It was 2012 when I first started with minimalism. Learning about it, getting inspired, reorganising my space and working on my lifestyle habits. Since than, this journey has been transformational for me. It made me rethink and redesign most of the areas of my life. Minimalist path is a journey of self discovery, focus and peace.
I get it, why should you start listening to all those slogans, “less is more”, “experiences are better than things”, “downshifting” or “simple if the new black”? Why would you start rethinking your “normal” way of life and following this minimalist craze of living with less? As conscious beings I believe we should be living with awareness, spending our resources on things that matter the most specifically to us.
Most valuable resources we have:
They are always limited.
- Time – the most precious resource. You can’t get it back.
- Energy – including physical and mental health.
- Money – a medium of exchange and measurement of value of goods and services.
Now think for a moment, how much of each resource you have left in the end of the workday, work week, in the end of the month?
If you are spending hours every day learning about or mastering skills in something you absolutely love you are lucky. But for most people this is not the case. Many of us are spending majority of our time working and commuting (you might be lucky to work from home but study show those people overwork even more). So there’s very little time and energy left to work on side projects, hobbies, building meaningful connections, travel, etc.
We watch our lives passing by making money to spend on things that should make us feel better, happier, secure… for awhile. And then go again and buy more, hoping to at least temporary numb the feelings of dissatisfaction, absence of meaning and not being enough…
We work so much to increase quality of life and I believe that quality life has to include having free time to do whatever you enjoy the most. Minimalism helps you get your life back offering an alternative way to our consumer based societies. It helps deal better with our resources to free up time for the most important things.
What is Minimalism
Minimalism is an approach to creating life focused on the things that are the most important to you specifically. Minimalism is not dogmatic. It’s not rigid. It doesn’t work according to a one size fits all formula. Moreover, there is no formula to minimalism. You don’t have to go extreme and get rid of everything you own to be happy or to be a “true minimalist”. Minimalism allows you to take the what works best and adapt it into your life. It requires a lot of self work and defining things for yourself.
Fundamental ideas of Minimalism:
- Essentialism – think what is essential in your life and what is a nice addition, what is the cake and what is the icing on the cake.
- Mindfulness – bring consciousness to the way you live and critically rethink your lifestyle choices.
- Focus – on the things that bring the most joy in your life and those that bring the most impact.
- Prioritise – the important things and don’t be afraid to say “no” to the things that are not on the list.
- Simplicity – don’t overcomplicate life: food, accessories or home appliances, keep it simple.
- Space – decluttering is one of the first steps people take when they embark on the minimalist journey simply because you need space to think clearly and create space to invite new things into your life.
- Freedom – minimalism helps you get free from obsessions to buy, to have, to own, or be. It helps you feel enough the way you are and appreciate people around you for who they really are. It gives you a chance to create your own rules of success and good life and live according to those.
- Responsibility – goes hand in hand with freedom. If you create your own rules of life to follow, you are responsible for the consequences and you have to be OK with it.
- Sustainability – when you start being more aware of your lifestyle choices you unavoidably will start exploring sustainable ways of dealing with things.
- Optimisation – creating a limited set of choices to free up the willpower.
My minimalist journey has been a conscious decision and a pleasurable growth experience. Currently, I live with all the essentials and even more, lacking only an aloe vera plant and a cat or a cat size puppy. 🙂
Here’s how I translate fundamental ideas of minimalism into my everyday life:
- Constantly seek for a more impactful and enjoyable ways of spending my main resources: time, energy, money.
- Define what are your essential items for you and what are not that important (if you have a phone and a laptop, do you still need a tablet?).
- Say no to things that are not important to you.
- Filter the information that is coming into my mind to manage my emotional states better. I don’t watch TV for 10 years and don’t believe that there is any value to go back to it. I also don’t watch news at all which might be strange to some.
- Aiming to free up some time every day to do nothing. Just sit and stare or meditate, or lie on the floor and just feel my body bringing my attention to the now.
- Declutter not only your physical space but also your digital space and your social calendar. Create a stop doing list.
- Come up with a few simple breakfast recipes, create a simple wardrobe with complimentary colours and versatile shapes. Or you cat take things to the next level buy creating a digital catalogue of your own outfits to always know your options and stop stressing out every morning because you “don’t have anything to wear”.
- Quality vs quantity – stop chasing numbers, focus on quality in every area of your life instead.
- Establish a routine, like a sleeping routine, a morning and evening routine.
- Research an alternative ways to educate yourself, eat more healthy, and use more sustainable products.
Minimalism forced me to bring more consciousness into my every day life. As a result, I make better choices and getting better results, in a more enjoyable way.
Have you ever tried to implement some of the minimalists ideas into your life? What was your experience with it? How do you implement minimalist’s mindset into your life? Let me know in the comments below!
If you liked this post, learn more about How Minimalism Helped Me Let Go of Limiting Beliefs or why I believe Consumerism is a Way of Oppression.