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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

Take It to the River

My friends and I used to have this saying, “take it to the river.” We all lived together in an apartment on 11th Street.

Whenever something went wrong or broke—lamps, typewriters, coffee mugs—we’d get drunk on the Hudson and end up throwing it all in the water. Sometimes, even if our things weren’t broken—like a shirt we didn’t like anymore or a book that wasn’t very good—we would say “take it to the river.”

And somewhere along our years of friendships we started applying that little phrase to life itself. Your girlfriend dumped you? Take it to the river. Job not working out? Take it to the river. Feeling stuck, useless, or broken? Take it to the river.

Editor’s note: The river in this essay is a metaphor. Please don’t throw your microwave in the Hudson. “Take it to the river” by recycling it.