If you haven’t heard, the new fad and buzz word is minimalism.
Thanks to the documentary on Netflix, “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”, more and more people are discovering this revolutionary concept and lifestyle.
But minimalism isn’t really some strict, inflexible, radical lifestyle or cult. It’s a simple tool to incorporate into your lifestyle. The core of minimalism is learning to live more with less.
“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” (Source: The Minimalists aka Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus ).
How many times are we bombarded and assaulted with ads and media every second of everyday with the common goal to get us to buy things. Things we probably don’t need. Things we probably don’t even want, but we are “sold” the idea that we should want it, or we do need it because it will somehow make us happier, our lives better and more complete.
But stuff is just stuff. Inanimate objects can never provide us with true happiness. We assign these meanings and feelings to the stuff around us, sometimes making it a priority over health, relationships, hobbies/passions, and personal growth.
Minimalism doesn’t mean you have to donate and throw out ALL of your stuff, sell your home and car and never buy another superfluous thing in your life. Minimalism is finding and focusing on what’s important to you, and discarding all the other stuff that isn’t.
According to The Minimalists, “minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom”.
Happiness, fulfillment, and freedom sounds pretty good, right?
Everyone who embraces minimalism does it differently, but each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, money, happiness, and freedom to live a meaningful life.
I fully embraced minimalism after seeing the documentary, and I can attest to the benefits of living more with less. It has especially helped me with saving more money.
Too often, I would get into this mindset of buying; shopping for pleasure or stress relief or seeking self-worth, or attempting to obtain more. This mindset comes from years and decades of exposure to non-stop advertising.
I have started to become more conscious of it. I now give extra thought to every purchase I make and I ask myself, “Is this really necessary?” and “Can I live without it?”.
I am trying to live only with what’s necessary and find happiness from doing things (instead of buying things) — like spending time with friends and family.
I want to end this post with my all-time favorite quote from the Minimalists:
“Love people and use things, because the opposite never works”.