When you hear the word minimalism, what comes to mind?
Anyone not familiar with the topic may think it’s about frugality, or another penny-pinching strategy to cope with the economy. Not quite. But you’re close to the point.
Frugality is an essential part of minimalism, though it doesn’t encompass the thought appropriately.
Minimalism focuses on the effects of material possession in our lives. It helps us realize just how our greed and shallowness blinds us from things that matter most. It opens our eyes to the valuable truths — the ones we take for granted in our relentless search for money, power and fame.
In visual arts, minimalism is a movement where “the work is set out to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts.” To see the true meaning of the art itself, you have to eliminate all that is unnecessary.
Minimalism as a lifestyle stresses the fact that possessions don’t bring us happiness. And by eliminating all these, we give ourselves more time to focus on things that provide us true happiness.
The Age of Minimalism?
Recent years have seen the growing popularity of minimalism. Various websites, blogs and people have dedicated their time and lives into practicing the cause.
The Tiny House Movement – The Tiny house movement for example, stresses the importance of simple living. Tiny houses range to as small as 100- 400 square meters, and can be built to just around 30,000 dollars or less. Owners of tiny houses believe that they don’t need bigger houses to live happily.
Think about it. Do you really use each room of your house right now? Downsizing your home and opting to live in small efficiently spaced homes can not only minimize your expenses, but also help you save more money for your retirement.
Daniel Suelo – Known as the man who quit money, Daniel lives entirely without money for over 12 years. His story started in 2000, when he put his entire life savings in a phone booth and walked away. After that Daniel has been living in the caves and forests of Utah, surviving by foraging and scavenging for food.
As of today, the minimalism movement stays strong and continues to grow in number of people following it. Many influencers are jumping on the bandwagon, helping drive true meaning to the cause, enlightening more lives and encouraging more individuals to start their own journey.
What Can Minimalism Do For Your Life?
Owning a lot of things you don’t need only adds to clutter. Have you stopped to think just how many of the things you own you really use? Removing all that is unnecessary will certainly leave you out with more money to spend for things that truly matter.
Through minimalism, people have realized how susceptible they are to advertising. Sometimes, they aren’t buying things because they need it; they buy things so they can keep up with their neighbors, or so they can show off to their friends. They think that it’s making them happy – what they don’t know is, this very thought prevents them from the very thing that brings them true happiness.
Reduce Complexity and Clutter
Clutter stresses the brain. It overwhelms our senses. With so much clutter, our brain finds it hard to keep up with the stimuli present in our environment. The result is that we lose our focus on what’s necessary and important. Clutter shifts our attention to a lot of things, making it difficult for us to relax physically and mentally.
More Time for Things That Matter
Things that matter are the things you can’t live without. Things you wouldn’t exchange for anything in the world. Like your family, your partner, your friends. Material possessions make up the small things in our life. They are not important. At the end of your life, think about what you would regret most – not making more money, or not spending more time with the ones you love?
The less you have, the less you’ll worry about losing something. With minimalism you can have freedom from obsession, gluttony, and debt. The moment you realize just how little you need to live happily, you will not be bothered anymore of the need to have material possessions.
When you have more freedom and time to pursue the things you are passionate about – only then can you be truly happy. Long term happiness cannot be found in material possessions. It is with loving, kindness, and generosity that we experience the greatest satisfaction in our lives.
At the heart of this philosophy, minimalism forces us to ask ourselves questions to find better meaning in our lives. From minimalism we learn that:
- You don’t need most of the things you have.
- Long-term happiness is found in relationships, growth and purpose.
What are your thoughts on minimalism? Let us know in the comments below.
Armela Escalona is a content editor at Scoopfed. She writes about productivity, growth, motivation and the latest social media trends. When she isn't writing, Armela spends her time reading, cooking and watching history documentaries. You can connect with her on Twitter or Google Plus.