its head, we automatically think addition is the answer. However, if we consider letting something go instead, we might see a better path was right in front of us all along.
In today’s episode, we’re talking to Leidy Klotz, author of Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less. Leidy pulls from his innovative behavioral research and years of design and engineering experience to break down why we as a species feel inclined to add more and more to our lives without removing the things that drag us down.
Leidy and I are discussing why it is that our brains are so predisposed to pile more on without considering the possibility of letting something go. We also cover how we can help teens make some smart subtractions when it comes to technology, and explain how you and your teen can practice subtraction in everyday life.