Minimalism is such a trend right now, but no I don't mean the decor. Minimalism has become a lifestyle choice for many and I see it as a good sign.
The truth is for majority people in the world, MINIMALISM is just a fact of life. There is no word to describe the day to day of most people as they work to meet basic needs. There is no such thing as disposable income. No such thing as extra money at the end of the week. So for those lucky and yes privileged enough to grow up and live in a part of the world where all of their needs are taken care of without much issue and wants were easily taken for granted, I believe minimalism or in this case, the art of slowing down and living with less is needed in society right now.
As someone who grew up in the Philippines, we didn't have much but our basic needs were met and wants were few. Fast forward a few years later, growing up in the US, it was easy to get caught up in wanting it all. My parents worked hard and middle class privilege was rampant. As an adult, making my own money, it was easy to buy. Click! Things appeared at your door. No money, no problem, use a credit card. Can't find what you are looking for at the store, hello online shopping. New model? Upgrade. Consuming was and continues to be very easy. We are bombarded with marketing and advertising everywhere we turn on. Even my site has ads that run on it. It's sadly the way the world works, so I am glad to see many people, especially younger people doing something different and taking on a new approach to living minimally.
Is minimalism right for you?
I think minimalism has a place in all of our lives, but we have to figure out what kind of minimalism works for us. The word minimalism carries such a load right now, that it's best to re-frame what minimalism really means. Minimalism is about finding what you value and designing a life around it. It sounds simple, but for many of us, including me, I grew up and was exposed to rampant consumerism. I was in a cycle of work, spend, sleep. I bought into the idea of wanting and buying the next best thing. This resulted in an apartment full of stuff that I barely used. It wasn't about just stuff too. It was a full calendar. It was always wanting to do something do the detriment of my own piece of mind. It was saying "Yes" and experiencing anxiety at the over commitments. Minimalism for me did not come right away. It wasn't a signal day revelation. It took time. My story here. There was no name for it. It was just this feeling to want to clear my space, my mind and refocus on what I wanted my life to be.
Does a minimalism have a place in all of our lives? Absolutely. Before you judge and before the thoughts in your head jump up that you couldn't be a minimalist, how could you live in a sparse room with only a few pieces of clothing, I want you to stop. Let go of the word minimalism for the time being and ask yourself these questions (aloud) instead?
- What do I want out of life? Am I focusing myself, my energy and my money towards it? Look around you! All of the stuff accumulating in your bedrooms, garages, attics used to be money. That money used to be time. Was the trade-off worth it?
- Who am I spending time with? Am I being present with them? Whose time is more valuable, theirs or mine? Whose time is running out?
- Is buying the next new model really going to make me happy? How so? Why will that make me happy? Is that enough?
Here, at The Do Something Project, I always encourage my readers to experiment and try something out for themselves first before they judge that it's not for them. We always have these assumptions about how things are, but it's not until we experience them, that they mean differently for us. With that, I encourage you take on Project: Be Minimal. It's a 8 week email series on minimalism. It's easy and straightforward. Each week, you will receive an email with an action item to complete. Nothing hard, but a lot of introspection. Sign-up and receive the first email today! It's FREE.