Minimalism this, minimalism that. What’s all this buzz about Minimalism? Let’s talk about it.
Minimalism has been gaining popularity in recent years, largely due to a couple of awesome fellas, The Minimalists (who I will talk about… a lot). Let me tell you what Minimalism embodies, and why you should adopt a Minimalist lifestyle…like… yesterday.
Minimalism is a chosen lifestyle, built around the concept of having fewer things. However, the core of Minimalism extends far beyond whether or not we can fit all of our belongings in a shoebox. The roots of Minimalism delve deep into the core of who we are, and how we are as a society.
As a general populous, we are a consuming culture. We spend many hours a week purchasing things, and stuff. Most often, things and stuff that we don’t actually need. Also, very often things and stuff that are made cheaply and lack real quality or value.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why our culture is insanely driven by what we can afford, how much we can buy, or how much we can spend on a car or house? We are driven by this because someone, mostly corporations and the advertising masses, told us that if we have big, fancy, “valuable” things… we will be attractive, popular, and most importantly successful, because who doesn’t want to be successful, right?
Yes. I want to be successful. But not according to the standards that someone else set out for me, especially that require me to give them money! I will set my own standards for success.
Minimalism, in many ways comes down to being conscious and fully aware. When you feel the compulsion or draw to make a purchase, consider where it is coming from and whether or not this purchase will actually, truly, measurably… improve your life. To embrace the minimalist way in our daily actions or inactions, we must be conscious and, and also honest with ourselves.
Minimizing your life and considering where your money goes also helps to get you priorities in order. It encourages us to remember what really matters in life, which is always people and moments and memories, and never things.
I can recall some times in my life when I have heard or seen people get angry because some “thing” got scratched or dinged or stained or “ruined”. The item still serves a purpose and functions fine, it’s just less visually appealing. But the shirt is still a shirt and the car still gets you from point A to point B. So why all the anger? Why raise your blood pressure? Why yell at a child who accidentally spilled something or cuss at a stranger who hardly bumped your car door… on accident.
Owning fewer things, we begin to shift our focus from what we own, to things that really matter to us, whether that be your pets, your book club, your passion for cooking, your family, or taking more trips.
Many people like to prune their collections and belongings in order to feel free and unchained, in planning for travel. I personally find comfort in knowing that when it does come time to move again, the process will be easy and take less than a day.
You may just get rid of things to have fewer things, but then you realize you’re also changing and growing in much deeper and profound ways. I have fewer things in my life now, and I feel more calm in my life as well. I buy fewer things on a whim or impulse, because I understand the difference between need and want. When I make a purchase, I consider the quality of the item. I consider whether or not it will add “value” to my life.
Josh Millburn from the Minimalists constantly, and with reason, reiterates that the things we choose to own, should absolutely add some kind of value to our life. When he says value too, he says it in such a rich way, that you know he means real… actual… value. Value means something to him. Not valuable like a car or a fancy phone, but value like enhances the quality of my soul, my well-being.
Let me tell you something I own that I do not need but that absolutely adds value to my life. I own a small wooden Buddha that my sister brought me from Thailand. When I pass this Buddha, when I see it and reflect, even briefly, on its presence in my life, I am reminded of two things. One, I have a loving sister who knew that this item would bring me joy. Two, it reminds me to be peaceful and kind. That… is value. That will enhance the quality of my life. Will a waffle maker do that for you?
Now don’t get me wrong, if you have an insurmountable love for waffles and you use that maker every day (or at least once a week), it seems it is bringing you joy and adding value to your life. But if that waffle maker had made a home on a top, inaccessible shelf, behind several other kitchen gadgets and gizmos, and it’s been in hibernation for more than a year, it’s time to go. There is no value there.
In summary, minimalism is about having fewer things so that we can live a richer, more intentional life. Please, I beg you to check out The Minimalists Documentary now on Netflix, their Podcasts and also books. There are many ways you can start to incorporate a minimalist lifestyle into your daily life, just pick one and start. Your life will improve, I promise.
Thank you as always for reading and I would love to have you subscribe to the mailing list to increase the awesome status of your inbox.
Go do good!