Go live a clutter-free life! They always say less is more and whoever said that was right. In this complex world filled with advertisements luring us into happiness you have to stop and ask yourself -will this make my life better? Will having a dozen shoes or a walk-in closet make, me a better person? Or will it only gratify me for a short period of time? Try to look at the excess in your life and ask yourself did it improve you?
Everyone wants to be happy but a lot of people have a hard time trying to achieve that. A lot of us believe if we have more it is as a way to improve ourselves. But the more we have, the more complicated our lives get. At the end of our quest for happiness and materialism, we break. If you are looking for a way to improve yourself as well as finding happiness, passion, and freedom without clinging unto a lot of things –it’s called Minimalism.
Lately, I have been obsessed with The Minimalists podcast. I have learned that living a Minimalist lifestyle forces you to be aware of your surroundings, your actions, and your thoughts. This is a much simpler way to improve ourselves.
Minimalism is like Buddhism
The whole concept of Minimalism is similar to Buddhism. According to The Minimalists, Minimalism is not only about reducing your material things. You do not need to give up everything you own to improve yourself. The Minimalist Lifestyle helps us find freedom. The freedom from fear, worry, and guilt. It is freedom from depression and consumer culture.
This can be related to Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths. It explains how our cravings and ignorance are the two main sources of our unhappiness. The Four Noble Truths focuses on the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. Most of our suffering is caused by our thirst for pleasure.
Now, these Four Noble Truths doesn’t mean pleasure is sinful or wrong instead it’s how we constantly seek for it. Our desires are left unsatisfied because we want what we think would make us happy. Just like the concept of Minimalism, Buddhism is about the art of letting go of the desires that causes more suffering than joy. It’s becoming a better version of ourselves and breaking the cycle of unhappiness. This is a way to improve yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Minimalism Improves Us not Lessens Us
True the concept of Minimalism means we need to have less to be happy. But it doesn’t mean we need to throw everything away. Instead, we need to reevaluate what brings value to our lives. We all have things we enjoy and we shouldn’t be guilty of it. If it brings value to your life then great. What we want to avoid is remorse in getting what we want.
Minimalism teaches us how to value things and become more aware of who we are. Many of us try to find ways to improve ourselves by getting more and more. When we do that we lose who are and let our stuff be our identity. Our possessions shouldn’t be attached to who we are. Once you clear the clutter in your life then you start to see the value you need in it. You then make more time prioritizing your health, your relationships, and personal growth. It gives us more time to pursue other endeavors in our life as well such as our passions and charity. You start to feel whole.
What I’m Doing Minimally
I purged the hell out of my closet. Taking a page from Marie Kondo I looked at my things and asked if some of them have already served its purpose. I’ll be donating some of my old clothes to those who need them. I have also tried to lessen my shopaholic tendencies. I made sure that I won’t buy things because I am sad or in need of retail therapy. Shopping makes me happy, yes but an empty bank account, on the other hand, does not.
It’s a whole step by step kind of thing so I’m still learning how to live a minimal lifestyle. As someone who is also a victim of consumer culture, I remind myself every day that I do not need more to feel whole. Minimalism for me is a challenge in improving myself. Be more present in my life by taking a few things out of the way. Living Minimal is also living free. I want to feel free, I want to be happy, and be a better me.