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Is Clutter & Chaos Part of Your Masterpiece?

Antiquepainting One of my favorite quotes is:

"Make each day your masterpiece." (John Wooden)

I have this quote printed out on a label and stuck to the top edge of my laptop screen. It keeps me on track throughout the day and inspires me. When I am getting distracted, I ask myself if this activity or this thinking is part of creating my masterpiece. When the answer is no, I adjust and do better.

What does a masterpiece day look like for you? Mine includes good sleep, getting up relatively early, fresh food, exercise, time with family and friends, focusing on my top priorities, writing, journaling, Tweeting, reading, and laughing. (Also Dagoba Xocolatl dark chocolate with chilies and cocoa nibs.) It does NOT include wasted time or sweating the small stuff.

But more than that– what does a masterpiece LIFE look like for you? Does your masterpiece include clutter, chaos, procrastination, indecision, and distraction? Are you waiting on other people to do things for you, to rescue you, to give you the answers? Are you grabbing the brush, putting your own hands into the clay, putting down the bold strokes that are required?

The most powerful thing about this quote is the idea that we CREATE our days and we CREATE our lives. We have choice in every moment–even if we don't always have full control of our circumstances, we choose how we react to them. So if clutter and chaos are part of your life and are standing in the way of creating your masterpiece, know that you have the power to paint with a different brush, carve off an unnecessary chunk of the clay, or even ball up the paper and start over.

What is your definition of a masterpiece day? What is holding you back? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Filed under: General


Fran Wheeler

Lorie, I really like this. It’s such a good way to think about our days and how we’re using our time. I’m going to post it some place where I will see it often.


Lorie, something I do to remind myself that a few minutes here and there can add up to a masterpiece is cross stitch. I’m working on a design that I estimate will take me 7 years to complete. I know that sounds crackers but I spend TV time most nights working on it and it’s always there for me to look back at, showing me how 1/2 here and there adds up to something bigger!
Allison (MonoManiacAl on Twitter)


Probably a bad week to ask me that question. I’m a little burned out after a big project. But what I have created are systems to keep the clutter and chaos under control. Even if I slip up a little one week because I’m focused on something else, I can easily get back on track the next week.
Clutter and chaos are so draining. And you’re right, a good diet certainly helps too! Gotta keep those energy levels high, and be able to think clearly.
I guess it’s about creating good habits, which in turn naturally creates the type of life you want to live.


Wow, great words of wisdom Lori. Thank you for sharing this. I think sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in life’s little chaoses that we loose sight of what is truly important. I have copied and pasted this article into a Word document and have it hanging on my refrigerator to remind me to stay focused on what’s important. Thank you for the great reminder.

Lorie Marrero

Thanks, everyone- this was one of my favorite posts I have ever written and it’s really important to me, so I am very glad it meant a lot to you too. – Lorie


“what does a masterpiece LIFE look like for you?” – Love it! It’s a little like having a vision for your life and living it out.
In regards to “Does your masterpiece include clutter, chaos, procrastination, indecision, and distraction?” – my kids are home for the summer, can I answer this question in the fall? My house is one big clutter pile right now…


Oh Polly, that was so funny! I am so feeling your pain right now- two teenage boys home for the summer.
We’ll have some tips to help you get ready for back-to-school soon!


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