“We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possession, clutter, debt, distractions, and noise.” – Tina Williamson
The Minimalist will probably agree with Tina’s statement. The minimalist is the dynamic duo – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, spreading minimalism one step at a time. They define minimalism as “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. Both of them were not born as the minimalist they are right now. They were consumerist-minded just like us. But life gave them lessons to learn from and chose this tool in accordance with living life deliberately and with meaning. Realizing that less is more. That no material possessions make them content and happy.
Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University studies happiness and its relation to experiences and possessions for more than a decade. The following are the reasons why the latter is not giving us much happiness:
1. Experiences become part of our identity
2. They promote social connections with others
3. They do not trigger the kind of jealousy or envy we often get when thinking about someone’s material things
For almost 4 years now, Joshua and Ryan are experiencing the perks of being minimalists. I summed it up to the following:
Time is of the essence
Minimalists have more time in their hands. Controlled by simpler existence, they spend most of their time doing important things. Having quality time with their families and friends while maintaining work and fun is quintessential.
True happiness lies within
They do not try to impress anybody or keep up with the Kardashians to fill up the void within. They found happiness with having less. Detaching oneself from materialism raises the quality of life. Money doesn’t buy happiness long enough. If you are consumed by money as your happy pill you will be spiraling down to debt and depression.
Focused on self-care, they are into building healthy lifestyle without following any guidelines except what is good for them. They are not susceptible to advertising because they know what is important. They created for more to do hobbies that will add value to their life.
Peace of mind
Stress is down-sized and peace of mind is attainable. Of course, they are human, so oppression challenges them from time to time. Minimalism just made it easy for them to access this state because their environment is clutter-free.
New found freedom
They achieve all forms of freedom. Freedom from fear, worry, overwhelm, guilt and depression which came from deep-seated interest. The feelings that weigh us down have sailed away to make us float like clouds, rising beyond our demons.
Evidently, they have offered many contributions to the world with minimal use. They raise awareness of frugality and sustainability. People adopts a lifestyle not just to live in the moment but to be pass to the future generation.
When we clear out our stuff, we do not get rewarded with more stuff in return. Instead, we get something unfathomable – the intangibles, a perspective maybe, like freedom, peace, and happiness. Do not follow the trend of minimalism because of the bandwagon. Follow it because it works for you. Because the perks of being one are good for you.