“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focusing on what’s important – so you can find happiness, fulfilment, and freedom.”
By the title of this piece you can probably tell what I’m about to say. Nevertheless, let me begin with a story. I woke up today at 7AM to get an early start on work. But instead, I happened to stumble across a YouTube video which featured The Minimalists and then proceeded to watch their Netflix documentary titled ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things’, before heading over to their website and stalking their blog posts. After an intense reading of two hours, I was a changed person. I know I sound a little delusional, but bear with me.
Before I move on, a little about these people I have been obsessing over the entire day. ‘The Minimalists’ is the term two best friends, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, go by. When Ryan met up with Joshua, he noticed that his friend seemed different. He actually seemed happy. When asked about it, Joshua told him about minimalism. After that, Ryan too became a minimalist. They left their corporate careers in 2011, authored ‘Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life’ and then proceeded to go on an international book tour.
Since then, they have written two more books, given dozens of interviews and have a podcast as well. They have helped over 20 million people through their website, books, podcasts and documentary.
Material possessions are something we have, purchase and often, continue to purchase even though we have more than enough to satisfy our needs. This need to purchase to fill a void is known as compulsory consumption. This then leads to clutter. Externally and internally. The external clutter ends up representing the internal clutter, be it emotional, stress or even anxiety. Minimalism gets us past those things thus in turn making more time for important things.
Minimalists are people who have a few possessions but each possession serves a purpose and brings them joy. Since they have only a few things, each one of them adds value to their life. There’s nothing extra. The chance to focus on work, relationships, family and even things that interest you becomes abundant.
Like Joshua said, as he let go, he started feeling freer, lighter and even happier.
The freedom that he describes is what appeals to me. Recently, I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable in the situations I find myself in. I feel uncomfortable around people who are meant to be my friends and I find myself unhappy by the end of the day. That is why, I want to do this. I want to adopt this lifestyle so that I can actually start living a more meaningful life.
I know watching a documentary and then deciding to bring about this change may seem a little haphazard, drastic or even unrealistic. To some, it may even come across as something I may try but will not finally implement. But I like to believe that the outcome will be something completely different because I am doing this for myself.
Minimalism is different for everyone. Everyone has a different way that fits for them and it is a process that can be built on and implemented over time. I know I can’t throw away everything I own and only have 7 sets of clothing, 3 pairs of shoes, underwear to survive and the basic hygiene needs. That’s not thinking it through, that’s just acting on impulse. Decluttering is just one part of it and I want to experience the part after that. How it feels on the flip side to just have a few valued possessions.
It takes 21 days to form a habit and I want to take this month of July to make some decisions, have a plan and figure out my journey into this life. I know it’s something that is going to radically bring about change. Planning it out and talking about it is easy but emotionally, it may take me time to get used to. It may even be a challenge. But I am determined.
I will be updating this story every week as a look-back on the entire week and different things done on each day. I understand if some may not get why I am doing this or what I hope to achieve but I do hope all of y’all stick around for the ride. This is My Journey into Minimalism.
Note: All information in this piece is taken from: The Minimalists – www.theminimalists.com