I apologize upfront for the clickbaity title, but it’s true, and I know the word “minimalism” grabs people attention. That’s what this article is about: minimalism. So if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place.
But this is one of those articles that dives deep into the topic, and makes you think… it makes me think too since this all applies to me too.
I’m not some guru who has everything figured out; I’m just a thinker and I hope you’ll join me. Thinking’s a good thing. It helps us to not get complacent, and to keep growing and learning. We don’t have to have all the answers, but we must never stop thinking.
Before we go on, let me say, our family practices minimalism. We’re on board with the concept. Contrary to what you may think after reading the title of this article, I’m not saying minimalism is bad. Minimalism is great — breaking away from consumerism and attraction to material possessions is amazing.
That’s actually where true joy lives, but minimalism itself isn’t the answer. Let me explain…
Minimalist Heart Vs. Minimalist Home
Simply getting rid of stuff and living with less isn’t the answer.
Wanting less is the answer.
Contentment. And modeling contentment for your kids.
Minimalism is great but it’s not the endgame. It’s the process of wanting less.
Minimalism is a mindset.
Minimalism won’t make you happy. Contentment might, but minimalism won’t.
In fact, the entire concept of minimalism stresses some people out. Often because they don’t realize how moldable it is, and they think it means selling everything you own and buying a 500 sq ft home.
The idea behind minimalism, in its true form, is to change your heart.
Americans especially have an ingrained consumeristic mentality thanks to the advertising and marketing we’re surrounded with from birth. Breaking free from the bondage of consumerism is the ultimate goal of minimalism.
So reduce your items, minimize your home, but concentrate on changing your heart.
If you just get rid of stuff, without reducing the desire to have more stuff, you’ll increase your stress and make yourself miserable. Fix your gaze on what truly matters: people, experiences, living, memories… not on… well, stuff.
Don’t Focus on Terminology
We get caught up on titles all the time.
Many people hate the term “minimalism.” Many say they could never do it. Many cling to consumerism without realizing it. Many misunderstand minimalism entirely.
When it comes to titles, they exist for a reason. If I want to read about reducing my possessions, contentment, and gratitude, that can generally be summed up in the title, “minimalism.” It doesn’t mean I’ll agree with everything in the book or article, just like you may not agree with everything I’m saying right now, but it does give me an idea as to what it’s about. That’s why we have titles.
But a title isn’t limiting. There’s no pattern to follow to become a minimalist. There’s no cookie-cutter model. There’s no one-size-fits-all definition of minimalism.
In its most basic form, minimalism is simply wanting less.
Pardon the cliché, but it’s a journey, not a destination.
I love Joshua Beckers blog, Becoming Minimalist, because he recognizes the process. It’s about becoming minimalist, not reaching a stage of minimalism.
If you like the idea of minimalism, you’ll spend the rest of your life reducing in one way or another (physically and figuratively), and that’s ok. It’s actually the point. It’s about being intentional, which we rarely are, until we realize we’re just trucking along with no direction.
You don’t have to wear the title. If you don’t like the concept of minimalism, don’t do it. If you do like the concept, but not the title, you don’t have to call yourself a minimalist to practice wanting less.
You’ll get the benefits even without the title. I promise.
You don’t even have to tell people about it, unless you think it could help them.
I still feel weird applying the term to our family.
It sounds like a cult. I get it.
But like minds are powerful, and the movement that is minimalism is growing as people are waking up to consumerism. We’re born into consumerism. To change that, we have to make an intentional change. Minimalism is one way to do that.
True minimalism is intentional living. The art of wanting less.
And that’s a beautiful thing.