A New Philosophy of Living: The Principles of Minimalism and Simplicity

It started as an art and design movement in the 1960s and turned into a philosophy of life in the next decades. More and more people are choosing to live that way because they are fed up with the consuming and materialistic side of today’s society and living.

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There is too much of everything. People have hundreds of useless belongings, too many tasks to do in so little time, too much on their mind. There are too many ads on the Internet, we are being taught so much, but acquire so little.

People live either in the past, or in the future. Someone else takes decisions on our behalf and we have lost control of our lives.

We don’t know what we really want and haven’t defined our role in all this. We do so many things, but have no idea why. Our days go by too quickly, or too slow, but we rarely experience them.

It’s getting harder and harder to stay true to yourself and be an individual. Few believe that happiness, peace and contentment are actually achievable.

But we are starting to wake up and realize that things shouldn’t be that way. Lately I’ve heard of many businessmen and millionaires who gave up all they have and started living frugally, many workaholics who quit their jobs and started traveling around the world, and many other similar stories.

To most people, these individuals seem crazy, but they themselves say that they’ve finally found peace, happiness, balance and joy in their life. And if they – people who have been on the top or have been leading some kind of lifestyle we are aiming at – say so, then it must be true. And we can all learn from that by not making the same mistakes they did.

What we should do? Embrace minimalism.

Here are the main views of that philosophy: 

Less is More.

 This is one of the most important laws of the universe but few put that into effect. It refers to almost every aspect of our lives.

Try to imagine your home with less stuff, to have less chaos in your mind, less stress and tasks.

It’s not only better to live with less, but this in itself will give us more. The less we use and consume, the more space and freedom we have. The less we speak, the more we listen. The less details something has, the more beautiful and simple it is.  The less we watch TV and stay on the computer, the more time we have for ourselves and our families.

Eliminate the Unessential.

We have to think through all we are, everything we have and want. We need to decide which is important and which is only standing in our way. Identify what is keeping you from reaching your goals and has a negative influence on you. Such activities, habits, thoughts or people are only impeding you from being yourself, improving, succeeding and becoming peaceful and contented.

It may be hard to eliminate the things you’re used to, but there is no other way to move on with your life and to simplify it. Instead, focus on what’s essential and important for you and the people you love.

Also get rid of all the negativity in your life, the worries, fear and doubt. It is a long way to go and that is why so few people have achieved it, but it is possible.

Live in the Moment.

Minimalism is also connected with the idea of a conscious living. I’ll write more on that soon so now I only want to explain it in a nutshell (or at least to share how I see it).

We don’t live consciously anymore because we are not mentally in the present – our mind is busy worrying about tomorrow or regretting what we have or haven’t done in the past years.

What we have is ‘now’, this very moment. We should love it, appreciate it and spend it in the best way possible.

Instead, we have so much going on that we can’t relax or even stop for a second.

We also live too fast and don’t find any time for contemplating.

These are the things minimalism denies. Living consciously and happily requires contentment, focus, awareness, right decisions, enjoying the present, and doing everything more slowly and consciously.

Organize your time.

Simplicity also means a new way of managing your time. You will have to eliminate all the unproductive activities that are only wasting your time and energy if you want to start living better.

Analyze everything you do and you will see that many of your daily habits are meaningless and don’t help you in any way. Furthermore, they prevent you from growing, developing and improving yourself.

So think about what watching TV has to do with inner realization and silence. Think about how organizing your time the wrong way has led to the many tasks you have to do daily. And all this brings stress to you and your family, destroys the balance in your life and deteriorates your health.

Purpose.

 Another thing you can’t go without, is purpose. You need to have a direction, to discover your passion and pursue it, to define your goals, dreams and desires.

Most of the things we aim at, are useless. Most of the things we want are unnecessary. So decide which your priorities are and follow your heart.

Individualism.

 Be who you are, and remain that way. Grow as an individual, take your own decisions, follow your path, choose for yourself and don’t try to answer other people’s expectations.

These are the most important aspects of the minimalist way of living. It is so simple, and yet consists of so much.

