Minimalism is a rapidly growing movement in many parts of the world. But many are not sure how to define it, or what it involves. So what exactly is minimalism?
What It Can Be
There are different interpretations of minimalism. For some people, an authentic minimalist lifestyle needs to be very, very sparse. Examples of this would be:
- Owning no more than 100 possessions
- Doing without certain amenities, such as a car
- Seeking to live with as few belongings, foods, etc. as possible
While this abrupt departure from first world norms is appealing to some people, it may seem too intense for others.
What It Is to Me
Minimalism in my life manifests itself in a different way. I would label my lifestyle as laid-back minimalism. My main focus is to turn away from a materialistic, consumer-driven life. The goal is to focus less on getting more “stuff,” and instead build a life that prioritizes family, friends, experiences, and helping others. Some examples of our family’s brand of minimalism would be:
- Driving the same car until it wears out (instead of upgrading to a new one based on preference or status)
- Buying and living in a smaller house than most
- Only purchasing as many clothes as we need
- Teaching our son to be content with the toys he already has (instead of buying new ones every few months)
- Celebrating holidays in a simple, heartfelt way–with one or two gifts per person
We have found that when our focus shifts from away from “things,” we have more energy to make memories with loved ones. We have more time to explore new hobbies. We have more motivation to develop our spiritual side, understand our purpose, and hep others.
This is what minimalism means to me. It can be difficult to begin, but once you find your rhythm, it can be the most rewarding change you make in your life.
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