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Why exactly do I choose to live with less?
When I first came across minimalism in 2017, I had no idea how drastically it would impact my life after following its principles.
At first, it seemed intimidating and scary to cut back on everything I did not use and need to discover my values and aims.
But after thoroughly researching minimal, simple, and frugal living for months, I decided to follow the advice of minimalist and simple living advocates, including Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, and Joshua Becker.
So after being an anxious and unhappy workaholic whose priorities were accumulating stuff and continually upgrading his lifestyle, I finally understood the meaning of true happiness, being in control, and freedom.
I eventually found a path that made sense to me and gave me purpose.
A pathway that I encourage everybody to take because it is the simple but most virtuous path.
I often get the question why I am so intrigued by minimalism and simple living.
My answer to why I choose to live with less is pretty straightforward:
There is less to be found in more and much more to be found in less. Simplifying life brings numerous distinct advantages that diminish negatives to make place for positives, enhancing the quality of all areas in life.
Let me explain what is behind the phrase – less is more – and what those benefits are.
IN THIS POST
Living with less: Why less is indeed moreFirst, there is less…
Why is living with less better?
Call it minimalism, simple living, or living with less. Those all have the same intention: choosing to keep what makes you content and cutting everything else away.
It is about making conscious decisions, day in and day out.
And understanding the messages behind their principles was really a turning point on my journey.
The simple path teaches me to eliminate the negatives and embrace the positives in life, and question if my actions and thoughts match my ideals.
And if I am doing my very best to live, love, and enjoy my limited time on this planet.
People often get the wrong picture of a life with less.
They see themselves depriving themselves of what makes them happy.
However, they are missing the whole point.
Most people who choose this type of lifestyle are more joyful and satisfied with their lives overall.
So let’s deep-dive into the most impactful changes that minimalism and living with less have on our lives.
Here is a comprehensive list of what to expect of having less and, at the same time, of gaining more by choosing to simplify your life.
Living with less: Why less is indeed more
Why should you own less stuff? And what does less is more mean? Here my response:
1. Less distractions
Cutting back on everything that doesn’t bring value to me reduced my distractions tremendously. Before my minimalist journey, my thoughts used to be all over the place and I couldn’t focus. Getting rid of unused and unnecessary stuff began to have a huge impact on my ability to think straight and concentrate.
2. Less clutter
Clutter means disorganization. It means mess. No matter if it is physical, mental, or digital clutter, no one needs it because it doesn’t benefit any of us. It holds us back to make the best of our time and occupies our space, our devices, and our thoughts. Living with less starts with reducing any clutter in all areas of our lives and leaves us with more clarity. It makes so much sense to ditch or give away what we don’t need or use and keep anything that adds meaning and value to our life.
3.Less to clean
Less clutter further saves a lot of cleaning time. Imagine your home solely with things you intentionally picked. Items that you really use, need, and love. After paring down your stuff to the essentials, you’ll be left with an organized and hygienic space. That minimizes the energy you have to devote to dusting, vacuuming, and washing. Plus, you find things much easier when you’re not suffocating from mess.
Having less stuff also means that you can finally work on killing your debts. Debt is never good because the debtor always owes to the lender. And until you are in debt, you will never find peace. For me, buying less stuff meant more control of my expenses that led to paying back my debt easier and faster.
In a modern world where growth is the number one motivator for many, stress seems inevitable. However, you can always choose an alternative route. In most cases, you decide how much of it you want to tolerate. Minimalism taught me to evaluate the things that are important to me and to eliminate the rest. A simple life resulted in minimizing my stress levels in ways that I could have never imagined. Goodbye hectic!
Worrying about the past, the present, and the future seems to be natural, but it’s not. Do little kids worry? No. But growing up, we learn to be concerned all the time. All the pressure on us and the bad news we hear and see daily contribute to that. We worry about our jobs, what others think of us, if we are good enough, have enough money, or if we’re missing out on something (FOMO). But we deserve a worry-free life! And by living with less, we learn to question what is best for us and then go to work on pursuing that life. No doubt, it will be a path with fewer worries.
7.Less fear & anxiety
A life with less boosts your confidence to face anything that life may throw at you. Why? Because you are choosing to focus on what enhances you rather than what pulls you down. And you realize that you don’t have to be a victim of any system anymore. You have the power to decide on what you keep and what not. So simply choose not to be anxious.
A minimalist learns to be a realistic and rational thinker. And simplifying your wardrobe, home, calendar, and other areas in your life reduces the decisions you have to make in a day. It means that you will less likely lose time in thinking of what to buy next, what to wear, which chores you have to do next.
9.Less pressure to compete
One huge benefit is realizing that you don’t have to give a shit what others think about you. Why? Because they don’t give two shits about you either, as simple as that! So there is no point in comparing and competing with others. Sadly, we feel pressured to become wealthier and more successful than others. And mostly, success is measured by what we own. Living with less helps you break free from the comparison game and to make choices that benefit you.
