The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.(Socrates)
Going on board the minimalism journey, I was very afraid at first. Afraid that I will settle with lower standards in everything. Afraid that contentment will become a comfort zone for me to achieve more. Afraid that I’ll look extreme about it and become so alone because my lifestyle is a bit different from others. It got me thinking, am I just lazy ‘to want’ because I hate to think about the effort required. Can I survive with less stuff. Will I look ugly and poor?
It turns out, everything that I feared becomes the very opposite. Minimalism was not the horror story as I thought it might be. Once I started to own less, I also start to become happier. I start to become myself. It gets even better when I started to want less.
Minimalism is so liberating that I no longer care about what other people think about me.
That, is a very valuable possession on its own.
It’s a freedom to want less.
Be happy by wanting less
Discover your unique self
When you no longer use possessions as a yardstick, you will become more of yourself than a mass production of the same labels. Eccentricity is when everything about you is not associated with a certain brand, style or group.
Let’s take clothing as an example.
You think that you have no clothes to wear. So you keep browsing and picking the new styles of clothing which always end up making you look even more ridiculous. It’s hard to realize that your fashion sense lies on the same few pieces that you keep repeating over the week.
By wanting less, yes, we’re left with fewer things in our life but whatever that remains are the very important and valuable ones to stay. Imagine when everything that we own is our best and most loved. Minimalism makes us more focus on our inner self – to who we really are and what we really want.
In my process to minimize my wardrobe, I started to discover my own style. Everything that remains in my closet are all the things that I love. I feel me wearing the same pants and tops whenever I go out with my friends. I am happy with whatever I have and feel pretty wearing them. I still celebrate the style diversity and enjoy to look at other people’s sense of fashion but hardly ask, “Your dress is so nice, where did you get it (so I can get it too)?”. “The xxx brand is releasing the new shawl (or the new shades of lipstick), let’s go and check it out.
or “Do I look OK wearing this?”
The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are. (Goldie Hawn)
It’s counter-intuitive, but I started to feel more confident when I stop wanting new clothes.
Create space for the important things
Getting rid of clutter gives space to the more important things in your life. You can start to fill it with only the things that spark joy.The less important things could be in the material form (i.e excessive clothing, shoes, bags and furniture) or commitment such as toxic and consuming relationship or paying cable when you don’t really have the time to watch TV.
Whether you realize it or not, owning new stuff can be exhausting sometimes. The time needed for the research and reading reviews. The time needed to go buy and get it. The time needed to care for it. The money needed to purchase it. The storage needed to keep it. The emotional investment over it. It’s time, space, money and energy altogether for things that will become the clutter in your house one day. (So then, add the time needed to clean and get rid of it)
When you use your resources wisely, they bring better meanings in every investment that you make. Being minimal is about being optimal.
Therefore, always question yourself in every purchase and wants. The fundamental questions of wanting and owning stuff – Why do I get/buy things I don’t really need? Is this really me? Is this just an impulse? Will it make me happy in the long run, or is it just the temporary adrenaline of buying new things? Am I doing this to compensate other things in my life? Am I doing this just to impress others or because I’m jealous of others?
Often, after questioning yourself, you will be happy to walk away.
I’m very grateful to discover and embrace minimalism – I never thought all my life that being happy is easier than having more stuff. Maybe, you should join me too!
There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be discovered in pursuing more. (Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist)