The truth is, most people will have their own definition of minimalism. What I may consider unnecessary, someone else will describe as essential. Minimalism isn’t about putting things or behaviours into boxes, or perceiving environment as black and white. But there are features, that help us understand this way of trying to live with only the things we really need.
Minimalism is about being intentional.
Capitalism has taught us that we need everything (quite literally) to fulfill our lives, that our worthiness is measured by the number of things that we own and that more is better. But the truth is, long-term happiness can’t be purchased. People often get that initial dose of satisfaction after buying an item, but it very quickly wears off. Minimalism replaces that urge to own by searching for happiness in experiences, relationships and nourishing the spirit.
Minimalism is about creating freedom.
The desire to own more requires more money, which often comes from a salary or other way of trading our time for money. And no matter how much someone may hate their daily job, they need to carry on with the grind, so they can buy things that they don’t even need to impress people they don’t care about. Time is precious and impossible to reclaim and once used, it’s lost forever. Minimalism allows to work as much or as little as we want and gives the choice of the next project, unlike any 9-5.
Minimalism is about saving money.
Think about it – fewer well-chosen purchases will save you money in the long run. Minimalism isn’t about buying cheap, but about surrounding ourselves with products that will last for quite some time. If you do not need to re-purchase the same product each month, you will save yourself a lot of money. It’s the combination of less quantity and exceptional quality. And a similar analogy applies to the housing problem. Do you really need that four-bedroom house? How often do you use that dining table? And when was the last time you’ve parked your car in the garage?
Minimalism is about finding out what you really want.
Items don’t have emotions, yet people often find it hard to let things go. Every time you make a decision to get rid of something or to not even purchase it, you get to know yourself better. Does it bring you joy and does it contribute to the way of living you truly desire? Making meaningful choices makes us think twice about our long-term goals, the ultimate “why?” and gives us space to actually live.
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