The Spark-Joy Heuristic

by Thomas Beutel

Marie Kondo suggests in her tidying book that we should look at all of our stuff all at once and only keep those things that still spark joy in our hearts. I’ve been thinking about this and I’m finding different ways to apply this, not just in service of tidying but in other areas as well.

What I really like about her phrasing is that is isn’t just what makes me happy, or brings joy, or might be useful someday. It’s the sparking, the effervescence, the electricity that makes the phrase so compelling to me.

Now that I’m aware of it, it’s become easier now for me to say yay or nay to things. I recently was at a very nice restaurant perusing a menu. I thought of Marie and looked for the spark that each prospective dish generated inside. And there was one that really sparked. I ordered it and boy was it good!