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 – 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 material possessions? 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 started to become myself.
It’s so liberating that I no longer care about what other people think about me and my possessions.
That, is a very valuable possession on its own.
In this post, I will share on how minimalism has impacted my life and can benefit yours too.
Discover our unique self
Eccentricity is when everything about us is not associated with a certain brand, style or group – from the things that we wear up to the way we think.
Let’s take clothing, again, as an example.
We think that we have no clothes to wear, almost as if we are hopelessly unfashionable, even though we have a wardrobe full of up-to-date fashion.
So we keep hunting for the latest trend, and we take them home feeling hopeful and excited.
The result? They are nice to see, nice to hold but always end up making us ridiculous.
Whatever we have acquired throughout our life, most of them are the result of what the media tell us we should own.
It’s hard to realize that our own sense of fashion lies on the same few pieces that we keep repeating over the week. When I downsized my wardrobe to the last few items that I really love, my personal style starts to show itself. I found my personal unique style!
Whatever I have now are not just after the trend or the friends.
And it’s so awesome whenever I follow my friends to go shopping, have quite a lot of money in my wallet and still being able to say, “No, I don’t need that. I’m good” – to the temptation.
In a way, this lifestyle also helps me to say no. It’s something I’m struggling with for a long time.
Minimalism makes us more focus on our inner unique self – to who we really are and what we really want.
Once I found my own style, 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 appreciate other people’s sense of fashion but hardly tempted to copy them.
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 have less clothing and stop wanting more.
Create space for the important things
Whether you realize it or not, owning 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. And as I said before, there will always be consequences for every items that you bring into your life.
It’s time, space, money and energy altogether for things that will become the clutter in your house one day. Once it becomes the clutter, you need to add the time needed to clean and get rid of it.
Imagine when you have more time, space, money and energy because you no longer use them to acquire and manage your stuff? Getting rid of clutter and stop buying things create space for the more important things in your life.
The meaningful things in our life often are not ‘things’
Quality over quantity
One of the biggest fear towards minimalism is – that it will downgrade our life.
For me, this is just a myth. In fact, it is actually the total opposite. Minimalism increases the consciousness about what we bring into our life – quality over quantity.
I don’t have two or three of the same things just because this one is lack of something and the other is lack of another thing. The one thing that stick and is the best instead of too many just-OK things that I keep piling up.
After all, it is the opposite from the fear and stigma – minimalism helps me to discover my unique self, boost my confident, and create space for the meaningful endeavors. It doesn’t downgrade my life. On the contrary, it promotes quality in it.
I’m very grateful to discover and embrace minimalism – I never thought all my life that owning less things makes my life richer, better and happier. Maybe, you should join me too!