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We are a society drowning in our possessions, yet many people do not even know it. From a young age we are spoon-fed beliefs about material acquisitions, such as the following:
- how much we own is a sign of success
- the price of my gift to you indicates the amount of love I have for you
- more is better
- I ‘deserve’ to own this, or that
- the size of my house equals my level of success
- the price of my car also equals my level of success
- I’ve worked hard, therefore I ‘deserve’ this
- I will be happy once I buy that awesome thing
But the truth is, the more we own, the more we want. When we are living underneath the weight of these beliefs, more is never enough. There is no ‘full line’ to reach, no end point where we wake up one day and know that we’ve made it.
We withhold our happiness until we reach the next material acquisition, but what do we do when we obtain that item? We add another goal, the next item to acquire. Now, our happiness must wait again.
It’s a vicious cycle that is difficult to get out of. We go into debt for our must-haves, then the stress of the debt needs to be calmed by more acquisitions.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is, well it’s not only the opposite of the above scenario, but it’s also one way out of it. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand the term minimalism as a New Age fad with heavy, unrealistic requirements, such as:
Not owning a car, not owning a house, not having more than 100 possessions, eating strange food, living in exotic places, having no kids, etc.
Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
It’s important to note that focusing on what’s important means what is important to YOU. Therefore, minimalism is different for everyone.
When your house is filled to the brim and you are holding on for dear life, you must take a step back and ask yourself how this is serving you. Take a look around and ask, ‘What is enhancing my life, and what is weighing me down?’.
Getting rid of excess and adopting a ‘less is more’ lifestyle has so much to offer:
- Save money, save money, then save some more money
- Save time: less time spent shopping, less time spent working to pay for items we don’t need; less time spent caring for, cleaning, repairing and insuring these items
- Reduce stress: saving money and time reduces stress. Also, not owning things we know we don’t want/need/use reduces stress
- Less distraction from what you truly, deeply want. It opens the floodgates to let in more and more of what you truly want, what you truly value, and your life starts to become full of meaning and fulfilment
- We become our better selves: more loving, more patient, more generous, more passionate
- Day to day peace of mind: not looking at things you know on some level you don’t want or need, but can’t get rid of because this will be admitting that you wasted your money on it in the first place. A less cluttered home equals a less cluttered mind, on so many levels.
- Increased happiness by being surrounded ONLY by things you love!!! And nothing else.
- Freedom in all areas. Now that your money, time and mind are freed up, you can spend all three of them on the things that mean the most to you.
“The greatest step toward a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.” ~Steve Maraboli
The first step in creating the life you REALLY want is to first get rid of everything you don’t want. Your stuff is your distraction – it’s your distraction and excuse for not going for the life you want. Waiting until tomorrow. Waiting until the timing is better. Just a distraction.
Adopting a less is more lifestyle is different for everyone because it’s very personal, it stems from our personal values. It’s about adding value to your life, and those values are deeply personal.
Minimalism is not about deprivation – it’s about freedom. Less is truly more!
Let’s not waste our lives chasing ‘stuff’. Instead, let’s embrace who we truly are and be fearless in chasing our dreams.
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Till Next Time,
Keep Going 4Ward!
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