Minimalism - What and Why?

Minimalism - What And Why?
Minimalism - What And Why?


What is minimalism?

Minimalism isn't about being ascetic, giving up all your possessions and living off in the Himalayas. It's not even about, what may seem like extreme minimalism - living off just 100 things or things that would fit into your backpack, wearing the same outfit everyday, living like a nomad etc. It isn't about living like a homeless person or like a rich person who has expensive aesthetic minimal taste or like a space challenged Japanese living in 200sqft house. It just isn't forcing yourself to give up on everything.

Minimalism is about removing the clutter from your life, so that you can focus on what actually matters to you. Clutter here can be things, information, people. Clutter isn't standard for everyone and everyone has their own definition of it, which again varies with time. Minimalism isn't losing stuff, it's reclaiming the life which the clutter has been dominating.

Why minimalism?

Less time spent on maintenance: 

Just think about all the things in your home that need to be dusted off, deep cleaned in their tiny nooks, cared for by using some special protective/restorative liquid, repaired whenever they suffer the slightest damage - which sometimes may even need an expert. If you are a clean freak, you would be even more ticked off, whenever you see any dust on them or if they are just slightly moved by someone else. We already discussed about the ticking clock and how we barely have 10K days if we are in 30s - the last we would want is our weekend to be completely stuck in maintenance.

Less time spent on shopping: 

Shopping doesn't just start in the shop now a days. We go through pinterest boards pinning things we should buy or creating wish lists in online shopping sites. Then we analyze the best brand and compare the prices for best price. Then we may visit several sites or stores and spend hours to find the perfect color, fit etc. 

Less money spent on things: 

I remember spending a ton of money on wardrobe during my wedding, which I am yet to wear even after 4 years of marriage. But here I am hesitating to spend reasonable amount of money on a good pillow on which I have to sleep every night. Talk about priorities! The thing is we sometimes misjudge the things we want owing to the fact that nice fancy things immediately draw our attention. In a frenzy, we end up spending a lot of money on something that has zero utility - while all such money accumulated can fund our vacation.

Less energy spent on things:

After a long day, you don't have the energy for picking up that old hobby or meeting a friend for coffee? How about when you don't have a long day spending on shopping and maintenance?

Less mental clutter: 

This is the major factor for many people who try minimalism. Every time we see something that needs to taken care of, a mental tab is opened and by the time we hit the bed, our mind is filled with several such useless tabs that refuse to run their annoying scripts in our minds. The result is stress and worry.

Less dust: 

Things accumulate dust, all those cute throw blankets and cushions on your sofa even more so. Fabric and paper leave a ton of dust. It's easier to wipe off the empty surfaces than it is to use a q-tip to clean that showpiece.

Less life stuck in unwanted things and activities : 

You can make a major difference in your life, when you get rid of the clutter in your life. You can put the important things of your life into priority list - it's easy to do this when you aren't interrupted by a constant series of chores.

Information and People:

Extending all the above points to the huge amount of information and notifications we are bombarded with everyday through insane amount of apps we have on our phones and all the toxic people in our lives, being minimal in these cases mean not just regaining time and energy, but also leaving behind all the burden and mental clutter behind to be at peace.

Without sounding pretentious, apart from all these, less consumerism has the side effect of being good for our environment.

Minimalism prevents you from having a mental breakdown after being overwhelmed by all the clutter and to live intentionally. It's a conscious decision making of what you will let into your life, so that you don't have to say "There's just too much to handle".

Long time ago, I had an epiphany after seeing Jerry Maguire movie, that committing to less is more meaningful. This idea was followed by other connecting thoughts from the book Little Prince, where it is said that "It's the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose important" and then to the optimal stopping problem, where 37% of options are enough for consideration to make a choice. Less is more. Committing to less things makes us to be more attached to them and live mindfully.

Minimalism isn't a goal, it's a lifestyle. Take it slow. Take your time. Understand what is clutter to you. The more you practice it, the more you will be ready to part with anything that doesn't matter.



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