Let’s face it: we’ve been conditioned for most of our lives to focus on getting MORE. More of everything. More friends, likes, clothes, shoes, followers, money; stuff! And while no one intentionally wants to lack the means to take care of themselves, there’s a fine line between sustainability and over-indulgence. The compulsive quest to attain the life of luxury we’ve been force-fed through reality shows and music videos has caused many to experience the stress attached to it. We’ve been taught to think that success and happiness are found in an abundance of “things.” However, along the way, they discover that the saying is true: “more money, more problems.”
Through social media, we’ve come to synchronize our inward happiness with outward belongings. We’ve been taught to strive for excellence, never settle for less, but at what cost? In no way am I against accomplishing personal goals. But the question is, does it bring you peace?
There’s a growing trend towards embracing a more minimalist lifestyle: downsizing to tiny homes, offloading your “stuff” for only those things you truly love. It’s becoming more of a thing.
Is it for you? Here are some benefits to consider.
Clarity and Peace of Mind
No matter the amount of money a person may have, nothing can replace simple peace of mind. You may be surprised to know that the more options, assets, or possessions a person acquires the more confusion and mental strain they’re under. Too many possessions tend to clutter the mind rather than provide clarity. This is why people have garage sales or clean out closets. At some point, some things have to go. And doesn’t it feel great when they do?
You often hear quotes like, “It’s lonely at the top.” That infers that the continual stress involved may not be worth it if there’s no time to enjoy your success. Minimalists are comfortable with less and draw more happiness from a simplistic life. Even if their bank account may prove otherwise, the idea of being average provides a sense of freedom that can’t be accessed when bound by the need to “appear” wealthy (and all that entails).
Appreciating Life’s True Values
Director Tom Shadyac is what you would call “the epitome of success.” Beginning as a joke-writer for Bob Hope at the age of 24, his career as a director skyrocketed after the release of his debut film, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He went on to write and direct many hits, like The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, and Bruce Almighty. But in 2007, he had a terrible bicycle accident that led to a dramatic life change. He shunned his lavish Hollywood lifestyle and vacated his mansion in Pasadena, California for a 1000-square-foot mobile home. In an interview with Mail Online, Shadyac said, “The more I give away the wealthier I feel. The trappings of fame and fortune are exactly that – a trap. It’s called the ‘spoils of success’ for a reason.”
Living on Purpose
The strain that a person must endure to achieve and maintain what the world deems as “success” may be worth it for some. But there’s a rising tribe of those who value a simpler, quieter, more frugal, and peaceful life. As we grow older, our desires shift. What may have seemed important at 21 years old shifts changes as you prioritize the aspects of your life that are of deeper value. Minimalism helps bring those evolving personal touchpoints into much sharper focus, making it easier to live them each day. Result? A deeper sense of connection to your best, happier self.
Sure, cutting the cord on many of the things (and beliefs) that make up our modern life may be a challenge. But creating that “space” results in room for far more valuable stuff.