Firstly, what is minimalism?
Minimalism is about not filling your life with more possessions, more clutter, more “busy-ness” than is absolutely necessary.
A minimalist is simply one who questions the necessity of things, and who tries to live with what’s necessary, rather than with consumerism.
All these unnecessary extras don’t add to our happiness. Actually they get in the way. By eliminating the unnecessary, we make room for the essential, and give ourselves more breathing space.
And minimalism does not just apply to possessions. It also applies to how we run our lives.
It’s very easy – and satisfying – to keep ourselves busy.
The more work meetings and appointments we schedule, the more important and valued we feel.
The more social activities we are invited to, the more popular we feel.
Being busy = feeling productive.
However it also leads us to feel exhausted. With little time to unwind, focus on ourselves, or just enjoy the present moment.
This is where minimalism comes in.
Minimalism takes many forms, but it basically comes down to reducing unnecessary clutter from your life.
What possessions could you REALLY live without. Do you really need 30 pairs of shoes? 100 DVD’s (that you’ll never watch again)? Whatever forgotten items are shoved at the back of your bedroom cupboard?
My adventures in minimalism came following the breakdown of my marriage, and subsequent sale of my house. I went from a 4 bedroom, 2 living area, huge house, to a 2 bedroom tiny cottage.
I decided what was absolutely essential to take with me, and I gave away the rest.
And I don’t miss any of my “stuff”. It feels good to live a simple and uncluttered life. I value the possessions that I did retain. Instead of being overwhelmed by the multitude of useless items that I did own.
In the end your possessions won’t make you happy. And neither will accruing more of them.
Aside from possessions, how else can you simplify your life?
By making your social calendar less full, you get to enjoy the events that you actually do attend. Instead of sitting there looking at your watch timing your escape so you won’t be late for the next one. You can relax and enjoy the company of the people that you are with.
Fewer “to-do” items means that you can concentrate on the task at hand. Which makes sure your work is done well, on time, and is of high quality.
Simplifying your schedule, your work, and your home leads to living a less stressful life.
Which allows you to focus on living.
Make the shift
Shift from caring about possessions and status and goals to caring about actual life. Like taking long walks, making things, having conversations with friends and loved ones, playing with your kids, eating simple food, going outside, and staying active.
Time really passes by quickly – do you want to look back on your last 40 years and think: “What exactly have I done???”
When you do less, you take the time to do it right and to enjoy it, which results in your caring more about what you do. And actually remembering it!
It makes sense to limit our desires, and to keep our pursuits focused on the most important and most beneficial to our lives and the lives of others.
Then, each of our limited resources could be wholly directed toward them. And the opportunity for their accomplishment would increase dramatically.
Simplicity is the path, the means
It’s not a far off destination,
somewhere in the future
It’s right here, right now
It’s taking things one at a time
It’s asking simple questions
It’s taking simple actions
It’s doing it slowly
It’s considering and being conscious,