Times of India Speaking tree What is the cemtral idea and summary find By Pradeep Bajpai Clutter in the house blocks the flow of vital energy, adversely effecting relationships, growth, health, productivity and career, according to Vaastu. This clutter could be of three kinds. First, what is broken is no longer functional – like a broken tennis racket. Second, things that have become outdated and have no utility, in the present or future. Then there are things that are useful but not really for us because our needs have changed since the time we acquired them, for example childhood toys that we have outgrown. While this principle is applicable to physical clutter in homes and offices, a little introspection reveals that something similar is true of our lives as well and we need to declutter by removing or avoiding people and thoughts that, metaphorically speaking, are mere clutter for us. First, the people who should be avoided or with whom social contact should be minimised; we can call them social clutter. This includes persons who are insincere and will not help even when they are in a position to do so. Here, help would comprise both material and advisory assistance. Then there are persons who do not have the resources to help materially or who have no qualities that can inspire us. Time spent with them yields no benefit, intellectual or spiritual. ￼ Envious and jealous people may succumb to these feelings and harm us if they think that we are doing better than they are. Also, an exploitative person will always try to gain something at our expense; with such a person a situation yielding mutual benefit can never arise. An egoistic and arrogant person can be both exasperating for our mood and tax our patience, sapping our energy; an equal relationship with give-and-take of ideas and views, so necessary for intellectual growth, is just not possible with him. A rude and supercilious individual can dent our self-confidence; worse, over long association, these crude traits can rub off on us. We now come to an equally, if not more, important aspect of our lives – our thoughts. If we allow negative thoughts and feelings to take root in our minds they will destroy not only our chances of success in what we do but also negatively impact our peace of mind. Like pessimism which detracts from our enthusiasm and makes us fear the future; greed which tempts us into unethical and sometimes dangerous situations; ambition which makes us spin like a top relentlessly at the cost of bodily and mental harm. Vanity, a close cousin, makes us run faster and faster on the materialistic treadmill for more and more. Anxiety of the unhealthy kind also destroys our peace of mind; in fact, it is a self-inflicted torture that undermines our abilities and prevents us from enjoying what life offers us. Just as in our homes we need to do spring cleaning periodically, so also, it is necessary that we keep getting rid of all negativities from our minds and social circle from time to time. For it is only when valuable space is cleared of clutter that we can populate it with things that are more useful and functional that could engender our aims and goals. Just as decluttering the home and workspace results in a light feeling, so also will clearing mental and social spaces result in a feeling of lightness and infuse vitality in our lives.