Love people, use things. The opposite never works.
- The Minimalists
The minimalism elevator pitch
For me, minimalism is simply about removing excess and subtracting things from my life that don’t add value/joy/contentment. In the larger picture, to me it’s about not worshipping the material and instead the relationships we have with the world and people around us.
To be honest my journey to minimalism started out simply as a desire to pack less when I was traveling. I was fed up with waiting for my luggage, risking it getting lost, overpacking my giant bag with so much stuff that I NEVER even used on each trip, or buying useless souvenirs and gifts that get shoved away to the back of the cupboard at home. I was tired of keeping the endless amounts of “mementos” (read: high school exercise books) that ended up just using up closet space. So I started my journey into light packing/one bagging, then stumbled upon various communities of digital nomads, which then led me onto some blogs I started to read as mentioned above.
Then, towards the end of my PhD I was obviously in this weird stage of my life where I wasn’t sure what I wanted next, considering the past 3-4 years of my life were extremely academically intense. I started looking for ways to be happy without needing to be constantly stimulated.
The last reason was mainly financial. I was buying too many things that I never ended up using or really valuing. After digging further into the minimalist podcasts and blog posts, I realized that it’s really not just about having no stuff, it’s about realizing what’s really important and what you want to prioritize in your life.
The key things I’ve learned
Marketing and advertising exist to sell you things, not improve or add value to your life and wellness.
Being able to buy lots of things also means adding obligations in your life = obligation to make space for your material possessions, clean or maintain them, putting up the various monetary costs to buy or upgrade them.
Minimalism translates to living intentionally and consciously, which I’ve come to believe is extremely important considering we should be directing our own lives, not letting outside influences direct it. Being conscious of our decisions makes a huge difference and helps to ground you.
Our consumer culture and love for the material is ecologically unsustainable.
I’m hoping to write more about my thoughts on minimalism philosophies and practical ways of implementing those in real life. I care a lot about the planet and its future, and I think this is one of the best ways to frame our solutions. I truly believe that taking individual actions to live more intentionally can have really amazing effects on the world around us.