Warning: The views expressed here might deter you; viewers discretion advised.
From Mindless to Mindfulness: My Journey of living with less.
Storytime: I would get new clothes during my birthday and Diwali. As a kid, I was fascinated by how clothes can make you look smart. Watching movies and wealthy people, I always envisioned I would have a fantastic wardrobe. I would have 50 different types of shoes.
Once I started earning, I put most of my money on buying new clothes. Every month I would buy a new shirt. The feeling of wearing something new is out of this world. The way you carry yourself and the instant gratification. I’m sure you can relate.
I think I got this habit of collecting things from my mom. She can’t throw things. Her logic was simple; this might be useful for her in the future.
In the year 2016, my whole perspective for life changed. I started traveling solo for the first time. I understood the importance of having less. The fewer clothes I carry, the more comfortable it would get for me to travel. I didn’t need a lot of things. During this phase, I realized I had been just accumulating things, and these things were eating up my space (physical and mental).
When I got back home, I just went through my wardrobe, and I was not using my clothes for years. It was just there. I collected all the clothes I didn’t need, gave them away.
It feels very light when you own less.
Post my marriage, I have moved out of my parents’ house and moved into my home. I have made it a point that I don’t carry a lot of things. My house has just the basic things, and it helps me in being happy. Own less, to have a comfortable living
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”-Socrates.
What is Minimalism
– Minimalism is getting rid of things you do not use or need. It is, living an uncluttered &, simple life by using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little, and living lightly.
– Minimalism will help you get real freedom.
- Freedom from overwhelming,
- Freedom from fear,
- Freedom from worry,
- Freedom from guilt,
- Freedom from depression,
- Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around.
– It also aids to lower stress, lesser expenses, less cleaning, and maintaining. You can create new things, spent time with family, and do things that give you joy. You can spend time getting healthy.
Stop expanding your life means that you don’t add new possessions to your life. The rule applies to all phases of life. Don’t buy car systems, play station, clothes. All the money saved should go to your travel bucket, as you can use this fund to experience life.
Minimalism can be applied to other areas of life.
Reduce Netflix consumption, delete all the distracting apps, unsubscribe from all the mailing lists, Don’t pick up calls, and reduce social media time.
Focus is the ultimate gift you can give yourself in this distracting world.
In life, you should focus on two things, spending time with the loved ones and getting experiences. It will make your life prosperous.
Benefits of living a simple life:
– You will save money; you can invest it in getting experience.
Life will be simpler; you will have a lot of cognitive energy to focus on life’s essential things.
– There will be more time as you don’t have waste in maintaining your material things
– You will be less stressed
– This will lead to happiness as you can spend more time and energy with loved ones.
We don’t have time to do everything in life, but we have enough time to do the necessary things.
I want you to remember this word, and it will make your life easier.
The word is “OWN.”= Only What’s Necessary
The moment you feel like buying something, remind yourself of OWN; it will help you make the right decisions.
The goal here is not to cut down on everything. Just identify what is necessary and optimizing it to get maximum out of life.
Things you can cut out of your life:
– Unused items: Take a tour in your house, and all the things you have not used from 6 months should be either given away or thrown. It will reduce your load to the maximum level. You might have some emotional attachment with these items but get rid of it; I promise you won’t miss it.
– Clothes: We have piles of clothes that we have not worn for years. Pull out all your clothes. We need two pairs of jeans, two pairs of trousers, a few pairs of shorts, four shirts, four tees, a Jacket, Suits, socks, and underwear for men. I know it is difficult for women, but you are smart enough to figure what is necessary.
– Books/Magazines/Newspaper: With the help of technology, there is no need to buy books. You can read from your kindle/laptop. I know many readers love the physical copy but try it once, you will get a comfortable reading from kindle/laptop. The best part is you will contribute to saving tree cutting for paper. Get rid of magazines and newspapers.
Golden Tip: Stop reading newspapers; it will save you from all the negativity.
– Shoes: Keep the bare minimum of formal shoes, sports shoes, and casual shoes.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is an exciting series on Netflix. Marie Kondo is the creator of the Konmari method. She is a Japanese organizing consultant. She would visit the people’s house and get the house super organized. I recommend watching the series.
She bifurcates the house, into four parts: Clothes, Books, Papers, and Komono (Kitchen, Bathroom, and Miscellaneous). She will hug the things; if it gives a happy vibe, she will keep it. Before throwing anything away, she would thank it and then let it go. It would provide a lot of positivity overall.
Another great resource is “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” Book by Greg McKeown.
Now, you have two options from here, either feel good about this article & move on. Else, use one of the above techniques to make changes in your life. I promise you will feel free and light.
– COVID 19 has taught us some important life lessons. One among them is we can live with fewer things.
– Most significant thing in life is experiences and spending time with loved ones.
– Minimalism is a state of mind. It means owning less to have more out of life.
– Owning less is the ultimate freedom. It will free up your mental space.
– Mainstream media will keep saying buy; you are not good enough. Get smart.
– Focus all your energy on building your dreams and not wasting time on unnecessary things.
I leave you with this beautiful quote.
“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
This is Shekar; see you in the next one. Ciao.
P.S. Don’t tell my mom about minimalism, she wouldn’t agree. 😛