At some point in my life I realized I had become a minimalist. I preferred to have less “stuff” and more people, places, and experiences as a part of my life experience. But over this past year, a long and tedious one for all of us in some ways, I began accumulating more stuff. Perhaps it made me feel better to have new shoes or another table. I justified it in all kinds of ways, saying that I was doing my part to boost up the economy and keep people working. But the truth, at least for me is that I am enough. New clothes or jewelry or furniture have nothing to do with who I am as a human being in this world. Becoming minimalist is a choice, and one that deserves to be explored before you make up your mind on the direction you will take.
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Minimalism for a More Focused Life
Food, shelter and clothing – these are the basic necessities of life. So, where does the need for the latest iPhone or owning an automobile that can give you directions, tell you the location of the nearest restaurant, or make a phone call factor into things?
The answer is quite simple. The need for more fuels people to buy and do a wide range of things and is basic to human nature. Some individuals understand that the continuing quest for more only brings more stuff rather than happiness or whatever you may be searching for. Other people haven’t grasped that understanding yet. For those who do, that’s where minimalism comes into the picture. It’s a way to attain happiness by being content with less. What a concept.
The idea that less is more is not just a fashion statement. It’s a way of life for people who want to get back to the basics and focus on what is most important.
What is Minimalism?
Let’s start with the basics. Society suggests that we need to own more and do more to “be happy and fulfilled”. However, when you take a close look at the bare minimum of what you actually need, you see that it is a far cry from what you have been lead to believe.
While minimalism involves ridding yourself of some extra baggage and doing more with less, it is so much more. Minimalism is not only a way of life. It’s a way of being. It’s about adopting a philosophy that promotes rich life experiences and memories rather than living for the next hot gadget or trying to keep up with the neighbor’s thing-oriented lifestyle. Minimalism is truly about making happiness a top priority by getting rid of the excesses including things, behaviors, and thoughts so you can focus on whatever enriches your life.
What Minimalism is Not
When you hear the word minimalism, do you think of living in a log cabin without electricity and living off the land? If so, you are not alone. Minimalism is not necessarily about giving up everything you own, sitting crossed-legged in a field of daisies, and eating berries off the bush. Many minimalists have fine homes, cars, careers, and families that they adore.
Minimalism isn’t an irresponsible lifestyle. People who have a minimalist outlook just choose to keep things simple to cut out the excessive, unfulfilling responsibilities. This allows the focus to be placed on the things that matter most. That applies to attitudes, actions, and materials.
Minimalism is not about being a martyr or complacent. It’s not about giving up things for attention or just saying you’re happy when you aren’t. Neither is it about depriving yourself of important things.
Does Your Stuff Own You? Becoming Minimalist Means Decluttering!
Do you own your house or does our house own you? Stop and think for a moment. Do you find yourself constantly trying to find a place to store things in the garage, the attic, and the basement? If so, you are not alone. When you own too much stuff, the stuff begins to take over your life. While it’s nice to get a few “hot” items occasionally, it’s important to be able to distinguish between wants and needs. It is also essential to identify and prioritize what is most important in your life.
The less you own, the less you have to take care of and the less you are responsible for doing. If you want to get fresh fruits and vegetables in your body, you can do that without buying a juicer. Simply buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Better yet, grow them yourself. Rather than buying an elliptical, go for a walk, even during the winter months. The cold air can do wonders for you after being cooped up indoors. You don’t necessarily need a bulky piece of exercise equipment to get healthy.
Do you find yourself buying new seasonal items before reducing the previous season’s clutter? This may apply to you if you don’t give away or figure out where to put the unsuitable Christmas gifts you received before you’re out buying gardening supplies.
It happens to all of us. The rituals of the current season take control and you feel you are “supposed to be” doing certain things. The result is that you feel overwhelmed and out of control. There are too many things to organize, clean, or maintain and not enough time for rest, relaxation, and time with family. It’s a never-ending to-do list and becoming minimalist could be a part of the solution.
Is Minimalism Right for You?
When you are searching for answers or looking for a way to make your life more meaningful and fulfilling, you have many options. Taking a minimalistic approach is one of them. However, is this option right one for you? Here are a few questions common to people who choose to simplify their lives in order to ultimately have more, do more, and be more, without sacrificing the things that are most important to their happiness and well being. Do these questions sound familiar?
• Is there more to life than this?
• How can I spend more quality time with my family?
• Will I ever complete everything on my to-do list?
• How can I conquer my debt?
• What’s my purpose in life?
• Why is my job so stressful?
• How can I find more freedom?
• What can I do to be of more service to others?
• How can I teach my children about character and values?
If you’ve asked yourself one or more of these questions, there is a good chance that this approach will help you solve some of your problems and enable you to focus on finding happiness, fulfillment, freedom, and much more. Becoming minimalist has its benefits.
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I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you. If you have an interest in finding the right JV (Joint Venture) partners to help you skyrocket your way to success, please check out my training at JVs Made Simple so you may get started right away.