10.Less urge to upgrade your life
Even if we already have everything we need, we cannot settle. Why should we, if we can spend our money mindlessly on various fascinating things that huge companies tell us to buy to become happier? The next fad is just around the corner, and we are always ready to jump on it. And it feels great. Does it? Not at all! Simplicity is the opposite of continuous lifestyle inflation. We understand that we already have a living standard that no longer screams for upgrades. And that more possessions will not make us any happier.
Escaping the comparison game and putting an end to lifestyle inflation leads to a satisfying life that no longer requires tons of money. The intentional choice of a simple life with less gives you the option to work less. So if you are living paycheck to paycheck and killing yourself due to work-overload, consider downsizing as soon as possible. With fewer bills to pay, sustaining your life standard gets a lot easier, and you get to choose how much you want to work.
Tons of stuff, full calendars, and a growth mindset makes our lives unnecessarily complicated. We rather keep ourselves busy chasing ideals that do not really align with our values. And then we wonder why we are so stressed out and lack the energy and motivation to do things that are more fun. Again, you chose! And I choose not to overcomplicate things to live a more meaningful life.
13.Less obligations & responsibilities
Minimalism and simplicity are not only about reducing stuff but also your schedule and commitments. To have a clearer mind and more of what makes you happier, you chose to keep responsibilities and obligations in life a few. You stop overstuffing your days with unimportant tasks, reduce meetings, and take on as many commitments you can easily handle. You only say yes when you can and firmly say no when you can’t or don’t want to.
14.Less attachment to material things
Realizing that things are just things was a big game-changer for me. I used to buy expensive bikes when I was a triathlete. But I learned that a 500$ ride brings me from A to B just as a 10.000$ does. I realized that stuff brought only short-term happiness and that novelty wears off very quickly. That is why I now chose experiences over things.
15.Less social media
The thought of social media occupying up a large part of our life is frightening. The dangers of social media are well-documented and include stress, depression, anxiety, envy, and loneliness. Continually staying connected, sharing every step we make, and peeping into the lives of others. Those distract us from real-life to the point that we get feel unhappy. Digital minimalism helps me to reduce the mindless browsing on social media and reduce my overall screen time.
Once you know what you need, you will be able to keep your wants a few. What does that mean? The less you need to buy or upgrade, the less you will want to accumulate more. You will less likely want to go to Amazon or the next shopping mall to buy things because you don’t lack anything.
17.Less to lose
The simpler your life, the less you have to lose. Think of having a huge house, a few cars in your garage, debt, and all kinds of consumer debts. And by a stroke of faith, you get laid off or are unable to work. You will have to cut things back drastically, if not lose everything you worked so hard for. Imagine the shame and sadness you might feel. But if you live beneath your means, you will be far better off than the other way round in case of emergencies. Another benefit is that you have less to lose in case someone breaks into your home.
Simple living also means reducing the toxins coming into our life. Everything that we purchase is filled with toxins unless we decide to search for alternatives. Our clothes, the food we eat, cheap stuff that is not made to last and pumped with chemicals. All those things harm our bodies and minds. And the less of them we own, the better our health.
The first best thing you can do to lower your waste output is obviously buying less. New stuff mostly comes in non-disposable packaging. And most of the non-quality items end up filling the landfills faster than the earth can bear. It has just become too easy to buy and replace things. Less stuff means less trash, period.
And then, there is much more…
Less clutter results in more space in your home, mind, and calendar. Fewer furniture and stuff that fills up your rooms frees up space that you can finally enjoy more. Less digital clutter and shorter to-do lists frees up space in your mind allowing you to chillax more and fill your schedule with tasks that are important to you.
As repeatedly mentioned in my articles, time is one of the most valuable assets we have. We can never get back wasted time, nor can we extend our time on earth. Therefore, we must appreciate our limited time and make the best out of it.
Living with less means more time…
to learn new things
to contribute to our community
for our children
to take care of our health
to find meaning and purpose
to earn more money to get rid out of debt
Look forward to feeling more energetic when living with less. Less to manage, clean, and worry about – all these would usually drain your power levels down faster and leave you exhausted. Most of it would get wasted on things and tasks that don’t add any good. Compare living with less with getting rid of useless cargo or illness. Wouldn’t that boost your stamina?
One of my favorite advantages of living with less is you get to keep more of what you earn.
to maintain a decent life standard
to get out of debt
for emergencies -> emergency fund
to support your family
to donate and help others
for memorable adventures
for better quality items
for quality food
to travel the world
to invest and build wealth -> frugal living
A critical problem in our fast-moving world is our inability to be present-centered. Our thoughts are all over the place. And we get distracted around the clock, especially since the beginning of the social media era. Today, we struggle to concentrate on what is happening in front of us more than ever. But choosing a simpler life means diminishing as many distractions as possible and getting back the skill to focus.
