There is no doubt that possessions can be incredibly useful.
A car transports us to work, the grocery store, or a parent’s house. A home gives us a place to rest, grow, and raise a family. Computers and tools offer us the capacity to solve complex problems and accomplish tasks more efficiently.
Physical possessions help us accomplish more.
But that doesn’t mean that owning more helps us accomplish more.
In fact, just the opposite is true. Excess possessions have a way of slowing us down and even wasting our true potential.
Possessions serve a role in our lives by increasing our potential. But too many possessions actually detract from it.
This, for me, is why minimalism is so important. And why I believe it is important for everybody!
Owning excess possessions wastes your potential.
Chasing and accumulating things we don’t need uses up our money, time, energy, and attention.
Think of your closet, as an example. Some clothes are needed, certainly. But too many clothes, crammed in a closet, many of which you haven’t worn in months or years, isn’t just fabric taking up space. It’s money you could have spent elsewhere. It represents time wasted shopping, returning, and deciding what to pick out every morning. Just think, for a minute, of how you could have spent that money instead.
I don’t offer this example to guilt us or make us feel overly negative—I just mean it as one practical example of how excess possessions waste our potential.
And the more we think of the money and time wasted on things we don’t need, the more lost potential we begin to see.
The tech gadget you researched for hours, only to purchase and rarely use. The hobby supplies you bought but never used. The ‘popular fad’ item that has sit unused in your drawers for years. The rooms in your home that nobody enters. The gifts you bought for others that were never used. Even all the toys you bought for your kids that you thought would get played with but never do.
Again, that list isn’t just wasted money; it’s lost opportunity. That time could have been spent on activities that genuinely enrich your life—maybe writing that novel you’ve always wanted to pen, starting a garden, taking a trip with your kids, or supporting a cause you are passionate about.
These are not easy truths to face, especially because we live in a society that often equates material abundance with success. But it is a life-changing realization that invites us to dream bigger dreams for our lives.
Every unused item represents not just clutter but also a diversion of resources from activities and goals that could truly enrich us and align with our values.
This is the cornerstone of minimalism: owning the optimal number of things to make our lives better, more efficient, and more in line with our true selves.
The goal isn’t to live with as little as possible but to make room for what genuinely contributes to our well-being and expands our potential.
Your life is a canvas for limitless potential. But every stroke matters. With every unnecessary item we buy, we trade a bit of our freedom, our focus, our resources, and yes, our potential.
So here’s the challenge for all of us: Remove the pursuit of anything that is distracting you from your greatest values and highest potential. And if an item in your life doesn’t serve a purpose or bring you joy, consider freeing yourself from it.
Start today. Start now. Unburden yourself of the excess and see how much more room you have to grow, to breathe, and to pursue what genuinely matters to you. Reclaim your time, your resources, and your potential. I can’t think of anything more valuable than that.