The Life-Changing Magic of Being Messy (Published 2019)

This essay, by Isabel Hwang, age 17, is one of the Top 12 winners of our Sixth Annual Student Editorial Contest, for which we received 10,509 entries.[1][2]

We are publishing the work of all the winners and runners-up this week, and you can find them here as they post. Excerpts from some will also be in the special Learning print section on Sunday, June 9.[3]

_________

The Life-Changing Magic of Being Messy

You might have a “messy” friend or family member. You can’t help but sigh at the chaos of their room — clean and dirty laundry mixed together. Odds are it’ll be difficult to walk two feet without encountering an empty chip bag. Gross? Yes. Bad? Not necessarily.

As a stereotypically “messy” person myself, I’ve received my own share of scorn. Living in a boarding school, I’m obligated to keep my room nice and tidy, ready for visitors and as a model to underclassmen. Monday room inspections are the norm, and faculty members have sometimes passively, sometimes aggressively, urged my roommate and me to clean up. For these purposes, I used to harbor a 24 x 24 x 24 cardboard box in which I’d stuff everything on Monday mornings and empty it out later that evening. Now, I just throw everything downstairs into the communal storage. Out of sight, out of mind.

As much judgment as we get for our clutter, research has shown that messiness can be a sign of creativity and openness. In the NYT article “It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity,” Kathleen D. Vohs’ study of messiness serves as a rare champion for us less-than-neat people. In her study, she gathered a group of subjects in a tidy room and another in a messy room. When each subject had to choose between a “classic” or “new” smoothie on a fake menu, the subjects in the tidy room chose “classic” while subjects in the messy room chose the “new” smoothies. This shows that “people greatly preferred convention in the tidy room and novelty in the messy room.” In addition, Vohs revealed that messy people were more creative. So, what does this mean?

Messy people are willing to challenge the conventional norm. They aren’t confined to the status quo. In a growing age where minimalism seems to be taking on the world by storm, we must remember that there is beauty in chaos. Although a University of Michigan study warns that some people might take one look at your messy desk and view you as “lazy” or “neurotic,” we must remember the people who challenge the old ways of being are some of our greatest innovators. After all, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg famously harbored hideously disorganized workplaces.

So, when you see a scatter of papers, laundry, and old food containers, don’t rush out to buy your child, friend, or roommate “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Instead, appreciate that your acquaintance might be “sparking joy” by channeling their creativity differently.

Works Cited

Eichenstein, Izzy. “Albert Einstein, Mark Twain & Steve Jobs: The Messy Desk Link[4].” The LAX Morning Minute, Word Press, 19 Oct. 2013.

Vohs, Kathleen. “Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits[5].” Association for Psychological Science, 6 Aug. 2013.

References

  1. ^ winners (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ Sixth Annual Student Editorial Contest (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ here (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Albert Einstein, Mark Twain & Steve Jobs: The Messy Desk Link (oakstonecompany.wordpress.com)
  5. ^ Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits (www.psychologicalscience.org)

Source URL: Read More
The public content above was dynamically discovered – by graded relevancy to this site’s keyword domain name. Such discovery was by systematic attempts to filter for “Creative Commons“ re-use licensing and/or by Press Release distributions. “Source URL” states the content’s owner and/or publisher. When possible, this site references the content above to generate its value-add, the dynamic sentimental analysis below, which allows us to research global sentiments across a multitude of topics related to this site’s specific keyword domain name. Additionally, when possible, this site references the content above to provide on-demand (multilingual) translations and/or to power its “Read Article to Me” feature, which reads the content aloud to visitors. Where applicable, this site also auto-generates a “References” section, which appends the content above by listing all mentioned links. Views expressed in the content above are solely those of the author(s). We do not endorse, offer to sell, promote, recommend, or, otherwise, make any statement about the content above. We reference the content above for your “reading” entertainment purposes only. Review “DMCA & Terms”, at the bottom of this site, for terms of your access and use as well as for applicable DMCA take-down request.

Acquire this Domain
You can acquire this site’s domain name! We have nurtured its online marketing value by systematically curating this site by the domain’s relevant keywords. Explore our content network – you can advertise on each or rent vs. buy the domain. Buy@TLDtraders.com | Skype: TLDtraders | +1 (475) BUY-NAME (289 – 6263). Thousands search by this site’s exact keyword domain name! Most are sent here because search engines often love the keyword. This domain can be your 24/7 lead generator! If you own it, you could capture a large amount of online traffic for your niche. Stop wasting money on ads. Instead, buy this domain to gain a long-term marketing asset. If you can’t afford to buy then you can rent the domain.

About Us
We are Internet Investors, Developers, and Franchisers – operating a content network of several thousand sites while federating 100+ eCommerce and SaaS startups. With our proprietary “inverted incubation” model, we leverage a portfolio of $100M in valued domains to impact online trends, traffic, and transactions. We use robotic process automation, machine learning, and other proprietary approaches to power our content network. Contact us to learn how we can help you with your online marketing and/or site maintenance.

Share