What Is Minimalism
On the basic level minimalism is all about living your life with only the basics around you – living with only the things you need to survive as a human being.
The core of minimalism is to only focus on promoting the things we value the most and removing everything else that distracts us from doing so.
The ‘must have’ culture.
In today’s media-rich world we are fed each day the accumulation of ‘things’ promotes the good life. The must have, the things we can’t live our lives without if we don’t have one of those we are failures.
Happiness can be bought in the plethora of things we surround ourselves with.
We live in a culture of ‘passion for possessing’
Not in a minimalist world. As a minimalist, you step of the treadmill of consumerism and seek out happiness through enriched relationships, experiences and looking out for each other.
Minimalism Brings Freedom
How will the 21st century be remembered?
It is the era of us all being too hurried, too rushed and too stressed.
We all work long hours to pay our bills, yet debt is at a record high. We are always attached to our mobile’s or laptops, yet the quality of our relationships are weak.
Taking on a minimalistic lifestyle will free us from the modern hysteria of instant and faster living.
It only seeks to keep the essentials and significant things in life and discards the rest.
Minimalism is quite a young concept.
To explore it further in this post I want to review the most up to date literature.
To explore where minimalism is going, will it take off in our societies, how to turn your life into a minimalistic one.
Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
by Joshua Fields Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus
This is a really interesting book. The background is also fascinating.
Joshua Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus the authors, at the age of 30 walked away from their six-figure glittering careers and got rid of most of their personal possessions.
The book explores their corporate lives and how they got stuck in a rut so familiar with many of us.
They were stuck in jobs they didn’t really like or want to do, had poor relationships, lots of debt and bad health.
They identified that consumer and corporate cultures were actually bad for them. It was affecting both their health and happiness.
In the book, the authors help us get to grips with minimalism by taking us through the ways we can live our lives better using lists and barriers and budgets.
They focus on what they call the five values that have nothing to do with wealth and personal possessions.
The book guides the reader through the five values and dedicates a chapter to each value.
Although at times a bit autobiographical, there is a tendency to talk a bit too much about their early corporate lives.
However, if you are seriously considering a minimalistic lifestyle, this could be an excellent book to start with.
Goodbye, Things: On Minimalist Living
by Fumio Susaki
Minimalism has often been tied to the idea of de-cluttering.
This book gives real meaning to de-cluttering and takes spring cleaning to a new level.
Sasaki is a writer living in a tiny studio flat in Tokyo.
A few years ago he decided he was owning too much stuff, and it was playing on his psyche.
He proceeded to get rid of most of them and now lives with three shirts, four pairs of trousers, four pairs of socks and not a lot else.
In his book, Susaki explores the philosophy and cultural history behind minimalism.
He also shares the lessons he learned by going minimalistic, for him it is not about the amount of stuff you don’t have.
It is more about how it makes you feel and the impact on your emotional being.
This book is for those of us that are attracted to the idea of minimalism, who at times feel our lives and living conditions are cluttered.
There are many of us that keep stuff for the sake of it, we make up reasons, after reading this you will definitely discard it!
He makes some excellent points around consumerism and our reasons for buying and owning the stuff we do.
For example a $20,000 laptop will not have 400 times the battery power of a $400 laptop – in other words, we don’t need to acquire expensive things to achieve the same result.
This book is a good read.
I would recommend this book 100% to anyone who feels their life is empty even when their home is full and their days seem full and busy.
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
by Cal Newport
I don’t think any of us expected technology to impact on our lives the way it has.
In Carl Newport’s book, he explores the impact that technology is having on our lives gives a name to those of us that can live a part of our lives without being tied to our devices – digital minimalism.
In his book, Newport identifies the everyday practices of digital minimalists.
He shows how digital minimalists re-engage with their world by re-aligning their relationships with social media, rediscover the joys of the offline world and rediscovering ourselves through periods of solitude.
He introduces the concept of the ‘digital de-clutter’ process.
The key to using technology is to ensure it meets your goals rather than letting it dominate you.
The book will help you build a philosophy around your use of technology promoting you use it more wisely.