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Minimalism

This week we dive into the topic of minimalism. What is it? What is it not? What are the benefits and is it for anyone?

Show notes:

What is it?

  • Minimalism aims to provide a model for living and acquiring intentionally and making space in your life for what is truly important and valuable. 

  • It is a lifestyle based around the idea of owning the fewest belongings as possible for you to live authentically. 

  • Most minimalists will agree that it’s a personal thing, and many don’t advocate throwing away everything, but instead being very intentional about what you do choose to keep in your life, and to live with less without fear.  

 

History? 

  • There are references to a minimalist lifestyle scattered throughout history.

    • Religious groups - including Buddhist monks, Catholic nuns etc. 

    • 50s & 60s- relating to art, design and music.
       

Misconceptions of minimalism:

  • Is a “boring” or “cold” or “barren” existence

  • Can only own a prescribed number of possessions

  • Must be vegan/ vegetarian

  • Nomadic

  • Single/ childless

  • Restrictive and based on self-deprivation

Benefits of a minimalist lifestyle may include:

  • You consume less and subsequently your impact on the environment reduces significantly 

  • You spend less, have less debt and can have better control of your finances 

  • You have less housework to do, less stuff to clean, store, move and maintain

  • You value what you own more

  • You have more time to spend on things that give you joy, like hobbies, relationships, experiences, rest, relaxation, stimulation and health

  • You have more time to spend with people that you care about

  • You have more freedom and flexibility to change your life when you need to

  • You can own higher quality belongings 

Study on Minimalism and Well being: 2005, Professor Kasser "We found that despite age, gender, geography … voluntary simplifiers reported significantly higher levels of life satisfaction, more experiences of pleasant emotion and fewer experiences of unpleasant emotion."
 

Minimalism and the economy:

  • Minimalism is not supported by our western cultures and economies, which encourage consumerism to support economic resilience and worship material wealth

  • If we all became minimalists overnight, our economy, as it stands right now, would collapse 

  • Be aware of advertising: The average person sees around 5000- 10, 000  advertisements per day 

  • The Story of Stuff: Annie Leonard

 

How do I know if it’s right for me? 

  • If you are dissatisfied with the life you’re living

  • Feeling overwhelmed/ overstressed

  • If you're not living as your authentic self

  • You want to embrace a simpler way of living

  • You want to move away from consumerism

GETTING STARTED?

  • THE MINIMALISTS say: Getting started is as simple as asking yourself one question: How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?

 

Where do I get more information?

The Minimalists: If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say, Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
 

Colin Wright: “We don’t get bonus points when we die for owning more stuff than the other guy, nor do we get a trophy for owning less than someone else. We do get to smile on our deathbeds if we enjoyed the hell out of life, however, so that’s what I plan to focus on.”