“Never underestimate the importance of abandoning crap you don’t need.”
Eight years ago, I decided to embrace minimalist living.
At first, the reasons were simple. I was spending too much of my life caring for possessions and I was wasting too much money on stuff I didn’t need. These possessions were not bringing me joy or lasting happiness. Even worse, they were keeping me from the very things that did.
Possessions had become a great distraction in my life. And the most effective way to fully recenter my life on the things that mattered most was to remove the excess physical possessions from my home and life and practice minimalism.
Since then, I’ve been asked countless times if I think minimalism is just a phase. I always answer the same, “Absolutely not.”
Minimalism is a better way to live. It brings freedom, clarity, and opportunity. And each of us should consider embracing it in our own unique way. Consider these six reasons.
6 Reasons to Embrace Minimalist Living
1. More opportunities to pursue what’s most important. Our lives are important. Why would we waste them pursuing things that aren’t? Physical things always perish, spoil, or fade. But love, joy, purpose, contribution, and compassion stand eternal. Our lives would be better lived pursuing them. Minimalism provides that opportunity.
2. More intentionality in all areas of life. Countless voices and messages seek influence in our lives. They desire to shape what we believe, what we buy, what we watch, what we eat, and how we live. Intentionality brings life back under our control. Minimalism jumpstarts intentional living by forcing us to identify our values. As a result, we can better identify how we have been swayed by artificial influences.
3. More space to live our fullest life. Our lives require space. But in a world of ever-increasing speed, time for reflection becomes more and more difficult to discover. Owning fewer possessions means less cleaning, less organizing, less repairing, and less financial burden. It frees up time, energy, and space—space that can be spent examining life to make sure we are living it to the fullest.
4. More focus on contribution. Even if for selfish reasons, it is wise for each of us to evaluate where we seek meaning. Happiness found in living life for personal gain is short-lived, never fully satisfying. On the other hand, using our resources for the purpose of improving life for someone else offers lasting joy. Moving our focus from personal gain to personal contribution is not always the result of embracing a minimalist lifestyle, but it does become much easier.
5. More flexibility for life change. Over the past eight years, our family has made some significant changes. We have changed careers. We have moved to a smaller home. We have discovered new hobbies. We have changed the way we spend our money. And we have changed many of the habits that define our lives. In each of the examples listed above, minimalism helped make the change possible. One of the greatest benefits of living with fewer possessions is freedom—freedom to live and change and improve—even if the specific changes are up to you.
6. More inspiration for others. Our world is losing itself in consumeristic pursuits. Home sizes are growing, but happiness is not. We chase paychecks rather than influence and success rather than significance. The results of these choices have proven detrimental: stress, anxiety, fatigue, and regret. We need new inspiration. We need more people rejecting consumerism and choosing life instead.
Embrace minimalism for yourself. Embrace minimalism for your family. Embrace minimalism for the world around you. Because the stakes are high.