Imagine you can mute all the unnecessary noise you hear and feel from your busyness. Ok, that seems to be too far off. However, you can effortlessly minimize the excess turbulence to live more peacefully. Simplicity trims stress, hectic, and meaningless buzz. It allows you to concentrate on what benefits you and to mind your own business, which leads to a more peaceful mind.
7.More joy & happiness
With all the advantages of living with less, you will less likely experience sadness. Imagine wearing a misery and struggle-proof shield that only lets joy into your life. Simplicity can be that shield. Remember, we want to find ways to benefit and not harm us. And if nothing is bothering us, there is much more place for happiness.
With more time and energy to devote to projects and work you truly want to do, you will find what you are meant to do much quicker. Sometimes it can take a lifetime to find your purpose, but with fewer distractions and complications, you maximize the chance to live more purposefully and meaningfully starting today.
9.More discipline to pull off what you started
You know the scenario of starting something new and never crossing the finish line. At some point, all of us struggle to move on when things get turbulent. Luckily simplicity and discipline make a perfect pair. And because you continually have to make wise decisions, you practice self-control making it far easier to pull off what you started.
So often, we are in hopeless situations where we see no way out. Drowning in debt, getting laid off, relationship dilemmas, illnesses, and depression – just to name a few. Minimalism and simple living teach us to find ways to make our lives better. We learn to adapt to our circumstances and choose alternative routes if we need to.
The main principle of living with less is to ask ourselves what we value most and then pursue a path that matches those values and beliefs. That is non-negotiable for us. And while we stick to our ideals, we also increase our confidence to do what we think is right and blend the rest out. We finally believe that it is possible to design a life on our terms.
What happens when we diminish unnecessary hurdles, find purpose, live more meaningful, and make life easier? Correct, dissatisfaction fades away, and contentment rises. We no longer want more, we are happy with what we have, we appreciate everything in our life more, and we can finally stop being restless.
Back then, when I worked long hours to sustain my abundant lifestyle, I often had difficulties falling and staying asleep. Waking up two, three times a night, and starting the whole sleep cycle, again and again, was pretty typical. And if you have experienced the same, you know that lack of sleep not only makes you fatigued but impacts all areas of your life. You wake up grumpy, feel cold all the time, lack energy and motivation, are very sensitive, easily overwhelmed, make wrong decisions, etc. Since reducing negatives in all areas, my sleep has become much better and longer.
14.More quality items
Followers of simple living pursue to improve the overall quality of living. This applies to the items we collect as well. We avoid low-quality products and choose to acquire things that are built to last, with a low ecological impact, and are least wasteful.
15.More social connections (real ones!)
With the birth of social media platforms, real social connections have reduced tremendously. We spend more time connecting virtually instead of meeting up in person and having honest chats with real people. Deep emotional connections get deeper when experiencing them in person and not through our devices. Now that we use our time more efficiently, we free up space to build up strong relationships.
Where there is gratitude, there is no space for fear. Try it, be thankful, and simultaneously fearful. Finding purpose, appreciating what is already around you, and enabling you a simple and joyful life – your life will be filled with gratefulness.
Uncertain times, a streak of bad luck or a stroke of fate requires simple solutions to move on. And the fewer distractions you let into your life, the better you can prepare for unseen events. You are more flexible. More flexibility comes with more control, which enables you to react wisely instead of becoming a victim of circumstances.
My absolute favorite advantage is the significant increase in health. Then what is the use of all your money, time, and flexibility without proper fitness and health? Nothing! The simpler you keep your life, the better your well-being. But even without changing our diet or working out, simplicity can lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of disease. Stress can trigger migraines, colds and even auto-immune conditions. If you want to avoid being sick and tired, simplify for your best health. And together with other essential resources – time, money, relationships – nothing is holding you back from living a prosperous life.
The knowledge about stuff and consumerism causes a major mindset-shift in living more sustainably. We downsize not only to reduce our carbon footprint and waste output drastically but also because we value mother earth. Whenever possible, we walk, bike, and use public transportation. We buy less, waste less, and show more compassion to all living beings. Connecting with nature is a profound principle of living with less.
And because you maximize the positives, you can receive and give more love – more love for your partner, friends, family, but also for people not so close to you. You can be a leading example for people who need help to escape a complicated life. Look forward to showing them the better alternative of living and leading them to more fulfillment.
Last but not least, remember why you are choosing to live with less. Freedom is the answer! We all deserve to live a free life, have fun, be awesome, love, help, forgive, get healthy, wealthy, travel, and be happy. In the end, it is your choice to be free. No one else will let you get there but you. All it takes is a simple step – to begin!
Why should you choose to live with less starting today?
You see, living with less is quite the opposite of deprivation, giving up, owning nothing, boredom, and unhappiness. It is a way of living the highest-quality and meaningful life filled with joy.
It is impossible to go wrong with simplicity and minimalism when you fully understand their values and embrace their benefits.
The whole point is to adapt the positive mindset and make wiser choices day after day for the best life possible.
Start your simple living journey today. I promise you won’t regret it!
For those who have already chosen to own less, please share your experience. What have you gained after simplifying?
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