How to Practice The Art of Addition In Your Life

art of addition subtraction habits actions relationshipsIn my recent article How to Renovate Your Life- 3 Steps to Make Change Happen, I wrote that if you want to make positive change happen in your life, you have to do 3 things:

  • Renovate Your Mind
  • Renovate Your Actions
  • Practice the Art of Subtraction

When I mentioned the art of subtraction, I made the point that to make change happen in your life, you have to destroy a few things first before you can add good things later that will make your life better.

So now I’d like to talk about that “later” part.

Specifically, I want to talk about practicing the art of addition in your life.


The Art of Subtraction- It’s Like Spring Cleaning

When you practice the art of subtraction in your life, you’re getting rid of bad habits, negative thought patterns, and limiting time with people who are life suckers instead of life bringers.

It’s kind of like spring cleaning for your life.  You get rid of the junk that’s holding you back to make room for the things that will serve to move your life forward in a positive way.

And just like spring cleaning your house, it feels great when you can get rid of the dust and the junk and start fresh.

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The Art of Addition

Once you’ve started your “spring cleaning”, and begun making the effort to master the art of subtraction, I think it’s crucial to then start learning to master the art of addition.

So what does the art of addition look like?  What does it mean?

Adding good things to your life means finding those new habits, actions, and people that make your life better and more livable.

And when you get to the point where you can start adding those good things into your life one by one, it has the interesting result of adding to the lives of others as well.

Think about it, the more you subtract the junk, and add the good stuff, it can’t help but make life better for you and those around you.

Here are a few areas where you can work on the art of addition:

  • Your Mind-  Once you’ve subtracted limiting beliefs from your mind that were keeping you down, you can now replace them with scripts that say positive things, like “I’m worthy of having a good life”, “What I do matters”, and “I have the power to change myself and the world for the better”.
  • Your Actions-  When you subtract counterproductive actions from your life such as bad spending habits, lack of exercise, poor interactions with your spouse, infrequent prayer, etc., you now have the opportunity to replace those with better actions like sticking to a budget, spending quality time with your spouse, regular exercise, and connecting daily with God in prayer.
  • Your Relationships-  Eliminating or limiting time with people who suck the life out of you may seem harsh, but it’s necessary to keep you from being dragged through the mud spiritually and emotionally.  You can now practice the art of addition by bringing new people into your life who don’t gossip or talk negatively.  You can find people who are positive, uplifting, and have direction.  We’re all a reflection of who we hang out with, so when you add people into your life that are positive, strong, and seeking higher things in life, those traits can’t help but be reflected in your own life as well.


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."- Romans 12:2


The Art of Addition Moves You Forward

Using the art of addition to replace the bad with the good ensures that you keep moving forward and maturing in every aspect of your life, instead of stagnating and going around the same mountains again and again.

We are put on this earth to learn, grow, and connect, and to use what we’re given to add to our own lives, the lives of others, and the world around us to make good things happen.

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A Better Life Through Math

So now it’s time to get crackin’ on your math homework.

First, practice the art of subtraction, then the art of addition, and the sum total will be a better life for you and those around you.

Question:  What have you added or subtracted from your life to make it better?  Leave a comment and let me know. 


Want to Learn How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck For Good? 

My Celebrating Financial Freedom course may be just what you're looking for, and it's now available in a new online video format!  

You can learn more about it on the course home page and watch the introductory video!




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Group Leader
Comment by Dr. Jason Cabler on March 6, 2014 at 7:09pm

When you're able to overcome the thoughts and beliefs that have been holding you back, it always makes a huge difference in your life.  I've been able to change my mindset on a lot of things over the years, and it's made a huge difference in my career, my marriage, and my spiritual life.

Group Leader
Comment by Joe Stickel on March 6, 2014 at 6:08pm

Subtracting limiting thoughts and beliefs from your mind is SO important.  My life changed completely when I realized how limiting thoughts were keeping me from living a life that was true to myself.

Group Leader
Comment by Dr. Jason Cabler on March 6, 2014 at 5:53pm

Congrats Chris, getting rid of the junk and investing in yourself is always going to pay off in the long run.  I've always been big on personal development, too.  I have an hour commute so I listen to a lot of podcasts, as well as the cd's from Success Magazine.  For me, the car is one of the best places for learning there is!

Comment by Chris Conley on March 6, 2014 at 3:19pm

Jason, first I'd like to say great article. As far as what I've subtracted from my life is cable tv. 2 years ago I pulled the plug saving $1,000 per year. We still have free antenna tv but have cut our hours of tv watching a lot. As far as what I've added is personal development. I've created a library of many cd's I play as I drive as well as books. I think I've read 15 books in the last 12 months. That's not a lot by some peoples standards but along with Success magazine and other newsletters it's pretty good. thanks again, great article, great writing.

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