I have been a leaning towards minimalism for many years, reading blogs about uncluttering and simple productivity, loving books like The Power of Less, driving a small car, blocking ads from entering my home, not having a TV, and generally not totally buying into the consumerist culture around me. Yet it took several years and a bunch of new blogs to finally make me realize that there is a group of people who, like me, want to live with less stuff and more meaning, and that the movement has a name: minimalism.
There are many good reasons why you should adopt minimalism as well, but that’s not what this post is about.
Today I want to discuss the benefits of taking the step from being curious about minimalism and implementing some of the ideas to actually calling yourself a minimalist. Minimalism is not a religion, so I am not saying that there is a set of rules you must start to follow or a leader whom you should pick as your guru (be your own guru instead!). I’m talking about a new mindset where you tell yourself: “I am a minimalist. Now, let’s figure out what it means to me.”
It’s amazing how big a difference such a small label can make. After I started describing myself as a minimalist, I have seen the following changes begin to happen:
- An increased sense of focus: When I know why I don’t want to buy more items and have clear reasons for not wanting to supersize my life, it makes it much easier to resist the temptation. It also makes it much easier to discuss the choices with friends as you know yourself and have ways to describe your values.
- A community: After deciding to be minimalist, I have found a great web of fellow minimalist bloggers who share their experiences and thoughts with the world. Reading their posts and engaging into discussion with them encourages and educates me in my quest to use minimalism in the way that works best for me.
- Personal growth: Today, inspired by Brett Oblack, I wrote my minimalist manifesto, a short piece of text that describes why I am a minimalist and what that means to me in practice. Minimalism is a great way to boost your growth towards being a more mindful, wise person. The journey is long, but it’s not for no reason that so many of the big thinkers in both the past and the present have been minimalists.
Minimalism, like life in its whole, is a journey, and gets more interesting with every step you take. So, if you are playing with these ideas and feel like you might actually be sort of a minimalist already, dive in and take the next step by carrying the label with pride. You might love the places this decision will lead you to!
And, if you are already a minimalist, are there other benefits you have reaped from labeling yourself? Or could it be that adding this label to yourself has brought some downsides too? Let’s discuss!