We live in a consumer-driven society.
I’ve always known this but never actually reflected on my spending habits, how many things I have accumulated, and how much of a difference I could make in my life by NOT being such a consumer and letting the media, advertisements, and others impact my decisions.
What’s crazy about this whole thing is that I’m 26 years old and I’m just thinking about all of these things now. What’s even crazier is that I’ve been hearing the same message from my Dad for so many years, “Lindsey, live a light life.” , “Lindsey, pack light.” , “Lindsey, only buy what you need”, “Lindsey, have a little and experience a lot.” <— WOW. I love my Dad, but that was one consistent message he gave me through the years but the problem was society has always been breathing down my neck about buying more. Earning more money. Living the American Dream. What is the American Dream even anymore these days? From my knowledge, it was more about being able to have the opportunity, a nice house, and white picot fence. But life is so different now.
I would say in the last three years I’ve been hearing a TON about people transitioning into a minimalist lifestyle. The image in my mind was that I’d literally have one chair, in a white room, and maybe a phone to get by. I wasn’t interested and loved all of my things I’ve accumulated over the years, that I’ve worked so hard for, what society told me would make my life easier or happier, what I thought I deserved because I worked so hard. It’s a bunch of BOLOGNA.
What I’ve been learning through documentaries, articles, and actual humans who live their lives is that ‘things’ only make us happy temporality. What we actually want out of these things are the FEELING that they bring us. We are honestly just searching for the next thing to make us happier. What I’ve found, is that I’m never 100% satisfied when it comes to material things. I’m always moving onto the next thing and it’s a continuous cycle.
I started thinking about all of the positives that would come out of me getting rid of my 30 pairs of shoes, 16 extra blankets in my closet, sweatshirts from college I’ll never wear again, extra old iPhones, and all of these other things that just don’t belong in my current life anymore. The question I keep asking myself is, what will bring me value now and in the future? What do I actually enjoy in my day to day life? What is the ‘WHY’ behind these things I’m purchasing?
1.Massive savings to my bank account
This is obvious because we won’t be buying things we don’t need or just buy to return later.
2.Less is more mentality
This lifestyle automatically makes organization NOT hard to do.
3.A cleaner environment to exist in
Holding onto to things is like an anchor holding us down, this creates freedom and less cleaning in the long run.
4.More $ and time to experience life
Focus on traveling, doing hobbies, and your health is so much better than focusing on material things.
5.Peace of mind
We create stress because we’re worried about how we would live life without certain possessions.
6.Less fear of failure
Look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose.
The lifestyle provides self-reliance so we don’t rely on other things to bring us joy
Minimalism does not mean that you have to get rid of everything you have. I believe it means that you can start being more conscious of what your purchasing and bringing into your life. What value does it bring? If you love your purses – don’t do anything drastic and get rid of all of them. This is where I started, I picked a few that I absolutely loved, that I knew I would use a lot, and that brought me joy. The others? I sold, gave away as a gift, and just ended up feeling so much lighter mentally and physically. I know that I will use my purse to carry things daily – so it was a conscious choice because I know it would bring me value each day. I think becoming a minimalist is apart of making your life more meaningful. Being thoughtful about each thing in your life.
You know how when you talk to someone who just found their path in their religion? And how they’re radiating with joy and you can’t understand how they got there? I feel like I’ve been seeing the same thing with people who have transitioned to a minimalist lifestyle. I’m a person who stress cleans, I do this because when something’s cleaned I feel so much better and it relieves so much tension because I see a physical spot become open and fresh. If this is you, maybe this is something you can try and take it slowly.
Another important point I think is worth mentioning, is that there is no perfect version of being a minimalist. It’s a transition process and there are always going to be things that we need at different times in our lives. It’s important to not make something that will make our lives simpler into an issue. I caught myself thinking this way – thinking people would judge me when I say I’m trying to minimize the things I have but then judge me when I order something off of Amazon. I quickly caught myself and told myself that this is something I’m doing for myself to improve what I think is meaningful to me, not what others think.
That my friends is the reason we got ourselves into this mess in the first place.
What are your thoughts? Leave it in the comments below!