“ Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication ”
You love this beautiful quote by Leonardo da Vinci, and dream of a simple minimalist life, unobstructed by the demands of society. You even saw this picture of Steve Jobs and shouted a resounding “YES” to transform your life by adopting minimalism.
A New York Times article defined the term Minimalism as:
“ Minimalism as a lifestyle creed is pretty simple: The less you own, the happier you’ll be ”
There are tons of communities that discuss the benefits of being a minimalist and rejecting the ideas of a modern life. Stepping away from the queue of consumerism and adopting a life of minimalism can be rewarding in various ways, but this notion has been misconstrued as the easy way of living.
Simple Living is Simple but NOT Easy!
The myths surrounding the idea of minimalism are becoming more and more prevalent as people strive to declutter their lives in search of their perfect state of being. What’s more disturbing is it has also become an excuse for the lazy person to escape from hard work.
“ Why work hard, when all I want is a simple life ? ”
It is therefore worth addressing some myths associated with this growing trend to offer a balanced point of view.
MINIMALISM ISN’T AN ANTIDOTE TO YOUR TROUBLES
You took the first step to discarding the things you do not need — one less piece of furniture, one less useless gadget to pay attention to for notifications or a minimal wardrobe preventing you from making that baffling decision “ What do I wear? ”. Just because you adopted minimalism does not imply that all your problems have disappeared along with the stuff you owned.
The biggest benefits of living a simple life are having additional time and money. But if you are already in debt, then this is the opportunity for you to start paying your debt with those additional savings. Your first step to minimalism is only a precursor to a larger action waiting for your attention. Whether it is managing your finances, or using additional time towards settling your ongoing issues with a relationship or simply identifying the next step in life, minimalism is only the beginning.
Minimalism is your first step towards growth.
MINIMALISM ≠ LAZING ON THE COUCH
If you read some of the ideas of simple living on the Internet you may find several people dreaming of a home in the country and living a life with very little work. Your life may become a lot more peaceful after moving to a less crowded place, but it surely does not prevent you from working for the rest of your life.
Simple living does not eradicate hard work or stress from your life and no matter what you do, where you go, you will still have a family to be responsible for, bills to pay and a purpose to seek. It may sound like an easy route to spend a life away from society, but minimalism is about being mindful while you accept the human experience. A simple life will allow you to appreciate life’s moments, not by completely disconnecting from the world, but by bringing awareness to your existence.
Self improvement is a by-product of minimalism that demands mindfulness.
MINIMALISM ISN’T A ONE TIME PROCESS
Each year you adapt yourself to new technology and trends, thereby adapting to a new way of living. Minimalism too, is a continuously changing endeavor, without a finish line in sight. Assuming minimalism as a one time move is a myth, as it entails a life long process of change.
With time your priorities will change, forcing you to undo some of the changes that appeared necessary at first. Your decisions today may not appear to be relevant 5 years from now when new avenues come along. For example, the cushy mattress you rejected when you were 30 will probably be a blissful expense at 40 as your health demands additional comfort.
Minimalism is more about adapting while being mindful as opposed to sacrificing everything. It requires hard work to truly identify your needs and discard the needs imposed upon us by society. It is an act of voluntary hardship, which is clearly NOT an easy route to life. Simple living will certainly make your life simpler, providing you with the most valuable resource of time, but it won’t be easy.
The next time you picture yourself living a simple life, be realistic and ponder over the aspect of what you wish to achieve with all the additional resources you will gain through minimalism.
Have you successfully adopted the minimalist life? I’d love to know your thoughts and whether you agree or disagree with my post, and invite you to share through your comments.
Simple pleasures are the last healthy refuge in a complex world.
∼ Oscar Wilde
Carpe Diem !