The Philosophy Of Minimalism: All You Need To Know
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The philosophy of minimalism is living more with less. Its principles are nothing new and have been practiced for thousands of years. The core message remains to only accumulate material things that bring value to life, getting rid of unnecessary physical clutter, and reducing mental distractions.
The word "minimalism" itself originated as an extreme form of an abstract art movement in the late 1950s. Today, it has evolved into a trendy lifestyle that many use to express their art.
Nonetheless, a minimalist lifestyle still focuses on intentional and simple living, reducing material possessions, and improving the quality of life.
It enables you to live present-centered, provides more freedom, reduces stress, and simultaneously frees up time and space by reducing the physical and mental aspects according to your needs.
WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF MINIMALISM?
As an advocate for simpler living, I embrace a minimalist lifestyle. I enjoy sharing the lessons I learn along the way and other valuable insights about the journey of living a meaningful life with less.
Today, I want to help you understand and embrace the philosophy of minimalism.
While people often focus on the "how", I thought it would bring you great value if I addressed the “what” and “why” behind the principles of living a simple life.
By understanding the minimalist meaning, we are able to use the full potential of living a higher quality of life instead of just regarding it as a trend or a short term solution to our problems.
I am thrilled to guide you through the world of the minimalist life, so stick with me to the end!
IN THIS POST:
What are the core principles of minimalism?
1.1 Finding purpose
1.2 Owning less but not nothing
1.3 Freedom from distractions
1.4 Living in the present
1.5 Taking control over your life
1.6 Focusing on what brings you joy
1.7 Freedom from consumerism
1.8 Living with intentionality
1.9 A wonderful journey
1.10 Being more connected with people
1.11 Living a happy and healthy life
Why is minimalism a better way of life?
How can I live a simple life?
WHAT ARE THE CORE PRINCIPLES OF MINIMALISM?
The core principles of minimalism are simple. Although simple does not necessarily mean easy, analyzing its core messages enables us to truly understand its “what” and “why”.
So here they are. Read them all, and I'm sure you’ll get inspired to follow this stunning lifestyle.
1. MINIMALISM MEANS FINDING PURPOSE
We all want to live with purpose. When we find our determination we experience more joy and fulfillment. We wake up excited and go to bed contented at the end of the day. It’s not an easy task. In fact, many of us struggle years, decades, or even our whole life to find what we really want in life.
One of the core principles of minimalism is making space to find your purpose. Simplifying life is definitely going to help. Why? Because minimalism amplifies your chances to find it by giving you more time, space, and energy.
2. MINIMALISM IS OWNING LESS BUT NOT NOTHING
The message is simple: owning less reduces stress. But how much should we possess? That really depends on your circumstances. But there is more joy to be found in owning less than we can ever find in pursuing more.
Our lives are too valuable to waste chasing possessions. And if we are not reminded about the truth that there is more joy in owning less than in owning more, consumerism keeps us locked in a toxic vicious circle of buying more than we need.
“THERE IS MORE JOY TO BE FOUND IN OWNING LESS THAN WE CAN EVER FIND IN PURSUING MORE.” - Joshua Becker
This doesn’t mean that we should not own anything. We all need things, we all have our basic needs to be happy.
However, it’s crucial to know the difference between needs and wants. Minimalism doesn’t mean saying no to everything but having the perfect amount of everything.
3. MINIMALISM IS FREEDOM FROM DISTRACTIONS
In today’s fast-paced life, there is almost no room for downtime. We are constantly distracted by our full calendar, by all the semi-important things we need to do, the things we need to buy we can’t live without, and by our addiction to our smartphones and social media.
We leave ourselves almost no room to breathe, and our minds are repeatedly wandering from one thought to the other. Focusing seems nearly impossible what results in a lack of quality of whatever we do.
Let’s help ourselves by reducing distractions and concentrating on the things that really count. Less distractions enables us to improve our focus, have more peace of mind, and enhance the quality of our life.
4. MINIMALISM IS LIVING IN THE PRESENT
This brings us to the next point. Reducing distractions allows us to live more present-centered. We can enjoy everything that happens right in front of us and relish those moments with all our attention.
It feels fantastic to be present, and it’s also one of the greatest gifts you can give to others. Living in the moment creates countless memorable memories in life.
If we're honest, most of us struggle to enjoy our present. Minimalism gives us helpful tools to fight this struggle and bring clarity to our minds.
5. MINIMALISM IS TAKING CONTROL OVER YOUR LIFE
The minimalist way of living teaches us to question everything and decide for ourselves what paths we want to take instead of following others.
Having the ability to design our day, spend our money wisely, and buy what we really need gives us the ultimate power to control our lives.
If we don’t take control, others will do, and that leads to a miserable life. Thus, it requires only a simple message to avoid becoming the victim of consumerism and influences of others, which is: you are capable of taking control. Once realized, you are unstoppable.
6. MINIMALISM IS FOCUSSING ON WHAT BRINGS JOY
The core principle of the minimalist philosophy is simplifying life to maximize happiness. We learn to say no to things we don’t like and focus on what brings us joy. And as we know by now, it’s not material things that bring us real joy.
It’s living in the moment, accumulating experiences instead of material possessions, finding the purpose to live a fulfilling life, and helping others. It’s all the small and simple things that should be treasured most.
Ask yourself what really brings you joy and focus on doing more of that. Avoid or minimize the rest.
7. MINIMALISM IS FREEDOM FROM MINDLESS CONSUMERISM
When was the last time you bought something and asked yourself if you really needed it or you just bought it because of boredom, or you got influenced by others? We grow up accumulating things because we copy others, and this mostly continues until we die.
As a result, we work harder, chase for bigger paychecks to buy a bigger house, a better car, faster technology, more fashionable clothing, more toys for the kids. It becomes a chase to have more of everything.
