Man in electrical storm battling lightning with an umbrella

Some days, just getting out of bed is a victory.

I’m heading to a conference on Thursday. Right now, I don’t know a single person who will be there. This doesn’t frighten me but it’s definitely outside my comfort zone. Regardless, I’ll do the next right thing and get on the plane—in spite of my fear or apprehension.

I’m sure I’ll have a good time and make some friends. I always have when I’ve done this before. 

Point is, I work hard to do whatever is next, even if I don’t always do it with exuberance and enthusiasm.

Because just showing up is sometimes good enough AND anything is possible once I do that. 


A lot of thought leaders and marketing mavens are big on stressing how important the right attitude is to achieving and sustaining success.

And while I agree, it’s often presented in very stark, black-and-white terms. That winners have to crush every obstacle. That if you don’t have the right attitude, you’re a loser.  That you can never have an “off” day—only losers don’t perform at peak every day.  You won’t achieve success and even if you do, you won’t be able to sustain it.

And while I’m all for changing my attitude when I can, I don’t think it’s just laziness or willfulness when I can’t.

And I don’t accept that these leaders and experts are always cheerful, embracing change and uncertainty with open arms. 

That they view every bump in the road as an opportunity for something miraculous to happen as it’s happening.

Maybe they are.

But I’m guessing that some days they too get upset when they hit the platform just as the train is pulling out of the station.

That they mutter under their breath when they lose a draft of something they were writing for the last two hours.

They don’t immediately see a blank screen as an opportunity to write something better—in the moment they are frustrated at the loss of something they worked hard to create.

I’m all for seeing possibility in every encounter … as a theory or a goal.

But it’s also possible that every day is not an exceptional day of brilliance and ease and connection.

Some days may just be about being adequate and surviving.

Which is still superior to enduring. Let’s definitely avoid that.

Even the Dalai Lama talks about getting angry with the Chinese government at times.

If someone who meditates for hours every day and has reincarnated 13 times still has imperfect reactions, there’s hope for the rest of us. 

Remember, Tony Robbins owns an island in the Pacific and also blew out his voice.

Maybe nothing is all or nothing regardless of what some people would have us believe?


If you’re facing historic clutter or some accumulation of stuff—if you’re feeling overwhelmed at what you’ve created consciously or unconsciously, you don’t have to be brilliant today at making it all go away.

Today might just be about not making more mess.

Do no harm. 

Make no mess. 

And remember that from that place, anything else is possible. 

That could very well be enough victory for one day.

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About The Author

Andrew Mellen's picture

Andrew Mellen is an organizational expert, public speaker, and the #1 best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!

Andrew has helped tens of thousands of people worldwide to declutter and simplify their lives while regaining time for the things that matter.

A sought-after authority on organizing and productivity, Andrew's addressed audiences from The Great British Business Show to TEDx. 

Corporate clients include American Express, Genentech, NetApp, Time, Inc., and the US Depts. of Education and Homeland Security.

The media has dubbed Andrew “The Most Organized Man in America.” He writes a featured column called “Ask The Organizer” in Real Simple. In addition, he has written for and/or appeared in: The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, America Now, The Lisa Oz Show, The Nate Berkus Show, Oprah & Friends, Martha Stewart Living Today, ABC, NBC, CBS, CW11, HGTV, DIY Network, LiveWell Network, KnowMoreTV, Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Day, Family Circle, USA Today, GQ, InStyle, All You, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Healthy UK, American Way, numerous trade and travel publications, and NPR.

He leads workshops and speaks internationally while maintaining a private practice working with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, trade associations, and non-profits to CEOs, award-winning filmmakers, and authors, as well as overwhelmed parents everywhere. 

In 2013, Andrew founded Unstuff U®, the world's first completely virtual personal organization training center, offering classes, workshops, and other online resources for businesses and individuals. 

Andrew is a member of the Experts Collective and serves on the faculty of the New York Open Center in New York City. He speaks frequently on the intersection of spirituality and organization at places including Omega Institute, San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara, All Saints Church, JCC Manhattan, and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, among others.

Previously, Andrew was an award-winning playwright, actor, producer, and director and the former Artistic Director of Alice B. Theater (Seattle), DC Arts Center (Washington, DC), and Shuttle Theater Company (New York). He is a contributing author to Yes Is the Answer: (And Other Prog-Rock Tales).

Andrew lives by his motto: More Love, Less Stuff!® 

Find him on the web at

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