Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Why simplifying your life can make you happy

Being a minimalist can be the greatest route to freedom and happiness.

Let me tell you why, and how.

I recently read a book by Miya Tokumitsu called Do What You Love And Other Lies About Success And Happiness. It is a short but compelling read, debunking all those myths about success, passion and how you have to work endlessly and tirelessly to become essentially a slave, if not to someone else than to yourself.

True freedom comes not from all the gadgetry or more stuff, instead it comes from having the essentials and spending your time with people, being human. Laughing, crying, enjoying someone's company, not a nice car, new clothes, expensive jewelry, or your brand new Iphone and spending all your time attached to social media. Finding meaning and purpose in people and relationships.

We read a lot about people's success, who are in the limelight. How about all those people working arduous in the factories who we don't hear about. What also stood out for me in her book is what she says I find to be not just a truth but also a reality, "people with more money get to sleep more than people with less money".

Today I watched a Ted Talk by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, about minimalism. They created a community by simplifying their lives, and bringing value to others, advising their community to do the same. What stood out for me was the fact that they bring up awareness around the fact that value builds a community, people will share your opinions and ideas if you can bring value to them. However this was not the main purpose of their talk. The purpose was around minimizing everything in your life.

I also read a blog by Mark Manson, whom I share a lot of ideas from, that you need to apply the 80/20 rule to everything you do. For example, you wear about 20 percent of the cloths you own. You watch about 20 percent of the shows on T.V. You share an infinite bond with 20 percent of your friends. So how about the 80 percent of the junk in your life that serves you no purpose except as clutter.

When I moved from living in a 3500 square foot house by myself into a 1000 square foot apartment with my girlfriend and all of our pets, let me tell you that downsizing=freedom. It felt like a huge weight lifted of my shoulder to get rid of so much crap I and her accumulated over the years of living in bigger houses. It is like you have this obligation in filling your house just for the sake of making it look decorated so that others can pass judgements. Let me tell you, you don't need any of that crap because you do not use it, let alone love everything you own! But you won't see this until you choose to.

Start getting rid of stuff you do not need or use. How do you know you don't need it? Apply the 6 month rule, If you haven't used it in 6 months and not planning on using it for the next 6 months, sell it or throw it out, don't wait to, just do it!

I do believe everything happens for a reason, and it just so happens I read the DWYL book and listened to the Ted Talk the very next day after finishing the book. Coincidence? Probably not! This happens to me on a frequent basis.

To be continued....

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