Minimalism: Living with less. When I first heard this word, I didn’t think about it much and how profoundly it can change my life. It is such an underrated word that it is often confused with “being a miser”. But is it so? This is just me pouring my thoughts. Others can reach to me if they feel any different or have any comments or want to add to this.
Anyway, When I was reading through this concept “Minimalism” , I directly linked it to what I call it a “Filtered Coffee” Effect. In order to make our life richer, one needs to brew the concoction and filter the best out of the lot and leave other things behind. Similarly, we need to get rid of all the excess material that we dont want, or that doesn’t add any importance to our life and we are simply holding on to it for no particular reason. This habit of ours is like a plague. A bad one.
Our lives are circled around the brands and kinds of marketing which literally screams that we don’t have enough. Terms like “Black Friday Sale ” , “Cyber Mondays” or “OOTD” etc all supports the concept of ” having more” directly or indirectly. It’s always the race for the numbers. It’s always about the six figure salary. Jim Carrey, once quoted ” I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of ,so they can see that it’s not the answer“, which made me think, if that’s not the answer to the happiness then what is?
Taking my research further, I searched for the countries who ranked high at the Happiness Index. According to the Happiness Report 2019, Finland ranked at number one but what about their GDP Growth? Is it,at all, related to the money? Finland,according to the 2019 report, ranked at 45th which is lesser than India’s GDP, ranked at 5th out of top 50 countries. Then what is that X-Factor that bringing the individuals including the immigrants closer and more Happier? Eventually, moving from macro to micro level, I started digging answers from people around me.
Obviously, it is easier for the rich people like Jim Carrey belonging to the level 4 income groups to say this , but how can I be sure that having all the luxury is not my key to happiness? I need to find the answer from someone who earns a lot and yet he /she has given up everything or willing to give up the luxury, to attain the satisfaction or happiness. Apparently , the answer was just around the corner. One of my very close friends, having impressive educational background, ended up having amazing job which most of the people would kill for. But as I hate to break it, that person is not very much content with that life. Long story short, the Market out there will always make you think that you don’t have that perfect look, or perfect gadget and buying that new iPhone will make you more happy. But it will not. I am not saying that buying anything is wrong, but Minimalism is all about giving it a second thought. Ask yourself, is it adding a value to your life? Is it worth spending your hard-earned money onto something that will bore you after a month or so? It’s not you being a miser. It’s about making the right choices. Doing what you love and spending on the things which adds esteem to it is always beneficial and will bring joy.
Minimalists are often judged as the kind of people who have no ambition. They are thought to be the type of people who are just lazy or too laid-back to be “cool” enough but in my opinion, these kind of judgments often comes from the people who are somewhere insecure about their status-quo in the world and simply earning to spend it. I’m going to highlight here once again, that spending is not bad but spending on something which you already have (say, a blue denim jeans or a perfume) is a total waste of money. Now the added bonus of being a minimalist is that spending less makes us prepared for all the unforeseen events and gives us the satisfaction that we don’t need to depend on others which ultimately leads to Happiness which is totally opposite of what most of the people are doing out there right now. And that’s when I found my ultimate elixir of the word “Minimalism” : What are we living for?To stay happy right? Then, doing things which adds value to our everyday life, say flying from point A to point B, spending grands makes you happy, then do it. Don’t fool yourself and get tricked into what market wants you to believe in.
The discipline of saying “NO” takes a lot of courage. Take it from the person that I am, I spend a lot and I’m still in this process to become a better person. But the process itself makes me feel very productive and HAPPY. Thanks to my close friend Sooraj Nambiar, who introduced me to this concept months ago and since then I’m pushing myself to lead a minimalistic lifestyle. Again to quote The Minimalists “Love People, Use Things and not the opposite” .