Second Step to Simplicity: The Terminator Test

Roll back the clock to 1984.  A crowded movie theatre shows the cult classic “The Terminator.”

Sarah Connor is a waitress having a really bad day when finally a bratty child places a scoop of ice cream in her uniform pocket.  She looks at the mess and groans when her friend Nancy walks up and gives some sage advice:

“Look at it this way: in a hundred years, who’s gonna care?”

We can follow this advice in our journey to simplicity.

When we look at the outdated covering on the walls, ask that question.  Who is going to care in 100 years if we wash that wall covering and keep it a while longer before deciding to reaplace it?

In a hundred years, who is gonna care if we drive a paid-for jalopy or a Porsche with an exorbitant car payment?

The answer is simple:  no one.

Ask the question about other things:  In a hundred years, who’s gonna care if we spent more time working or with the kids and the answer appears–the kids will care, and their kids as well, for they will be deprived of the rounded personality of a child who had parents who loved him and made a point to spend time with him.  The kids will be deprived of your time, attention and love while you pursue more money.  You will care (should medical science progress to the point where we are alive in 100 years) that you missed those precious times of your child’s life.

Some things don’t qualify for the Terminator Test–safety and cleanliness come quickly to mind, but the test can help us to weed out what is most important to our life from the rest of the chaos surrounding us.

Using the test, I can decide that painting the paneling can wait a few months or longer if I just wash the walls.

Using the test, I can decide to drive my paid-for van for a few years longer.

Using the test I can decide to stay in my older paid-for mobile home instead of bowing to fashion and renting or financing a more traditional place to stay.

Using the test tells me that my daughter is more important than making the big bucks, helping me to decide what career choices to make.

What can the Terminator Test help YOU to decide?

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