Many people want to live with less. But what exactly is minimalism? Simply put, minimalism is a way of life that focuses on experiences while freeing life from unnecessary possessions and obligations. While there are a variety of reasons for transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle, these three seem to be common across the community.
It’s better on your wallet
If there was one reason minimalism would motivate just about anyone, it would be because it saves massive hard-earned money. After making a decision to save unnecessary expenses and stop wasting money on things that you don’t really need, you will find that the amount of money that can be saved is amazing.
In today’s world we have an abundance of comfort. You can buy anything you want from anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse. This, combined with constant promotion of the latest iPhone, car, or the latest fashion trend, has started an epidemic of people wasting money on junk which they don’t really enjoy. It has become too easy to buy things on the impulse without leaving your home and to keep lowering the bar for financial recklessness.
The most famous example of this is when you update your phone just because there is a newer version. This is a massive waste of money and resources. Unless the phone is broken or broken, there is absolutely no point in replacing it.
By lowering the bar on financial freedom, minimalism can also help take unnecessary pressure off the workforce and enable people to work less or choose a more fulfilling job. This would help many overworked people slow down and get back to focus on what is most important to them in life.
People tend to believe that physical possessions make them happier. While it is true that there are some things that can bring joy into our lives, I would argue that “things” are quite overrated as opposed to experiences.
The principle is very simple: buy less garbage, save more money.
It’s better for the planet
Another good reason to give minimalism a chance is because it’s so much better on the planet. Everything we own, from clothing to computers to toothbrushes, required energy, resources, and possibly unethical treatment of workers just so they could be made and shipped to us. In addition to plastic packaging, every physical item has a carbon footprint. By getting by with the items, buying second-hand items or borrowing them from others, the impact on the planet decreases significantly.
It may seem daunting at first, but many physical items can be rented or loaned instead of buying. Libraries are great for enjoying movies without wasting large amounts of plastic on DVDs, and there are often digital substitutes for all types of media.
It would do people very good to return to the attitude of “using it until you lose it”.
We should begin to really take full advantage of the possessions around us and realize their full potential before spending additional time, money, and resources creating new products. This means that you keep your current phone until it breaks, your clothes until it is worn out, and your car until it breaks. There is no reason to throw items in the trash just because they are “good enough”.
It would surely help the world truly appreciate the true physical worth of items rather than the status hierarchy that revolves around wealth. Our consumerist world was designed to waste vast amounts of resources and cause pollution due to the endless desire for more “things”. If we could see the value of a circular waste system that recycles and repairs broken products, the planet would be much better off.
It adds focus
The final and most personal reason to try minimalism is that it gives extra focus to what is important in life. Every day we face distractions from all sides in the form of endless commitments, toxic people, and advertisements for the latest product. Minimalism is the perfect way to figure out what is not important to us and only focus on what has been left behind.
This doesn’t just apply to physical items. It can come in the form of a career change, focusing on pursuing what they love most, ending harmful relationships, or reducing the time it takes to scroll through social media. After taking the time to ruthlessly remove the useless things that go with life in our modern world, a new sense of appreciation for the things received will emerge.
Becoming a minimalist forces us to analyze why things are part of our life, why they are useful to us, and why they bring us joy. It’s a great form of soul searching and it allows one to learn a lot about who they are and what they value. The process is very personal and often looks very different from person to person.
Minimalism allows us to pursue the things that make us really happy in life without being distracted and inefficient when thousands of things are taking up our time, money, and attention. It has the potential to make this overwhelming world seem a lot more livable and allow us to relax and be happier after cutting away the things that weren’t really important to us at all.
With these reasons in mind, minimalism looks different for everyone. There is no right or wrong reason to get rid of the clutter and distraction in life, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Many people do this to save money while others try to learn more about themselves and question their view of the world.
For more information on researching a minimal lifestyle, visit self-help author Mark Manson’s blog. You may find Break the Twitch just as helpful. Patience is also vital to tackling this business. Like fitness or career, minimalism is a personal journey that requires a lot of thought and time to take full advantage of its benefits.
Die Post Why Minimalism? first appeared on Dumb Little Man.