Now, the way to change this is by changing your mindset about stuff. We don’t need a lot of things.
When the Dollar was separated from the Gold Standard in the '70s, the world changed dramatically. Money was printed and borrowed unlimitedly, and our society shifted from producers to consumers.
Since then, we are taught that we need tons of stuff to be happy. But in reality, everything that exceeds our basic needs is luxury, nice-to-have items, or simply junk that we accumulate by impulsive buying.
You can put an end to this, at least for yourself, by cultivating the habit of turning your back to mindless consumerism and keeping your wants few.
8. MINIMALISM IS LIVING WITH INTENTIONALITY
Often, I get asked if I don’t feel as though I am depriving myself of all the “good things” life has to offer, as I am saying no to so many things others may cherish.
This couldn’t be more wrong! The reality is, that I am intentionally choosing to say yes to all the things that bring me joy and try my best to neglect all the things that don’t.
I don’t always succeed, as temptations are strong, and distractions are luring everywhere. However, having a vision of how I want to design my life empowers me to stay on my path of intentional living and being a minimalist person.
I have to admit that at first, I also had a wrong picture of minimalism. Seeing social media feeds of minimalists that are mostly focused on minimalist arts and aesthetics, I really thought it was just another fad that people followed to show off.
But after researching and getting inspired by beautiful minimalist quotes, I got curious and asked, isn’t there more to it than aesthetics? Why is minimalism so popular? Is minimalism a philosophy? And, are minimalists really happier or just pretending to be, and deep inside, they are discontent as a result of deprivation?
And as I took a deep dive into the minimalism movement I discovered that some of the core principles of this way of living were intentionality and mindfulness. And by following those, I found out that the power of less enhanced my overall life-quality immensely.
I also discovered that there is a one-size-fits-all approach and that there are several types of minimalism. Having no strict rules to follow made practicing and falling in love with this lifestyle even more.
9. MINIMALISM IS A WONDERFUL JOURNEY AND NOT THE END GOAL
There are tons of other misconceptions about minimalism out there. For example, that minimalism is the solution to all our problems. Many see it as a secret formula and as a final goal.
However, we need to understand that the minimalist way of living is a process and a journey that should be fully understood and lived before diving into it.
Minimalism is not a goal. Throwing all your stuff will not make you happy. You need to understand your intention behind following its principles first.
We have to be intentional steadily about our habits and work on our mindset to avoid falling into the trap of the consumer culture again.
Thus, this takes time and needs to be practiced every day. And in the short and especially in the long run, it’s highly rewarding.
10. MINIMALISM IS BEING MORE CONNECTED WITH PEOPLE
Minimalism shows us that things are just things and cannot replace the joy we get from being connected with people.
Along the way, you learn to appreciate your connections and experiences with others more.
Moreover, you make space and time to cherish moments with your loved ones. That’s why a minimalist life is the opposite of being lonely or boring.
It’s being more connected with the people you love and the memories you create together. Memories that don’t have to do anything with things.
It’s the complete opposite way of how we understand socializing today. Minimalism lets us reverse engineer our way of living so that we can again experience the real feeling of being connected with people and contribute to the community.
THE OPPOSITE NEVER WORKS.” - JFM & Ryan Nicodemus
11. MINIMALISM IS LIVING A HAPPY AND HEALTHY LIFE
There’s a simple recipe to live a healthy life: eat healthy, exercise your body and mind, surround yourself with positive people, avoid stress, and get enough quality sleep.
Yes, I know, easier said than done. BUT it’s simple! There’s no rocket science behind it. You simply have to treat yourself well, to remain healthy. All it takes is your decision to want that and determination.
But how will you accomplish all that when your life is filled with mental and physical clutter when everything is complicated and a grind day in and day out you are stressed, working too much, and then being depressed that you don’t have enough time for the good things in life?
I know no better solution for this than simplifying life. It frees all the time you need to live a healthy life full of happiness!
WHY IS MINIMALISM A BETTER WAY OF LIFE?
As I practice a simple lifestyle, I cannot count a lot of reasons not to follow the philosophy of minimalism. However, tons of benefits show that minimalism leads to a better way of life.
Of course, you can push everything to the limit, which may not be healthy for you. For example, you could see yourself in a race of owning the least and minimizing your possessions to the max up to the point of discontentment.
Thinking that you are in such a race where the one that owns least wins, will not lead to a fulfilling life.
On the other hand, there is a vast array of goodness about minimalism that everyone should know.
So what are the benefits of minimalism? To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, check out my top 10 benefits of being a minimalist here.
HOW CAN I LIVE A SIMPLER LIFE?
I discovered minimalism a few years ago when I was frustrated with my workload and how I spent my time and money.
I wanted to escape the vicious circle of consumerism, the world that since birth has been my fellow companion as well. I bet you can relate to this.
I believe that being a frugal minimalist is the best way to create a better way of living and improve personal growth while living with a smaller footprint.
It is living large with less and a powerful tool to achieve more freedom.
But minimalism is more than just reducing your possessions. It is living intentionally and being mindful of your resources and all living beings around you.
The very first step to living a simpler life is to ask why you want to do it and then believe that it is possible. After that, the other steps along the way are relatively easy to achieve.
To get started, check out this guide with useful tips on how to live a simple life.
A minimalist life enables better focus, freedom of movement, improved wellbeing and life-quality by minimizing the material and mental elements according to the needs.
I believe that our way of living has a significant impact on how we act as human beings. And with following the principles of minimalism you gain control over how you design your life, how you spend our money, grow as an individual, and add value to yourself and to others.
That’s why I see minimalism as the most valuable key to enhance your life-quality and maximize your freedom.