Offering Encouragement From Mile One

Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage.” – Elizabeth Harrison

Last May, I ran my first marathon. It was an amazing experience and I hope to repeat it again in the future. One of the highlights of the experience was the encouragement that I received from others during the race. Spectators lined the course from Mile 1 to Mile 26 – all for the purpose of watching and encouraging the competitors. It was amazing to see so many people spend their entire Sunday afternoon standing in their front yard clapping and cheering. And it was even more surprising to see some of them give their own resources to offer total strangers Gatorade, oranges, or popsicles along the route. They made the experience more enjoyable and their words of encouragement propelled many of the runners (including myself) across the finish line.

In many ways, the process of minimizing is similar to a marathon. It can be difficult and time-consuming to remove the nonessentials from our homes. The emotional parts of the process sneak up on us. And it requires endurance and self-discipline to break the trend of consumerism in our lives. But when we finish, it is truly an amazing feeling.

Encouragement can be so helpful in the minimizing process. To know that others have taken an interest in your journey and are cheering for your success can be influential and helpful (that’s why I included the principle, “Share your Story” in our first e-book). It is very comforting to know that you are not alone in the process.

To that end, would you consider offering some online encouragement to others as they begin their exciting journey towards minimalism? To get you started, each of the following 8 posts recount an individuals’ recent decision to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Each of them share a different story. Most of them are not found on blogs in the “minimalist niche.” They are just typical human beings (like you and me) who have decided to embrace a lifestyle of less. Go enjoy their stories. And as you do, leave a comment of encouragement letting them know we are all cheering for them.

In return, allow their stories to encourage you to live more by owning less. And remember again how exciting it is to be part of such an important movement.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    Thank you! This is exactly the kind of encouragement I need. I’m paying it forward as I’ve been helping a friend declutter once a week for the last month or so. I encourage others to do the same. It can be really intimidating to tackle the years of accumulation on your own.

  2. says

    I definitely will!!

    As I read today it took years to accumulate the stuff and it will take some time to move it out!! :) That encourages me and I hope it encourages others to give themselves some time and leeway!!

      • says

        I’m not sure I’m worthy of being included…those are some awesome blogs you linked to!! It was fun visiting, reading, commenting and then adding to my feed all of those wonderful writers and minimizers!! :) I love how the internet can be a force for good and I thank you for being a big part of my minimizing adventure!! :)

  3. says

    Hi Joshua,

    First, thank you so much for linking back to my blog “Life As I Know It” — when I logged in this morning and saw your comment in my queue I thought for a moment I was on my other blog and couldn’t believe that you found that post I wrote when I first decided to be an aspiring minimalist!

    I started Life As I Know It when I was feeling a little lost and when I discovered minimalism in early 2010 I knew it was something that was going to change my life forever but I was scared to take that leap. You have no idea how much you and others have inspired me. Thank you.

    I started ( in October and that’s when I also made the conscious decision to start the journey of minimalism and it has been eye opening and amazing. It really does feel like a marathon! I have miles to go but every marker I pass and every small accomplishment I achieve as I make my way forward and all the encouragement that people have to give (which is nothing short of amazing) are what’s keeping me focused on my goal.

    Thank you!


  4. says

    Joshua, thanks a lot for mentioning me in this post — a lot of times it can feel like you’re just talking to air while blogging, knowing someone is reading is a huge encouragement.

    • says

      I don’t think so. And even if they are, I wouldn’t know as I’m not a part of the club. To be honest, they were complete strangers until I found their stories this week and surprised them with the link… which was part of the fun.

  5. says

    I think sharing our story with others is a great way to boost our morale. However, it sometimes depend on WHO you share your story with. Some people can be very judgmental.

    • says

      True, people can be judgmental…but don’t you find they are usually not happy people? They are probably the ones who need the message most but refuse to listen!! :)

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