We all want to live bigger, better lives. We want to be bigger, better people. The envy of our neighbours, friends, and co-workers, and the influencers of our social media feeds.
More than anything, we want to feel happy and satisfied.
So what do we do? We chase the buzz of the latest must-haves. We upgrade our tech while our current still serves us perfectly. We buy flashy cars for our driveways and the biggest homes we can get based on how much the banks will lend us. We fill our wardrobes with trends that we chase but never catch up with (or particularly feel good in).
Our cupboards, drawers and garages are filled with what-ifs, some-days, back-in-the-days, and empty aspirations.
Meanwhile, we’re still drowning in dissatisfaction and working long hours to pay for the stuff that still hasn’t fulfilled its promise to make our lives complete.
Our homes get fuller while our lives feel emptier. Our to-do lists increase yet nothing ever seems to get done.
No wonder that we escape to scroll through social media or drown ourselves in our alcoholic beverage of choice!
But what if I told you there’s another way to live? A way where you can slow down, stop chasing, stop collecting, and start crafting your dream life.
That way is minimalism, or as I see it, life’s ultimate reset button.
Minimalism is all about living a more meaningful and fulfilling life by letting go of the excess. Often, it starts with getting rid of the excess in our homes, then it evolves into clearing our calendars, letting go of toxic relationships, releasing old negative beliefs, and maybe even following a new career path as we re-discover our values and start living authentic lives.
The more we let go of, the more we discover and the more we stand to gain.
Some people who have become minimalists are able to work less hours as a result of resetting their consumer habits, while others have dramatically turned their lives around and are following their true passions.
Minimalism is always going to be personal to you because we all live different lives and have different needs and hobbies. You don’t have to let go of everything you love to become minimalist, but you do have to learn over time what truly makes you happy.
Personally, I love Japanese minimalism which strips down to the bare basics, and is inspired by Zen Buddhism.
As a minimalist, I do still buy stuff I really like, but the difference in my mindset is I know I could live without it and am no longer buying stuff to portray a certain image (my old image was of a retro gamer and collector). I’m also no longer attached to what I own.
If this post has sparked the decluttering fire in you, awesome! Just be aware that it took me years to get to where I am today with decluttering 85% of my stuff and how long it takes you depends on how committed you are to changing your life, as well as mental hurdles to be worked through.
Keep in mind that those who manage to get rid of all their stuff in one go usually find their clutter comes back. This is because it takes time to build a minimalist mindset and the decision making skills that come with it.
Building a new mindset and a new lifestyle is often likened to building muscles for good reason, and if you don’t build yours over time you could end right back up where you started, not understanding why you kept so much in the first place and, therefore, not changing your buying habits. After all, it likely took you decades to get to where you are now, so it’ll probably take a significant amount of time and effort to unlearn your old mindset and build a new one in its place.
If you’ve read this article or others like it, you’ve already taken the first step! The next step is action. And each day will get lighter and lighter as you chip away at the unnecessary in your life. Bit by bit you will break the chains holding you down, and once you taste the freedom, there’s nothing else like it to keep you going.
You got this!