My very first media interview was for the Albany Times Union back in 2010.
I had found minimalism two years earlier, had started this blog, and a wonderful reporter for the paper in Albany emailed to see if I’d answer some questions for her article.
I was flattered, and immediately said yes.
Then, I proceeded to spend HOURS working on my reply to her 7 or 8 emailed questions—carefully working to craft each answer as perfect as I could get it… lots of pressure you know. :)
I thought long and hard about how to answer every single question. That was, until, I reached the last question of the interview.
While I don’t remember the exact wording, the last question was something like, “Do you think minimalism is just a phase you are going through? Or is this something you intend to keep up for the rest of your life?”
It was, by far, the easiest question of the entire interview.
I wrote quickly, “Minimalism is not just a phase of life for me. I will never go back to a life chasing and accumulating things I don’t need.”
I had just spent hours thinking about and answering questions about minimalism:
- How were you introduced to it?
- What did it mean to me?
- What things have you gotten rid of?
- How has it positively affected your life?
After reflecting so specifically on how minimalism had improved my life, our family, our home, our finances, even stress levels, answering the final question was a no-brainer.
Why would I ever return to a life spending money and time accumulating physical possessions?
That is why one of my most central themes on Becoming Minimalist has always been to focus on the positive aspects of minimalism. Articulate the benefits. List them. Define them. And repeat them over and over again.
Because the more we as individuals focus on the positive life-giving benefits of minimalism, the easier it becomes to reject the empty promises of consumerism.
Do you want to choose minimalism for your life? Then take time to consider how it will improve your life in practical ways.
Imagine, for just a moment, you are alone in a field.
To your left stands a large mass of people pursuing endless consumerism, thinking more stuff will bring them joy and happiness.
What kinds of lives do they live?
Notice them competing against one another for more money, nicer cars, bigger houses, and more clothes for their closet. They appear never content with what they have, always desiring more. They own a lot of stuff, but their arms and homes are too full. And yet, they continue to accumulate more.
To your right stand those who have purposefully chosen to live with fewer possessions.
They own what they need and are content with what they have. They have freed up time and energy to spend with their kids and the people in their lives. They experience a satisfied level of contentment in their belongings. Excess money is not required to accumulate more, but it can be easily shared with others.
Which now would you choose?
The crowd on the left may be larger and the billboards along the way may promise a better life by turning that direction. But the more we consider the lifestyle benefits of choosing right, the more likely we are to choose it.
Consider the options. Consider the benefits. And choose wisely.