- Amulya - Freelance Writer - India
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
Ever found yourself yearning for more freedom and more time with fewer belongings?
I understand it sounds impossible in today's consumerist society, but that's where minimalism comes in. In other words, minimalism is all about eliminating unnecessary items from your life and focusing on those things that are important. In essence, minimalism means that you do not only reduce your expenditures, you also increase your comfort, reduce stress, and enable more freedom in your life. Freedom to pursue hobbies or set realistic life goals. By reducing waste and non-essential products, minimalism improves the quality of life of all by increasing contentment and joy.
Minimalism is gaining traction among consumers today, as more people discover its benefits. This is more evident in Western countries where individuals are reconsidering their options to live a meaningful life. It's important to note that minimalism is a subjective term that varies from person to person. There are certain individuals who are minimalists when it comes to their spending, while other people follow it when it comes to their social lives or eating habits. We all have our own priorities.
As an example, an employee with a lucrative job, but no job satisfaction may practice minimalism by switching to a profession they enjoy even if it pays less. Consequently, they will have to adjust their lifestyle to make ends meet. Likewise, a business owner can be described as a minimalist if they decide to downsize the number of unproductive employees in their organization by retaining only the productive employees despite the fact that they will have to pay the productive workers more. Thus, being a minimalist does not have any specific right or wrong way, as it depends upon the individual's perspective.
According to their lifestyle choices and behaviours, there are five kinds of minimalists.
1) Mindful Minimalist: This type of minimalist would be someone who examines the things that give them happiness. As an example, if two friends give them two different gifts, one of them expensive but impractical and the other inexpensive but very useful, then they are likely to value the least expensive. These minimalists do not place importance on the cost of the items.
2) Nomad Minimalist: Those who travel whenever possible and are always prepared to do so are called Nomad Minimalists. They are flexible about relocating. Staying at a certain place for an extended amount of time is not their style. In their lifestyle, adventure and thrill are synonymous with finding new destinations.
3) Essential Minimalist: This type of minimalist is characterized by the ability to distinguish between wants and needs. They avoid being flamboyant and extravagant. Their basic needs are small, so they tend toward surviving on just the bare necessities. The emphasis is on quality rather than quantity.
4) Digital Minimalist: This is certainly a popular style. In choosing gadgets and software, the digital minimalist is very discerning. In addition to not upgrading their technology annually, they will eliminate those apps and social media platforms that always distract them. These minimalists also practice Digital Detox, which entails abstaining from using technological devices for a set period.
5) Eco Minimalist: An Eco-Minimalist avoids products made of plastic that they perceive to be harmful to the environment. A similar refrain also holds true for when it comes to wearing items made from animal skin or by-products. Many of them are vegetarians and tend to use recycled items.
The meaning of minimalism has nothing to do with the number of items an individual owns, but rather with the kinds of activities they engage in and lifestyles they lead.
It is a known phenomenon that certain CEOs and Entrepreneurs have a capsule wardrobe wherein they choose to wear the same attires each day, even down to the same colours, designs, and fabrics. By doing so, they aim to reduce and save the time spent on unproductive tasks, like choosing what to wear each day, so that time can be devoted to more important tasks. Besides saving valuable time, a person conserves their energy, which otherwise would be lost in making irrational decisions.
There are countless beneficial aspects of minimalism, such as simplicity, affordability, cognitive clarity, sustainability, and emotional stability. All of this can be achieved by making certain adjustments and having an organized approach.
Time management and financial management go hand in hand with minimalist living. A person who is in debt as a result of their reckless lifestyle can practice minimalism by looking for pragmatic solutions to their problems, such as cutting costs, differentiating between needs and desires, and taking advantage of their free time to maximize earning potential. For instance, the free time can be used to learn some marketable skills, or to engage in a side hustle. They are likely to achieve their goals if they practice discipline, proper planning, and execution. As such, minimalism becomes a powerful tool to organize, manage, and control one's life by clarifying priorities, and achieving a healthy work-life balance.
It is not easy to live a minimalist lifestyle, which is why most people struggle to do so. Ultimately, baby steps are crucial. When one is patient and plans, minimalism can be a powerful tool to change one's life. Checklists can be created for organizing the house, the finances, travel, and other activities. This will enable them to have more freedom, more time, and a better state of physical and mental health, since they are bound to worry less and enjoy more. With the global event beginning in 2020, a true minimalist will stand the test of time because responsiveness, adaptability, and spontaneity will be their main assets.
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