7 years ago I was not a minimalist. I was an electronic gadget buying machine. Expensive headphones and I were in a monogamous relationship. I thought buying new things would make me a happy, and somehow better person.
I convinced myself I can afford almost anything. Back then I was still a student, but I was working and had extra money left at the end of each month to buy things I truly didn’t need. From perfumes and watches to my weakest point – electronic gadgets.
Fast forward a few years and I was on a journey to minimalism. It took me some time to purge most of my possessions, and I’m still not where I want to be, but today I am much closer to it. I experimented with removing clothes, knick-knacks, gym equipment, and lastly with my precious electronic and watch collection.
You may think you don’t qualify as a minimalist unless all your worldly possessions fit snugly into a single suitcase and backpack, or you own less than 100 things. But rest assured, there are no such requirements. Everyone can choose their own version of minimalism.
Maybe after you remove most of your possessions, a weight set remains sitting in your home. As a result of reducing a lot of your belongings, you’ve become aware of what’s truly important to you – a healthy lifestyle and exercise. Or big piano stays in the living room, therefore signaling that music is necessary for you to live a fulfilled life.
There are people on the internet who can pack everything in less than 15 minutes and be on a bus to their next destination. But if you don’t like to travel, and enjoy the comfort of your home and a steady job, then this is your flavor of minimalism.
Remember: you already know how you want to live your life, and if you don’t, feel free to experiment until you find your own minimalism.
It can be extremely helpful to read about or see someone else’s version of minimalism to inspire and encourage you on your own journey. I started my journey by reading the blog The Minimalists and Leo’s Babauta Zen Habits. You can start your journey by reading this blog, or someone else’s.
Different resources can offer different advice, and you can learn what is working for others and what doesn’t, and then choose what to apply to your life. In fact, I think that reading about other people’s minimalism can challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and motivate you to experiment living with less.
The best thing about minimalism is you can’t get it wrong. If you’ve minimized down to what you think is enough for you and your family, then that’s your version of minimalism.
There is no minimalist police to give you a ticket if you own too many shoes, books, or electronic gadgets. If they make you happy and they serve a purpose, by all means, have them. But if they don’t, you know what to do. Just be honest with yourself.
Minimalism can also change over time. As our ideas, life circumstances, and perception of enough change, so will our version of minimalism. Therefore, minimalism is not a destination, it’s a never-ending journey. And since you wouldn’t compare your own journey through life to someone else’s, you cannot compare your version of minimalism to anyone else’s either.
It took me a long time to find my own version of minimalism, and today, even when I’m still not where I want to be, I know in which direction I must travel to reach it.
Minimalism is and will be different for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine.
Whether you’re already a minimalist or you are just starting out and experimenting with minimalism, I want to assure you that a simple lifestyle is a good choice for nearly everyone. Society today puts too much importance on material objects, and there are too many people who own way more than they really need.
The objective of minimalism isn’t just to reduce, it’s to eliminate distractions so we can focus on the things that are truly important. Minimalism is just a tool, nothing more, nothing less. Once you remove distractions from your life, you have time and energy to find out what is important and then focus on it.
Don’t follow anyone’s rules, figure out what is important to you and make it personal and unique – create your own story 😊
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