By doing less, eliminating most of the things we have, want and think, and making some small but permanent changes, we can soon start living the life we are meant to.

I’ll continue gathering information about minimalism and simplicity as a way of living and am happy to see that more and more people are writing books about it, starting blogs and actually leading that lifestyle.

I’m yet to begin implementing  all this and making it a part of my day. I have so much more to learn but already feel excited, because there is a new emotion arising in me – a feeling of awareness and being awake. It’s amazing.

How do you feel about minimalism and simplicity?

Image by Kalyan Kanuri @Flickr

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

143 Comments

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  1. Great post! I’m sure I will positively affect many readers and their lifestyles!

    I also believe that the key to “finding” ultimate happiness is living in the present moment.

    Lidiya, how did you get inspired to live consciously and learn more about it?

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I agree with you.
      Well, at first I just felt that something was wrong with the way we are told to live, behave and think. I wasn’t satisfied with that and needed to find something more, something simpler, easier, but more powerful and meaningful. So I started a journey to find my passion, purpose, to set goals, to get focused and inspired. And meanwhile I wanted to learn more about minimalism, which led to new ideas and changes in my life.
      Good luck with your journey.

        1. Actually I haven’t heard of him, so thank you for telling me that. I just saw the subjects he speaks and writes about and it’s what I’m interested in. I’ll watch his seminar on compassion now in YouTube.
          Keep going and don’t look back!

  2. Fantastic post thanks for sharing I absolutely agree and continue to look for meaningful ways to live abundantly. My goal is not to look back with regrets but enjoy every moment.

  3. What a wonderfully ambitious plan for living a full life. I especially like your point about Individualism, which is often forgotten. I recently watched at TED talk by Meg Jay about how your twenties are the new thirties and she introduced the idea of “Identity Capital” to me. To keep building your sense of self through your identity capital is so important. Minimalism with growth! A great guide to living a full life. Thanks for sharing!

    melissaeanders.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my post. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      I’m a big fan of the TED talks and I’ve watched the one you’re talking about. It was a long time ago, though, and I may do it again now. Thanks for the insight.
      I’m also happy I’ve found your blog and had the chance to check it out.
      Have a great day.

  4. Well written and expressed! I like the idea that one is closer to spiritual freedom when one wants less stuff and more freedom. Thanks for posting this article.

  5. Lidiya,
    Your article on minimalism mirrors the philosophy of the Native American. Where you only take from Mother Earth what you truly need, For example when the Indian takes the life of a deer for his sustenance, he says a prayer of thanksgiving to the spirit of the deer which has given its life so he and his family can live. People should give away any unused surplus possessions to those who truly need them. I am glad you touched on this subject, it is an important one.
    Thank you,
    Jerry

  6. I’m a “Primal Lifestyle” author/teacher and I try to convey these concepts to my clients all the time. The three biggest health killers are diet, inflammation and stress. Today 99% of our stress is completely self made and completely unnecessary. Loved the article and keep up the good work.

  7. Upon going away to college, instead of storing away things I did not have to have and take with me. So basically everything besides a handful of books an iPod (didn’t have to have it but I like music) and enough close that my classmates wouldn’t think I was homeless, was given away. I found it didn’t bother me but instead was relieving.
    This post clarifies why it worked for me. You are a brilliant writer and insperational.
    Awesome post

    1. I’m so happy you liked it. What you shared is a great example of how important it is to have less and how better our lives can be that way.

  8. Reblogged this on The Review and commented:
    Exactly my sentiment that we are moving to fast for our own brains to catch up. In reality, some brains are more discplined than others and can move along with a certain pace. But to really absorb our learnings, time must be paid attention to. The wisest are the ones that spend the most time meditating on life and everything else that they are learning.
    Dont get me wrong, I love materialistic things, but not to the point where i have too much, but not too little. a CBS News feature regarding the subject is right here:
    http://zenhabits.net/minimalist-fun-the-100-things-challenge/

    1. Thank you for reblogging my post and helping me spread the idea.
      I agree with you. We do so many things, that our brains can’t catch up and in the end we haven’t even experienced them. So they are pointless.

