Last weekend while having dinner at a sushi restaurant, I asked my friend why they bother to put the red topped (high sodium) soy sauce bottle on the dinner table? You know what I’m talking about. At most Japanese eateries we sit down to find two bottles of soy sauce, one with a green top (low sodium) and one with a red top (high sodium). I have yet to find someone choosing the red top over the green top. I have yet to hear anyone say “I’m looking for more sodium in my diet.” It’s just a waste of space on the fairly small table we’re given. This thought translated into the bigger life picture; how many aspects in our lives are as useless as the high sodium soy sauce? One of the most common complaints I hear is that people feel too overwhelmed. When I hear this I don’t immediately mark them as complainers seeking pity. They probably aren’t exaggerating the fact that they are overwhelmed, however what exactly are they overwhelmed by? How much of what stresses them can actually be eliminated from the to-do list? Let’s take the example of ‘I have no time for myself.’ Is it because you’ve committed yourself to way too many social activities? Is it because you’ve taken on extra work voluntarily? Is it because you’ve created such a tight packed schedule that you have no room for flexibility? Busier lives often seem more fulfilling. But, if in the scheme of things you are more stressed by all the extra commitments (that aren’t vital to your survival) then it’s time to reevaluate your life. Put it on a diet. Yes, cut back the useless tasks/fat and “obligations” that wear on your sanity. Why did I put the word ‘obligations’ in quotes? Well most people turn voluntary actions into full blown obligatory deeds that cannot be eliminated from their schedule. Truth be told, if removing the activity from your life endangers your chance of having shelter, food or waking up the next morning then its a fixture- don’t change it. However, deciding to skip your best friend’s sister’s cat’s baby shower can be done. I promise that your friend will make it through the night without your presence, the party will go on, the cat will still give birth. Sushi Seki is not required to put the high sodium soy sauce on the table despite their large supply in the storeroom. You are not required to do everything humanly possible; take away the high sodium soy sauce in your life.