‘Why should I consume less?’ he asked.To which came a polite reply,’Why do you think that you should consume more Sir?’.
Whether we dine, shop, travel, recreate, build homes or buy cars – More has become the new NORM.
We want bigger servings, bigger wardrobes, bigger and better holidays, bigger houses and everything bigger.
Our new age heroes are the ones who also stand for bigger is better!
In this pandemonium of Bigger – More – Free, everyone is suffering – people are going under debt, we are hoarding more than we are going to use, factories are producing more just to keep the cost low, and we are losing sense of happiness (which is not spiked, and momentary), and what it means to have a good life on the way.
In a sea of consumerism – there exists a tribe or an island which is embracing minimalism in the era of maximalism (OK there was no such word till now).
Some say it is the solution to lead a life with low material impact, others say it is ambiguous-
We found it to be something of immense use and workable for everyone- How?
Mojo of Small Things went on an 18-day Minimalism experiment and exploration and we came out with Mojo of Small Things’ Minimalism 101 for you.
Owning what is needed (and not more), Doing what matters and is significant.
Not clinging to things as a source of happiness, so that you can have an uncluttered mind that can focus on what matters.
Here are 05 Things you need to know about Minimalism to get better at (almost) everything.
1. Minimalism is NOT about THINGS – It is a MINDSET.
You may own a lot and still be unhappy.
You may just own what you need and be happy.
Happiness is not the function of things, but how you see them as part of your life (and so is unhappiness).
“Things are to be used,People are to be loved and not the other way round.”- HH Dalai Lama
If you look at the photograph of a Himalayan Monk and a Wall Street Executive – you may easily trace in which frame happiness, gratification and gratitude lie.
If you happen to talk to your grandparents, who have seen tough times and your parents who have seen a little less of them (maybe)- a few things may become evident a little here and there.
Don’t chase what you don’t need, and Ignore what Good you already have. For you may already have enough.
2. Minimalism is NOT equal to Scarcity
You don’t need to starve yourself to practice Minimalism.
You can be a minimalist and still own things which are of use to you.
If you need 5 shirts for work – buy them; Don’t buy the 6th one.
If you need a car and a comfortable one – Go buy it.
“If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you need”. – Warren Buffett
When you practice starvation as a means towards minimalism – you defeat the whole purpose of being a minimalist.
It is same as saying that you intend to observe a fast and you can’t help but think of just food.
Minimalism to persist should get accompanied with gratification and gratitude.
Buy all you need, and not what all you want. Don’t let someone else plan your shopping list.
3. Minimalism is a Personal Journey.
Just starting with the basic framework – You must devise your own definition of Minimalism.
One of the most publicized exercise to start with is ‘THE PACKING PARTY’ – it is one method – NOT THE (only) METHOD.
Moreover, change in routine is followed by change in mindset.
See what makes sense to you and what you can do?
I started with a packing party mode a few years ago, and then tried ‘The Traveler’s Mode’ (more of it to come soon).
Not only they have helped me explore minimalism in multiple ways but have kept it an interesting pursuit.
Try different things (we will share a list of few in coming articles), See what makes sense to you and adopt it and then try something new.
DO it so that it serves the purpose, makes sense, leads to an impact. Once you are in motion, Then DO it anyway.
4. Minimalism is about doing more with less.
Whether it is things, information or people you deal with.
Minimalism principles work at every level.
The less you own (that serves the purpose, of course, less time and effort you will end up spending taking care of it, finding it and using it.
The less clutter you have on your desk (or the desktop) – the less frustration you encounter in finding things and getting things done.
The less toxic people you have around, the better emotional health you will enjoy and more will be your social contribution.
The less you speak – more mindful you may become (worth a try).
Minimalism is owning (is owning the right word?- more coming soon) whatever serves the purpose and reduces the clutter of mind, space and thoughts.
‘Less’ when used with purpose and passion, may be better than ‘more’ used without.
5. Minimalism is about Giving.
Consumerism feeds on taking/buying/owing things based on fear, instant gratification or social status – More of TAKING THINGS.
Minimalism busts all that what consumerism offers.
When you let go of the fear that this may be the last piece at this offer (if you need it, you will buy it anyway),
(Let go of) Instant Gratification stemming from “I will feel happy buying this”(you may end up banging your head finding out how to justify the purchase, rework your finances and find a place for the thing to sit), and
Letting go of the social status (friends don’t judge you on what you own, all others are not that important.)
Minimalism becomes the beginning of freedom, gratification and a luxury.
When you accept GIVING as a new norm, things you own don’t rule you anymore.
Being able to give means that you will find it easy to get rid of what you have and don’t need, to give up purchasing what you don’t need.
Welcome to the exploration, if you want to join
Something amazing awaits you on the other side.
You may also love more from Mojo of Small Things.
- Why ‘Owning’ may not be the right word when you talk about the things you have?
- Minimalism in Action (Article Series)
- The 18 Day Minimalism Exploration Logbook.
- The mindset of a Minimalist- Re-worked.