  9. Such a beautifully stated post. Thank you! Over the passed few weeks I’ve been looking at these aspects of my life, and the impact of the changes are incredible. Life is becoming life and not just a routine.

  10. I love this post! A simple philosophy that I hope catches on. It just makes total sense. Thank you for being willing to share it.

  11. What a wonderful post! I first made the choice to change my way of life, and start living and making decisions that led me to my passions after reading The Passion Test {I’m re-reading it again!}. It’s true, we all have our ups and downs, as is life, but it’s our outlook and how we approach that situations that arise, that makes the difference. Like you I haven’t quiet committed to the minimalist way of life, but it is something I’m working on for myself!

    1. It’s great to meet people with similar goals. We will support each other on that journey. I’ll be writing more posts on the subject.

  12. “Most of the things we aim at, are useless. Most of the things we want are unnecessary. So decide which your priorities are and follow your heart.” Lets follow our hearts and truly live in the moment. Cheers to your blog!

  13. Blessings Lidiya,
    Another great article. I truly believe in simplicity, and live in the moment. I know where my true treasures lie therefore, I am not worried about storing them here in this temporary world. Truly inspiring words. Many blessings to you and yours.

    1. I’m glad you like that post too. It’s something I’ll be writing more about and I consider it very important. Thanks for the support. You seem like a wonderful person, full of kindness and positivity.
      Peace.

      1. Blessings Lidiya,

        It is a wonderful article indeed. I would like to thank you for sharing because not many have your writing ability Lidiya. You have such a natural delivery and unique presentation. I wait with great anticipation to read what you have written.

        I would like to thank you for the compliment as well. I believe that you are a wonderful woman as well, you have a beautiful heart, a bubbly personality, very kind, and so positive. That is truly awesome. I hope you have a wonderful day. May you be showered with many wonderful blessings this day.

        Youth leader,
        Michael

        1. Hi there! I haven’t been online and writing for two months but I’m back now. Everything is alright with me, thank you! Hope you are okay as well. You’ll be hearing from me more often now.

          1. Wow! It’s been two months already, time sure does fly when you’re having fun:) Hope everything is going your way girl. I have truly been blessed. Many exciting things have been happening in my life since we last spoke. All I can say is His love amazes me. May His blessings rain upon you this day. Have a wonderful day Lidiya.

          2. That’s awesome and I am elated to hear that many great things have happened to you. I will share one with you. I recently recorded my first CD this last month in a studio. I am still in awe. Maybe you would like to share one with me. Yes indeed, I am happy and we should always keep it that way. God bless you Lidiya:)

  14. Reblogged this on SeekingKingdom and commented:
    This philosophy is so simple, yet key to our connection with God and with those we love. Less is indeed more.

    1. That is exactly what I wanted to say with this post. Thanks for reblogging and helping me spread the idea of living simply and consciously.

  15. I sure am glad I found you. Wow !! I read two posts in an hour that made me feel good.
    Thanks for the post about my generation.

  16. This post puts some really good thoughts and ideas out there to a world that needs to be reminded. I don’t take “minimalism” to the extreme, but I sure do benefit from adopting much of the philosophy.

    1. Thanks for commenting!
      I also don’t mean to suggest anyone take it to the extreme. Balance is what we need to acomplish in every part of our life – mental, spiritual, physical.
      Have a great day!

  17. Very interesting idea. I am actually implementing the idea in various aspects of my life which includes even the computer files :). Hopefully I can document it.

