Most people have their priorities in all the wrong places.
I feel very lucky in this regard. I have never been that much into “stuff.” Watches, clothes, jewelry and all the other material possessions never seemed that appealing to me. I feel it’s better this way. I feel everyone is better off letting go of the clutter in their lives.
I am a minimalist. I don’t consider myself an advocate for minimalism by any means, it’s just how I prefer to live my life.
Let me be clear. I like things. I love my car, I love collecting Chuck Taylors. I appreciate a beautiful guitar and a nice home. I am just trying to give a new perspective. Before I buy something, I simply ask myself “do I need this?”
Better yet, “Can I live without this?”
I Am Not Held Down By Possessions
This is the best part.
If I want to travel, go on a vacation or even move, there isn’t much holding me down. I can fit everything I own into a small Uhaul.
I find that owning things is really just an illusion. You don’t own them. You don’t control them. In reality, they control you. They limit your options and dictate what you can and can’t do.
The things you own, end up owning you.
– Tyler Durden
I feel very grateful to my parents for raising my sister and in this manner. Life experiences were always what we valued. We valued family time, our health, block parties, running through the woods and just enjoying each other’s company.
I like money. I work hard to earn money. I love business and I love devising ways to make more money.
The difference is that for me, money buys freedom. Money doesn’t buy me stuff.
It Is Better To Stay Out Of Debt
The Average American has $7,529 in credit card debt. If you add mortgage debt the average household owes $155,361. That number may be an unfair statistic considering mortgages are generally good for the economy. That is except when banks give out predatory mortgage loans and the housing market collapses. We are due for another one in about 15 years.
I often wonder how many of us actually own the cars we drive. The expression is “keeping up with the Jones’s.” How many of the Jones’s are broke?
There is no need for it.
Somehow we have convinced ourselves that if we don’t have the nicest cars, or the nicest clothes that we are a failure.
Our society was never taught how to use money to work for us. We work very hard for our money. We see money as something that needs to be spent. Only a select few of us know how to use money to make more money.
If you are interested, read studies on what happens to average people when they suddenly come onto large amounts of wealth. It is really fascinating and explains a lot about the American psyche.
Fun Fact: About 70% of lottery winners go broke.
I enjoy having less because I hate owing people. It took my roommates months of screaming at me and twisting my arm for me to finally buy my dream car.
I am glad I bought it. However, I can afford it.
I don’t have much but what I do have, is mine.
Attachment Brings Suffering
Most of the pain we feel is from losing what we have attached ourselves to.
Buddhist’s are “anti-attachment.” I am not. There is a lot in the Buddhist lifestyle that I appreciate, but The First Noble Truth of Dukkha has always sort of rubbed me the wrong way.
I say that it is better to have loved and lost than not have loved at all.
With that being said, how much of your “stuff” do you actually love?
We get so angry when our things get damaged. When our cars get dinged, when our carpets get stained. I had a couch delivered to my office today that had rips in it, I almost had a stroke.
But at the end of the day, isn’t it just a couch? Isn’t it something for me to sit on? When did we decide what makes one couch more valuable than the next?
I am guilty of this as well, but it is really something to think about. It’s just a couch.
The less I have, the less attachment I feel. I do prefer to attach myself to people. There are people in this world that I love deeply and would be heartbroken if anything happened to them.
All the rest of it… I am pretty sure I could live without.
Living Free Of Clutter
I read a weekly newsletter called No Sidebar.”
It is a blog and newsletter dedicated to minimalism of all kinds, even digital minimalism.
Just look at the world around you. Take into account all the stimuli you take in. Billboards, magazines, Instagram pics, podcasts, gossip, the list goes on.
As a millennial, I am certainly guilty of absorbing more content than I can process. One has to wonder how much of this is really worthless. I’d say 90% of it.
When we look at our living spaces, it is another world entirely. Our lives are saturated with garbage, piles of junk in the corner, wires everywhere and also noise. Did you ever stop what you are doing and pay attention to the constant hum in the air? I don’t even notice it, but it’s there, clogging up the space around us.
Space is a beautiful thing. I would like to have more of it.
30 Day Challenge
I am doing it. If you wish, join along.
For the next 30 days, I will not buy anything that I don’t need.
I am going to commit to living a simpler life. I am going to keep my dirty clothes off the floor and in the corner. I am going to fold my clothes and put them away immediately after they get out of the dryer.
I am going to leave work when I am supposed to and commit to walking my dog more. I am going to commit enjoying silence and meditate as I should be.
I enjoy the simple life. Let’s do this together.
If you want to join me in my challenge, I would love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com.