On average, we see 5,000 advertisements every day calling us to buy more and more. And I want to be just one voice inviting us to buy less.
From the very beginning, Becoming Minimalist has had one goal: inspire others to live more by owning less. When I write, I write for those who have never been introduced to minimalism—those are the people I want to reach.
I write books and blog posts for those who are beginning their journey or have not begun…
…and also for those who are looking for encouragement and inspiration to follow through with their desire to own less.
I have discovered, after all these years, that owning less is countercultural, encouragement is essential, community is important, and there are significant truths about minimalism we need to be frequently reminded of. Even in my own life, I need to remind myself often of the core truths of minimalism.
Here are 5 Truths About Minimalism I Remind Myself Often:
1. Excess possessions are a burden and a distraction. Every thing we own requires time, money, energy, and focus to maintain. And every increased possessions adds increased anxiety on to our lives. This exchange would make sense if possessions made us happy. Unfortunately, they do not. Instead, they only distract us from the things that do.
Read more: 21 Life-Giving Benefits of Owning Less
2. Our society is built on excessive consumption. Our economy thrives on artificially manufactured needs and wants. As a result, we are constantly bombarded with messages claiming we are not as happy as we could be and the quickest remedy is to “buy their product.” Discontent is sown into our soul at every turn—and on every billboard. But their messaging is carefully crafted for their own selfish gain. And there is a wonderful joy available to those who reject it.
Read more: 10 Reasons to Escape Excessive Consumerism
3. My life is too valuable to waste chasing material possessions. We each get one life to live and we each get to determine what our life is going to be focused on. Some will use it to pursue money, fame, or power. Others will use it to passionately pursue bigger houses, nicer cars, and fuller closets. But not me. My one life is too valuable to waste chasing things that will never last. I will pursue love and hope, impact and significance. And I will seek to live a life that benefits others above all other things.
4. There is no right way to do minimalism. Minimalism is always going to look different from one person to another. And well it should—each of us have different passions and values and gifts that we can offer to the world. For example, a minimalist writer is always going to own different things than a minimalist farmer or a minimalist carpenter. And someone who desires to use their newfound freedom to travel the world is going to own something different than a minimalist who desires to use their freedom to host beautiful dinner parties. Find freedom in this reminder. And refrain from comparing your version of minimalism to anyone else’s.
5. Minimalism is the pathway, not the goal. Owning the fewest number of things possible is not the greatest goal for your life or mine. Minimalism is not our greatest obsession. Minimalism is simply a means to an end. It removes physical distractions so our greatest priorities can be elevated. It allows our lives to be defined by things that matter. If minimalism has allowed you the opportunity to pursue those things in life you most desire, you have succeeded.
Minimalism, as a way of life, holds benefit for all. Regardless of gender, religion, race, or socio-economic class, there are life-giving benefits to intentionally owning fewer possessions and removing the pursuit of empty consumerism. This is a message that must be proclaimed and shared often and widely. And for that reason, I will continue to do what I do: inspiring others to live more by owning less.
I will lend my voice to the movement and I hope you will too.