Illustration by Sarameeya Aree
Embarking on this journey to leading a simpler life means creating your own guide to what Minimalism is. By understanding the core principles, you can better see how to start adopting minimalist practices and how to apply its principles to your life in your unique way.
Now more than ever, we need to unplug from the noisy world around us. With its distractions, it shouts and begs for our attention, luring us to attain everything but a simple life. We live in an ever-growing superficial and capitalist society that promotes materialism and abundance as a means to success and happiness.
We are constantly being targeted by social media, advertisements, television, and the influence of large corporations, to desire more and to buy more. As a by-product of this lethal influence, we become dissatisfied and disappointed with ourselves and our lives. Society in many ways has been selling us the idea that we are not enough and we have to strive for riches and abundance to be enough.
As a result, of a maximalist society, it is becoming easier to disassociate from the overstimulating, and manipulative world we live in and to succumb to its influence and pressure to strive for fame, success and a showy display of life. If we don’t slow down, if we don’t learn to unplug from the noise and simplify our lives, we will lose sight of who we are, our values, and our goals by getting caught up in the whirlwind of striving for opulence. The question is: How can we tune out the distractions of the world and bring into focus a life curated by our true goals and values?
An answer to drowning out the noise
We may believe that finally having that “thing” we’ve been working hard to attain will satisfy and fulfill us. Many of us have reasoned, “If only I had more money, a bigger house, or an expensive car, I would be happier.” We place our value of self in the value of things. We’ve come to adopt a toxic mindset—beliefs that having more will bring us fulfillment. In actuality, having an abundance doesn’t always bring us real contentment.
Very often we find that once we have the thing we desire, it brings us only temporary satisfaction and we then strive to attain more, thus, leading us into an endless cycle of greed and never being content.
This rings true the saying, “We don’t need a lot to be happy.” Real fulfillment in life is found when our basic needs are met and we are content with our lives. Isn’t it true that we find a sense of peace and satisfaction when our needs are taken care of? On the other hand, when we focus on what we don’t have and are less grateful, we are less content.
The philosophy of a minimalist lifestyle has helped many to step out of a life of disorder, distraction, and noise, and return to a simple life that brings focus and real fulfilment.
Minimalism is an intentional way of living that has principles rooted in living sustainably, being free of the pursuit of possessions, setting priorities, being disciplined, and living simply. This lifestyle approach offers you a life of peace, balance, control and so much more. As defined by Joshua Becker, the author of Becoming a Minimalist: “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” Through this disciplined lifestyle, we learn how much we can gain from getting rid of non-necessities and focusing on the essentials of life.
By becoming a minimalist, you take a thorough look at what does and does not serve you. You reflect on what you need to let go of to curate your ideal life and lead a life of clarity that gives more space for your values and goals. By learning how to embrace Minimalism, you can transform your life into one of success, freedom, and contentment.
So try it—maybe start with one room or aspect of your life, and assess: Where is the noise coming from that prevents you from focusing on what truly matters to you?
In Part 2, I will discuss the core principles of Minimalism, and ways to achieve a clearer, more purposeful perspective.