“Get your stuff down to what you can carry on your back.”
This is the message my dad used to tell me and my sisters growing up. What he meant was get rid of everything in your life that is non-essential and only own a handful of important things. Apparently my dad is a bit nomadic, (and perhaps a tad on the radical side) though I realize that this is helpful training for a minimalist life; a tool for freedom and happiness.
Despite Instagram showing you that everyone is buying everything, minimalism is gaining in popularity for many Millennials. Joshua Fields Millburn one of the co-founders of the highly popular site TheMinimalists.com (which receives 4 million hits per month), recently shared some knowledge bombs in an interview with lifestyle entrepreneur Lewis Howes:
I found this interview to be incredibly inspiring to the point that I took action right after watching it. A few of the key ‘aha’ moments I discovered was how Joshua had an amazing job and made great money, though he kept buying expensive things to try to fill some kind of void in his life. Despite looking like he ‘had it all’ he was secretly struggling. He soon found himself $500,000 in debt and had to figure out how to get out of it. This is when he started to learn about minimalism and started his site with his good friend. On the site they share that “minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom.” It’s about embracing a desire to own less and doesn’t have to be incredibly drastic.
Here are a few ways they share on their website how minimalism helped them create more freedom:
- Reclaim our time
- Live in the moment
- Pursue our passions
- Discover our missions
- Experience real freedom
- Create more, consume less
- Focus on our health
- Grow as individuals
- Contribute beyond ourselves
- Rid ourselves of excess stuff
- Discover purpose in our lives
Overall, I felt sold on the big idea of lasting happiness. So often it feels like happiness is something you can buy, when in reality, I know that it is something that you must feel.
The one big change he made that shocked me was cancelling his home Internet access. My first reaction to this was I thought he was absolutely nuts. How could an online entrepreneur cancel his Internet? What the heck do people do without the Internet to keep them busy? Then he mentioned he used the Internet at his home office, though had to be creative to have fun at home. He picked up old books, had more dinner parties, actually went outside, exercised more, and overall got better sleep. As someone who has fallen into a routine of staying up too late trying to read everything created on the internet, I was intrigued by this idea.
As I live in downtown Toronto, I figured it was worth a shot to cancel the Internet for a month to try it and see if I can do it while avoiding going insane from boredom ;). I am also taking this challenge on for my December 2016 monthly challenge.
If you want to get started on owning less, I also highly recommend reading tidying guru Marie Kondo’s New York Times best-selling book and watch a few videos where she teaches you her game-changing tidy methods:
I find it fun to try something new and switch things up in life. Are you interested in trying out the minimalist lifestyle? Or perhaps uncluttering a part of your life? It definitely starts to get addicting in a good way! If you are, tweet us or email us to share your story!