“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Over the years I have accumulated a lot of possessions. However, I realized that having more things didn’t make my life easier, in fact, it made it more difficult. Majority of those possession were things that I could easily live without. Having too much possessions takes too much time to organize, it takes away your freedom. If things you have are not adding any value to your life, whether it is clothing, books, apps on cell phones or relationships, it only causes you stress and hinders your growth.
I have been trying to integrate this “less is more” philosophy into my life for a year now. Before allowing minimalism lifestyle to be a part of my life, I asked myself three questions.
- What is my definition of minimalism?
- How am I doing this?
- Why am I doing this?
1. What is my definition of minimalism?
Minimalism is a growing trend lately. There are plenty of minimalism lifestyle blogs and YouTube channels online. There are people who are extreme minimalist (with no more than certain number of possessions) to somewhat minimalist. In my opinion, it is best to have your own definition of minimalism. Unless and until you have your own definition of minimalism, it is rather difficult to follow this lifestyle. To me, minimalism is to live intentionally and mindfully.
2. How am I doing this?
As I am headed to minimalism journey, I follow these 3 rules.
a. Donate things that I no longer use. “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. You never know who you could be helping by donating things you have not been using for years.
b. Consume mindfully. Whether it is buying things online, in a store or just consuming water and electricity, always do it mindfully. If you do not need it, do not waste it.
c. Charity to change. Sometimes I have a sudden urge to buy things. So, these days instead of buying that thing, I donate $3 to Wikipedia and wait to see if my shopping urge dissipates. Three dollars isn’t a lot of money, but considering my impulsive shopping urges, it does add up 😛 . So, it is a win win situation for me because I get to support Wikipedia while breaking my impulsive shopping habit.
3. Why am I doing this?
I decided to incorporate minimalism into my lifestyle because it is a value driven and an intentional way of living. The minimalism lifestyle incorporates socialism, sustainability, environmental protection, energy conversations, compassion and most importantly mindfulness into one practice. Donating things I no longer use, allows me to share things that I have more of; replacing rather than buying more, allows me to be a creative problem solver; mindful consumption of all things including buying or use of electricity and water, allows me to save money but also conserve resources, consuming less and mindfully purchasing things that are environment friendly, allows me to protect the earth or at least play a small role in protecting the earth. Minimalism has many benefits but most importantly minimalism simplifies your life allowing you to have more stress free time. The time you can now spend to do things that are more important to you. There is nothing more important than time in this world.
A few of my favourite minimalism related reads are:
I find this philosophy worth sharing. I hope this post will excite you to at least come up with your own definition of minimalism.