  18. Lidiya – thanks for stopping by my blog – that’s how I discovered yours. You seem young, yet wise. This whole issue of minimalism is an ongoing struggle in my life and I don’t even have a TV to waste hours and hours in front of! LIving on a homestead, there’s constant “stuff management” (my term). Once or twice a year, I try to unclutter and get rid of things that are not either beautiful, necessary or somehow needed as a back-up (e.g. when the grid goes down). Just the mail alone – it needs to be ruthlessly gone thru every day and disposed of, otherwise it will pile up very quickly into an unmanageable pile. The “pile” of e-mails each day to sort through, the internet stories, blog stories…. all of that are the new clutter and time consumers.
    When I moved to the country, I thought my life would be more “simple”. Far from it! Now I don’t have a commute to work thru suburbs and city streets anymore. But going to the nearest grocery store with organic produce is basically a daytrip which I make once a week.
    Growing and cooking my own food takes a lot of time – but I love it and it organizes the seasons for me (planting, tending, harvesting, storing for winter, etc) and gets me outside and physically active (no gym needed except in winter). Nature teaches so many lessons when we are willing to listen and see – about death and rebirth, multiple functions in one, conservation and recycling, tough love, and being in the moment are but a few examples. I thought about writing a book about Nature’s lessons, but I am still too involved in the learning phase that I’ll give it a few more years!

    1. Thank you for that comment. I see you know what exactly simple living is pretty well. That’s great for you. Of course we can all declutter more and make things even simpler and easier, but sometimes it’s hard.
      Your said beautiful things about nature. I absolutely agree with you on its lessons. Unfortunately most of us lost that connection somewhere on the way and make no effort to renew it. And I think that everyone will be so much happier if he spends an hour in nature daily.
      In my humble opinion, start the book now. And don’t consider it like something you need to do and finish, but just write what you feel and think about nature whenever you feel like writing. I’m sure you have many interesting things to say as you experience its power every day. I’ll be happy to read it one day!
      Have a great day and stay inspired 🙂

      1. Lidiya – thank you so much for the encouragement. I think I’ll take up the invitation. I do a lot of journaling and this way can collect my stories. If I don’t tell myself I am writing a book, the material will pile up quickly:-)

  19. Good read. I sometimes feel like the whole world know each others business better than they know their own. It’s good to be introspective =)

  20. Hi Lidiya,
    Thanks for likeing some of my posts. This one you have written is a very important one. It speaks to the mindset necessary for true happiness, effective communities and organizations, peace, etc., etc. I am eternally hopeful that as more and more of us realize the truth of your words, a ‘tipping point’ will eventually be reached that enables individuals and society to move forward to a sustainable path vs. the one that we’ve been on the last several decadees. I do believe it is possible, and as more voices like yours are added to the mix, the chances of real change go up!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I too hope that more people will understand these thruths.
      Have a great week. I’m looking forward to reading your next posts.

  21. Love modern design and I prefer minimalism and simplicity because of the feeling of spaciousness it makes me feel … that’s a good thing in a chaotic world. Great post.

  22. i’m a huge fan of this idea. i’m always try to become as efficient and streamlined as possible. i think we want more than we need.

  23. Thoroughly enjoyed this post; couldn’t agree more. I just wrote about this same topic last week. Minimalism-simplicity pushes us further from the ‘outward’ and closer to the inward, which doesn’t necessarily cripple us (as some might caution) but on the contrary enhances & heightens the other senses which in turn enables us “experience” moments more acutely… as you’ve pointed out nicely. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you share my opinion. I’ll be interested to check out that post of yours. Is it the one called ‘ Abundance Without’?

    1. Hi there 🙂 Well, for a start you need some content – write posts every few days. Connect your blog to the social media and comment on other blogs so that you can get people to yours and popularize it. Read about all the options wordpress.com offers and use them. And then it depends on what your goal is. If you want to make money with it your blog then you need subscribers and products to offer.
      But whatever you aim at, be patient and consistent.
      As I remember from a previous comment of your, you want to make a movie.
      Good luck with that 🙂

  24. This was a bonus, for today … We’re on the road, just now got into the hotel for the “half-way-point” … Opened up my laptop and saw that you visited Wilder Man On Rolling Creek. Here I am and your blog is such an inspiration with substance ! I’ll be following your blog … looking forward to tracking with your vision. Thanks for visiting my post. Peace …

  25. I enjoyed your post. Most of the activists I know practice at least some of your suggestions — less consumerism, more self reflection, definitely more purposed — much moreso than the overall population.

    I’m restarting my own activism by volunteering for a local wildlife rehabilitation organization. Your words reinforce that decision. I’m sure I’ll have lots of time for reflection when I’m cleaning up poop and washing dishes. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the beautiful comment, and the fun part 😀
      I’m always happy to meet people who are interested in volunteering – there is no other satisfaction like giving.
      Thank you for reading my post. We’ll keep in touch.

