The Minimalist

The Minimalist

The Minimalist: So what is this minimalism thing? It’s quite simple: to be a minimalist you must live with less than 100 things, you can’t own a car or a home or a television, you can’t have a career, you must live in exotic hard-to-pronounce places all over the world, you must start a blog, you can’t have children, and you must be a young white male from a privileged background. Just joking with you..Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom. That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.

We live in a world filled with empty consumeristic promises.

  • To get the girl, buy this cologne.
  • To be the life of the party, get this television.
  • To impress your friends, buy this watch.
  • To turn heads, drive this car.
  • To raise a better family, buy this bigger house.

As a result, too often, we buy stuff we don’t need. Our closets become crowded, our drawers overfill, our garages can’t fit our cars, and our homes fill with countless products we thought were a good idea at the time; but in reality, rarely get used. To counter these empty promises, I want to offer a simple, life-transforming question—five simple words to ask before making any purchase.

The question is this: But what if I don’t?

Whenever you feel the pull of consumerism, simply ask yourself the shortened version of this thought, “What might I be able to do if I didn’t make this purchase?”

For example:

If you don’t buy that large screen television, how much debt could you pay off?

If you don’t buy the bigger house, how much more money would you have to travel?

If you don’t go clothes-shopping today, how could you build up an emergency fund?

If you don’t make this purchase on Amazon, what good could you accomplish in the world with the money instead? You know what you’ve been promised if you buy… but what if you don’t? How would your life improve if you said ‘no?’ with every purchase we make, we sacrifice a small amount of freedom. This one, simple question helps us recognise exactly what it is.

The Minimalist

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