This is the age of information, of endless consumption. Every media we come across, is trying to sell us something – lifestyle, ideas, stuffs that we think we need in our lives. It is hard to escape from them, and by paying attention, our ability to commit or follow through a certain though is slowly eroding. We have only a limited supply of attention to spare.
This information overload and excessive consumption are causing us harm in various aspects:
- Mental Health – There are simply too many things we try to achieve, and this costs us the ability, not only to commit, but also to make decisions well. (See Decision Fatigue) We will constantly feel inadequate because we are not what the media tells us we should be. We can’t live to our full potential because there are just too many things we want to achieve. Is it even surprising that depression has become more prevalent these days?
- Environmental – The earth is clearly suffering from overpopulation. More and more species of animals are pushed to the edge of extinction to meet our ever growing agricultural needs. We need more of everything – energy, natural resources etc. to cater to our consumption demand that will eventually end up in the landfill. It is an irony to think that our rubbish will outlive us in many ways, and that they will take up the land which could be used for our houses instead.
- Financial – Having less stuffs / less desire to shop will help your finances, can we all just agree on it? Or maybe some facts to help you, just from the recent Black Friday… 4 Stats That Will Make You Hate Black Friday
It is specifically in this era of abundance that we need minimalism more than ever. Let me first begin by telling you what minimalism is NOT about…
… It is not about the aesthetics, or having next to nothing at your home
… It is not about the expensive gadget or notebook
… Or the capsule wardrobe with only minimalist colors
… and you don’t need to be rich to be a minimalist
Minimalist is about simplifying your life to what is absolutely necessary, and how it does it is through intentional living. Minimalists will keep only what is meaningful / important in their life, and this includes social connections. They will simplify decision making, so when there comes a time where it matters, they can make a decision well. Minimalism can look different for everyone, but the essence of it remains the same – the core of it is to focus on what truly matter, to you and only you.
A lot of minimalism bloggers out there focus a lot on decluttering, which I agree is an important aspect of minimalism (your environment reflects your state of mind), but it is not what minimalism is all about. I hope your journey to embrace minimalism is a fruitful one.