Conducting Inventory

March 11, 2012

How do you evaluate, keep track, and conduct an inventory?

If your mind were a warehouse, would you know what is stored in it? Is there anything not worth keeping? Old, expired, or taking up space?

Would this be an image of your warehouse?

Are the items being stored helpful, relevant, and in good shape?

Or would this be your warehouse?

I have been thinking about how life seems to pass so fast a lot of the time. But, if you stop and think about it, life actually moves pretty slowly, one day at a time.

So, over the hours and days and years, could it be possible I’ve picked up some bad habits? We tend to think we are the same as we were a year ago, but we aren’t. Physically we aren’t. We are different. I’ve heard it said that each skin cell is actually replaced in a years time. That means I am not who I was a year ago. Literally.

The way we change, the items we take into our warehouse, the thoughts we adopt as truth, and the habits we have formed need to be constantly monitored. I had never done this in the past. After all, what was in my mind was the truth, right?

Well, our minds think what we tell them to think. They go down the roads that we let them go down. Every morning I can choose how to approach my day. Every response to someone is a chosen response. Every action I take is a chosen action or reaction.

All these things, however, are programmed in there. They are stored, like in a warehouse. Depending on the situation at hand, I pull information and thoughts from certain shelves.

Therefore, I have been thinking about my own warehouse. Is it organized? Is it free of extra clutter? Are the shelves that I am pulling information from fully stocked with relevant, healthy material? Or, am I constantly going to the back shelf and pulling out moldy, pest ridden items and acting like they are shiny and new?

Am I going to my shelves only to find the good stuff is out of stock? Do I need to pull from the just OK stuff because that’s all there’s left?

Now, I am constantly taking stock of my warehouse. I am getting busy dusting, polishing, ordering, and restocking.

Question: How do you evaluate the contents of your warehouse? 


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  • Reply Michael Wright March 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    This is tricky business. Sometimes it takes an outside “Warehouse Manager” to help sort things out. It’s so hard to see the mess within sometimes. The subconscious mind has been referred to as the “jockey” that drives the horse. It’s very small, yet very powerful. So much of what we have up there is programmed so tightly, we don’t even realize it. It just happens. How do I evaluate it? I think when things come up as bad habits (nail biting, being overweight, not taking charge, etc and I am speaking of past experience here) – that is when we realize there is a “mess”. I don’t know that I can see the messiness until it bubbles up within or someone points it out. My 2 cents.

    • Reply Rob Coburn March 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Michael, love your response and the article was great as well. We have to take time to look at life from the outside in and sometimes we also have to have others look as well. I will evaluate my existing system of checks and balances and adjust where necessary. Thanks, Rob

      • Reply Claudia Good March 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

        Well put!
        It’s like when you clean your own house you get used to the clutter and just go about straightening the clutter up. But if someone else is helping you they question why the clutter is even there to start with! It’s a revelation… and you think… “yeah, why is it still there?”

        I know hiring a “warehouse manager” as you put it Michael has helped me immensely in the past. Got me out of the fog to see more clearly the steps I was taking.

        In fact, I know people who do this regularly just as a maintenance and I think it is wise beyond measure!

        Thanks for the insight! Michael and Rob!

  • Reply Ann J Musico March 12, 2012 at 6:53 am

    I love the post and Michael I agree – sometimes we need an outsider to point something out that no longer needs to be stored! That very thing happened to me as I discussed something with a friend and mentioned something that was told to me when I was a teenager. I hadn’t really thought much about it and mentioned it in passing but she very wisely and insightfully pointed out how it could still – all these years later – be negatively affecting me. We need to really be aware intentionally of thoughts because they most certainly will affect our responses and choices.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

      This is sooo true! Isn’t amazing how long we carry things and let it taint the glass we are looking through?! But as you and Michael said,… sometimes it takes an outsider to point it out. Or an inciting incident to wake us up… if you will.

      A reminder as to why it is so important to have trusted people walking closely in life with us!

  • Reply robclinton March 14, 2012 at 10:40 am

    One of the biggest things that helps me stay focused on where I’m giving my attention, and what I should get rid of is my planning document… It begins at the top with my vison and mission, breaks down into objectives I’m working on this year, and finally breaks down into immediate goals… Those goals feed into a sheet I print out everyday, at which I just check everything off as I’m going. I constantly look, assess, revise, what I’m doing, and where it is I’m going… If I didn’t have this, then I’d be a task manager, and that’s when things get chaotic…

    • Reply Claudia Good March 15, 2012 at 8:47 am

      I love it!
      Did you follow a book for this or make your own?

      We combined ideas/suggestions from Dan Miller and Chris Guillebeau but are still working on exactly how to lay it out into a day to day plan. That is what we are working on.

      Tell me more!

      • Reply robclinton March 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        I, like you and Michael have a compiled version from various sources and ideas…All from people like Dan Miller, Kent Julian, and Free Agent Academy professors such as Chuck Bowen and James Woosley… I have my own flow to it, and it continues to evolve as I try out different things in my day, but right now, I’m loving what I have! Since that’s what you’re working on let me know how I can help!

        • Reply Claudia Good March 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm

          hmmm interesting! So, do you have a certain amount of things from your goal list to accomplish each day?

          We wrote out our goals,… but have only recently learned of the importance of a mission statement. Totally changes everything! Was just listening to Chuck Bowen’s story about mission statements being like the Amazon. Everything should flow into it. I like that. So we are reworking the whole list and putting it through the mission statement filter.

          • robclinton March 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

            I do… Well, everything flows out of my mission statement. If what I’m doing doesn’t align with that, then I’m off purpose. My vision is the first thing to come out of that mission, and all of the objectives and goals that support that. For my goal sheet, I have a day break down for each section of the day, and also I incorporate Pareto’s law 80/20 with my goals, and Kent Julian introduced this to me in his format to include a 1% goal… That 1% goal has been so key for me, because if nothing else gets done today, I’m still moving forward as that 1% (the most important goal) was complete. On a normal day, I have about 3 or 4 20% goals listed, and I rarely get to my 80%… The daily goal sheet is so powerful for me…

          • Claudia Good March 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm

            Ok, this is so cool!
            So we are familiar with the 80/20 law but not with the 1%. What great wisdom did Kent Julian bestow upon you? 🙂

          • robclinton March 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

            Yes it definitely is! 🙂 Thanks Claudia…

  • Reply Marianne Clements March 15, 2012 at 9:33 am


    Very interesting perspective. I am a very organized person, so the idea of taking inventory makes total sense to me. Romans 12:2 says to be transformed by renewing your mind. This is exactly what you are talking about — getting rid of the old moldy stuff and replacing it with fresh, new ideas and practices. Staying in a learning mode helps me renew my mind and keep my inventory fresh and healthy.

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Marianne Clements
    Victory Christian Coaching

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