I recently read the amazing book The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life and one thing that stuck in my mind long after being done, was the very simple, very concise definition that the author, Leo Babauta, gave for minimalism. Upon being asked what is a minimalist life, he says “It’s a life that has been stripped of the unnecessary, to make room for that which gives you joy”. Now that is a powerful definition!
Take a little break for a second, and think about what REALLY gives you joy. What gives your life meaning? This seems like a simple question, but in reality it’s a very profound one, and it should not be taken lightly. Our American consumer society tells us that having more and more and more will make us happy. But, has that really been the case? Are you truly happier because you have a 60 inch LCD TV with all the latest bells and whistles, along with your Blu-Ray player and your super-duper video game system? Or for that matter, when you go to bed at night, do you lie there and marvel at how the house that you pay for makes your life so much more meaningful? Does having that brand spanking new car really allow you to enjoy life to the fullest? If that answer is yes, then great! But if you can’t answer yes to some or any of those questions, maybe the time has come to question why you’re running in this race to the pinnacle of MORE. Are you too tired and stressed out working crazy long hours in order to pay for your house/car/TV set/random gizmo, so much so that you find yourself being unable to enjoy the things that are supposed to make you happy? Who makes the rules? Is it the media, or Madison Avenue? Or is it YOU?
YOU are the most important part of your life. YOU deserve freedom and happiness, not being enslaved by marketers and advertisers who are constantly telling you what you need and what you want and how much happier you’ll be if you just buy ONE more item from their vast catalogue. Don’t let the media tell you what to do or how to value your life. Take control and decide to only let into your life those things that make you happy. Learn to let go of the fluff, the things you’ve been hanging on to because you feel you MUST keep them, because you feel like you’re expected to want more. “No” is a very powerful word. So is “enough”. We need to learn to look beyond what somebody else says we should do with our time/money/lives, and decide what WE want. Only then can we start working toward a life that is fulfilling and meaningful. Material possessions do not determine your worth as a human being.
Always remember: YOU are sacred; your “stuff” is not.