It was a few years ago on a lazy weekend. I was happily reading a very weird book titled ‘The Rule of Four’.
Without any warning, a voice came piercing through the air “How many times do I have to remind you to clean your own damn cupboard?!!”
I jumped and got into action within seconds. Moms tend to have that effect on their sons. Mine was no different!
A couple of hours later and with my cupboard looking slightly better than the dump it resembled earlier, I couldn’t help but wonder at the sheer waste that was accumulating in there.
I had too much of everything and I didn’t use most of it! Too many clothes, books, half-used items and too much junk!
It was time to get rid of it. To minimize the amount of stuff I possessed. That day began my embrace of Minimalism.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism which started out as an art style has evolved to become almost a way of life. A minimalist is one who embraces simplicity and seeks to do more with less. One of my all-time favorite definitions of Minimalism is
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
Minimalist Living – The Why and How
a) Spend Less and Save More
The boom of e-commerce which we are witnessing thrives on not just the convenience it offers but also exploits two of our very common weaknesses: greed and laziness.
Haven’t you had that experience on Amazon or Flipkart when you visit their site out of boredom or just idle curiosity telling yourself ‘I’ll just go take a peek at what’s new’
And before you know it, you have added random junk into your cart without realizing the lure of discounts and brand names have made you a victim. This is exactly how we end up possessing what we don’t need and don’t have money left for what we actually need.
A minimalist approach to spending makes you re-evaluate your decisions because it forces you to ask yourself about the value of the object you intend to purchase. Naturally, this approach makes you conscious about your spending habits and you’ll notice a steady change in your savings as they grow!
The obvious outcome of this will be the financial freedom you get for buying what you actually need. You can also choose to invest more in quality when it comes to your choice of objects. You’ll be surprised at the effectiveness of minimalism once you realize you’ve started enjoying the finer things in life without being broke!
b) Make Productive Use of Your Time
Once I decided to try minimalism, I realized pretty soon that I was spending atleast 10 to 12 hours in a week doing useless tasks. Most of them happened because I kept overloading my life with useless commitments, overloading my head with useless thoughts and my room with useless junk!
The moment you become a minimalist, you start to become more productive. This should come as no surprise because you are already a master of extracting maximum value out of things. This thinking spills over to your work habits (sometimes even without you knowing about it!)
You start to become more focused, executing tasks with efficiency and efficacy. Because your attachments (both mental and physical) don’t dictate your schedule or disturb you much, you begin to acquire that balance which others crave all the time.
c) Attain Peace of Mind and Tranquility
Since you’re saving more, you’ll already be less stressed out. Add to this the peace of mind you’ll achieve once you realize your possessions don’t control you anymore!
Minimalism also compels you to stop being materialistic and start focusing on your own growth and character building. This has a positive effect on the quality of your living and will gradually lead to a calm and tranquil state of being.
Over to You
The way to lead a minimalist life begins with attitude. You need to be convinced that owning less and de-cluttering will help you become more free and a better individual. If this attitude is not present, any stuff you may get rid of will only act as a trigger to buy more useless stuff which will just pile up in your life!
I am sure you must have done something minimalist which made you feel great after you did it. Why don’t you share it with me in the comments below? Oh and here’s a nice little Swedish proverb to bring a smile to your face.
“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.”