Minimalism means different things to different people. Some believe it is a movement, some think of it as a trend. Some are dyed-in-the-wool implementers. Some practice it moderately. But one thing is universal about the concept of minimalism, it is simple living. It is knowing what you value most in life, getting rid of excess and clearing the clutters.
Many people reject the idea of minimalism because it is misconstrued as depriving oneself of the conveniences of the modern world. It is NOT. Let us be clear that minimalism is about living simply, that having less is enjoying more.
Let materialism and consumerism be our point of convergence in this topic, however minimalism can touch all areas of life.
In most of us is the elemental appetite to acquire things. Some people change gadgets as they appear in the market, some endeavor to be cool to others with cool stuff they purchase. Some buy things because advertisers say so. They get high with consumerism. They accumulate numerous unnecessary material possessions. They are pilestocking things that, most of the time, end up unseen and untouched in a corner for many years.
Okay. Let this case be not bleakfully in the doldrums. I’d like to suggest that minimalism is a beautiful antidote to material addiction. It teaches us how to keep only the essentials and avoid accumulating things that are not needed. More than these though, it brings about other numerous benefits. The following are just a few of them…
FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS. This varies for different individuals. This may be more travels, having more quality time with the kids and spouse, go sea kayaking, more productive time in business, paying debt quickly or hitting the gym. More time will be afforded to things that we really want to achieve because there are less distractions. Time is not consumed to unnecessary shoppings or weekly cleaning of clutters.
NOT KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES. Living with what only is essential gives a great feeling of contentment. Thus, we will find it unnecessary to match the things our neighbors and friends have. We will limit buying stuff to make ourselves appear cool to everyone.
Nancy Colier of Psychology Today said that “NOT keeping up with the Joneses is important for developing self-esteem.” On the the other hand, trying to acquire everything that our friends and neighbors have is a recipe for insecurity.
FREEDOM. This may be freedom from attachment to material possessions, freedom from consumerism, freedom from tight schedules and excessive stress, freedom from debt or freedom from the rat race. Imagine the sense of liberty we will experience from letting go of extraneous clutters in our spaces and in our lives. As such, there is freedom to make time for more valuable experiences and freedom to find more opportunities that usually goes unnoticed because we are too busy with many life’s distractions and diversions. Imagine!
A GOOD EXAMPLE TO CHILDREN. Encouraging children to give more value to what is more important in our lives like family, friends and meaningful experiences can have a profound impact not only in their development but also in their being. Deflecting their attentions from things that overwhelm them these days is like trading disarrays for mildness. Teaching them the deeper meaning of occasions such as birthdays as a celebration of life or Christmas as a sharing of love is showing them the importance of gratitude. That life and love are NOT wrapped gifts… but the the true gifts.
BETTER RELATIONSHIPS. It should not come as a surprise that when there is an absence of comparison game with friends and family that a better relationship is created. There is more focus on substantiating connections. Moreover, one can decidedly become more mindful of the more important needs of his/her partner and kids , thus conceiving and establishing a peaceful, happy and decluttered family affairs.
Minimalism is simply adopting a simple life so we can focus more on doing what we love most. It is not denying ourselves of what the world can offer us but taking away the strains of a materialistic lifestyle.
Taking this path is a journey that anyone can follow. Like any other things, it is a choice one can make. It may be easy for some, it might be quite crucial for others. But one thing is sure, it is a kind of living that brings about positive revival and abundance.