Growing up I remember being told that sailors of old often had gold fillings in their teeth so they ‘would always have the price of a Christian burial on them’. The notion stuck with me and when I started to travel extensively for work I put the idea into practice.

Not needing gold fillings I had a pair of gold collar stiffeners made for my shirts – no one saw them but I knew they were there and, odd as it may seem, they did offer a modicum of comfort. Withe a big birthday looming I have been reminiscing a little and in an idle moment I worked out that those collar stiffeners have travelled nearly two million miles with me – they are definitely ‘old friends’!

This story is helpful when thinking to de-cluttering your life. Make sure to keep your ‘old friends’ close to you – not for their intrinsic value, but for everything they stand for and the happy memories they bring. Everything else is either functional or it goes!

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Written by John Small

John’s business career started in the technology sector working with ICL and Fujitsu before moving to International Finance where organisational change and development has been a constant theme.