In 2018, having ‘stuff’ is a big desire for most people. When we look at any form of social media, all we see is unnecessary items, laundered in front of us and advertised, making us think we need them. When you start to obtain a want for these ‘things’ other people have, it starts to make you feel depressed when you can’t have them. If we look back to fifty years ago, having one possession was enough to make one happy. People focused more on the relationships in their lives and the importance of family. These days worth is very much put onto what you posses, and having people on social media constantly selling you things you don’t need, only fuels the fire and makes us slaves to society.
Recently, I felt as though my life was cluttered and filled with unnecessary things, in turn making my mind feel cluttered and unsatisfied, like something was missing. I couldn’t think straight and nothing was making me happy. After much self discovery, reflection and research, I realised that I needed to declutter my life and only keep things that I genuinely treasured. Not because everyone else had them, yet because they added meaning to my life or had significant value. After taking on this minimalist approach, I began to see a large shift in my attitude, my relationships and my mental health. I began to once again notice the people around me and appreciate them more. As well as this, I began to notice nature and my surroundings. And to my surprise, never had I before realised that where I live, I am surrounded by beautiful mountains that you can see from my house. I was living in such a cluttered mental state thinking of all the things I needed to do to be successful or needed to have to look successful, that I forgot to live.
So what is a minimalist?
A minimalist is a person that chooses to live with very limited possessions, often without a TV or Car or anything that can tie you down financially or in the way of obligations. They believe that this is a way to unlock your freedom. After adopting a minimalist lifestyle, I can confirm that this is indeed true. I still own a car, yet have not had a working TV for as long as I can remember. When you have Netflix, who needs television, right? Rather, the way that I choose to minimize is to not have clothes bursting out of my cupboards, or old papers from a course I did ten years ago lying around and put my phone down after 8 pm each night to give myself a break from the clutter or society. I basically cull everything that I don’t use on a day to day basis.
Minimizing my life, has caused a lot of self reflection, discovery of who I am and has helped me realize that I am a spiritual being that seeks knowledge and connection to life beyond what we are shown through filtered screens. Now that I am not tied down by constantly thinking about what unnecessary items I ‘want’ or any other trivial unimportant factors, I have realized who my real friends are, who I am and want I want out of life. I have realized how amazing nature and life can be and how until this point I have wasted twenty four years of my life worrying about things that won’t matter tomorrow, instead of exploring this beautiful world I have been placed in. Exploring nature is such a beautiful, freeing, amazing privilege that I would never have had the opportunity to enjoy if I had not eliminated these things from my life. Once you start realizing your surroundings, you will also notice the people that are shallow, and the ones that actually care about something.
I encourage you to have a look at your life and your belongings and find what actually matters to you and get rid of the rest because soon enough you discover that there is an entire life you have been missing out on.
Here are some reasons why being a minimalist can make you a better person
- Financial freedom
- Freedom of clutter both mentally and physically
- Emotional freedom
- Time for more meaningful encounters
- Overall better life experience
- Memories you can look back on