Becoming minimalist frees us to live a bigger life with a more passionate pursuit of our greatest purpose and goals.
- Joshua Becker
Minimalism is often seen as the pursuit of less, and because of this, there is a common misconception that you feel like you are lacking something. However, over time, our society of over-consumption has slowly started learning that the priceless moments in life are worth so much more than material objects.
Sure, we all want the basic amenities in life, and then some. There is nothing wrong with wanting a house, a car, and even a family. But the truth is happiness starts in your mind. If you are always pursuing more, you will never be grateful for what you have right now.
As humans, we tend to continue pursuing more and wanting to be the best version of ourselves, whatever that looks like in the moment. I don't know about you, but often times I find myself in the grind stage where I keep going without reflecting on how far I have already progressed.
It is when we are at the summit of the mountain, or at least a lot higher than before, that we truly start to acknowledge and appreciate our progress.
The intentional steps we took to get to where we are today should be looked on with pride. And thus, the first step towards living a truly fulfilled life is gratitude.
Being grateful for what we already have frees us from the expectation to achieve more. Although we can still work towards becoming better and reaching our goals, there is a power in enjoying the present moment.
In practicing gratitude, we also raise our vibrations and release good energy, which has a way of spreading to those in our outer world. When we are grateful, we can even start attracting opportunities we would have never previously thought we could achieve. As well, we start to believe in potential and be happy for all that we have.
I don't know if any of you have heard of a capsule wardrobe, but I thought the idea was revolutionary when I first heard about it. According to InStyle,
A capsule wardrobe is a concise, curated selection of timeless clothing. It can vary from person to person based on our differing lifestyles, but the best pieces are the kind that can be worn at work, during cocktail hour, and dressed down on the weekend. Streamlining your wardrobe streamlines your life.
After my parents had moved a few months ago, I was forced to look through my childhood room and, most importantly, my closet. I realized just how many clothes I had accumulated over the years without thinking about it. The worst part is I hadn't even worn some of them!
This sparked a change in me; I was determined to make all that was old new again. Since then, I have maybe bought 5 pieces of clothes maximum over the course of 6 months, and have been using everything in my closet interchangeably to create new styles. Best of all, I already have all I need to do that.
Minimalism has made me discover my creative side. It helps us create things we never thought possible with what we already have. The same has happened for leftover food that I haven't wanted to waste. This less-waste, minimal lifestyle has helped me discover the possibilities of what I already have, instead of searching for more.
"Learning to live with less does not mean your life is not abundant. In fact, it clears up more space for the things that matter."
When we let go of the things we thought we needed, we realize we need a lot less than we initially thought.
We start to realize that all the objects and materials we used to surround ourselves with do not come close to the life experiences that shaped us. Whether they are good or bad, they all teach us a lesson or are treasured in our memories forever. The relationships we have with others, the fun nights out or days together, our physical and mental health: all of these things are free and essential.
Being minimalist does not mean I have nothing in my home. I have actually cleared up a lot more space for the things and people who matter to me. It has shifted my mindset and made me feel a lot more free, thus giving me clarity in my life and realizing what is truly important. Most of all, this freedom has allowed me to truly be present in the moment, without feeling the need to pursue more. I can simply enjoy wherever I am at in my life, and feel fulfilled in knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
So if we have learned one thing about minimalism, it is that it focuses more on the internal rather than the external. When we choose to shift our mindset from one of lack to abundance, we start to truly feel like we are living our best lives. Minimalism is a conscious choice we make everyday, to choose experiences over objects, to choose abundance over scarcity, and to choose people over products.
This mindset shift has helped me a lot, and I know that a lot of others in the self-help community have also benefitted.
So you may be saying to yourself: "The minimalist lifestyle is not for me". But the truth is we can live a more minimalistic lifestyle by making a few conscious changes:
Focus on the present moment - Practice being grateful for all that you have right now, and acknowledge your progress
Be creative with what you already have - Make it into a game, and see what options you can come up with, depending on what you already have (this could be food, clothing or anything else)
Let go of the things you thought you needed - Start to assess the things you surround yourself with, and ask yourself if they are there out of necessity or to fill a void
So start taking small steps today to start living a life of true abundance tomorrow.