  26. Thanks for the comment, Jeff! I really believe that everything can change for the better. Self-realization is what everyone needs to begin his own journey to a new spiritual level.

      1. No No…Lol I have so many material things this is why I understand what youre talking about! In no way does money make you happy. It changes people and they forget what really matters in life. This is why I understand you. I am about to declutter my life and live alone. Your post was brilliant! Hugs and have a great weekend. Look at my recent post called Happy!! You will see how many materialistic things I have, in 1 room! Lol xxxxx

      2. You’re on your way to a more minimalist life then, this is also great! Enjoy decluttering. I always feel better after I’ve organized things and thrown some of them away.

  27. I really love the content. For me, what’s best philosophy of an individual is the real happiness their feeling in. Not about the fame or money but what’s inside their heart – physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally – that gives a peace and love all over. Also, a time for ourselves make it more worth and giving and taking your time preciously living with your loved ones, family, friends and with the presence of our Almighty. Because He would be the one to give you that kind of living contented in every aspects of needs and wants and your life.

      1. Yes. Because life is all about being happy of what you have and learn to accept things and understand the situation. Thanks again. More powers to your blog.

  28. I am loving what you share here Lidiya. Thank you for stopping by and liking one of my posts.
    I feel pulled to follow your blog..so here I am .. your philosophies resonate with me 🙂
    Namaste.
    Pascale

  29. I think Einstein had 7 totally identical suits, he didn’t want to waste his brain power to think what to wear every day :). Perhaps this is extreme example, but we pretend that we can handle all the things that come into our lives. All it does brings more stress. I agree with everything you said. And I love to get rid of clatter on a regular basis. I would not be able to function in the house full of junk. Thank you!

    1. You gave an interesting example. I’ve never heard that but it’s actually true.
      I’m glad you enjoyed my post and agree with me.
      Take care!

  30. nice post and I agree with you and other self development writers that less is more! Keeping less things in your house is what I essentially agree with… but then again over a period of time I realized everything really differs from person to person and various elements like the size of a family, their needs, desires, their tastes and preferences and mostly what they are happy with. I’m from India and people out here really don’t mind living with lots of things around their home and in their home as well! so speaking of which, around the world people have their views and everything changes with a period of time in terms of religion, culture, customs, beliefs, values, mannerisms, cuisine, etc, etc, etc. Now even though I’m from India, I love the minimal lifestyle, keeping only what is essential… but then again… I’m single so its different! 🙂 so in the end it all varies! but you definitely have a nice post out here and I like it! so thumbs up to it!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I appreciate it!
      Of course everything depends on the person, there are also different circumstances…
      But in every developed country people are used to living with many belongings… the question is how many of them are actually necessary.
      I too am a beginner in the minimalist lifestyle and am just trying to understand its philosophy for a start, but I’m sure that regardless of relationship status, place of living and so on, a person can choose the less. But it’s so hard because of the life we lead today – so comfortable, abundant of everything.
      A great example is Leo Babauta – he has a big family and still has chosen the less.
      Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll be writing more on the subject!

      1. Yup I was a dedicated reader of Leo for some time. His articles taught me a lot. He is quite an authority on the Zen lifestyle. Would love to read more of your articles in future. Keep in touch and keep up the great blog you maintain!

  31. Splendid !!! I patiently read every word of this post. It was as if you were actually saying it. It makes a lot of sense to me. In fact, i am guilty in some facts you raised – like spending too much time on my laptop and phone. I have started working on it though. But your beautiful post is really timely for me. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. You’re not alone, don’t worry 😀 I’m also not a true minimalist, just trying to understand this philosophy and get into it. It’s a matter of time, of course.
      I also work on many of my habits and am sure that with the right attitude and mindset, plus patience and hard work, it will pay off.
      I’ll be writing more on that subject soon.

  32. I love it, Lidiya! I have been living like that for a couple of decades now and can warmly recommend it to everyone – I brings us closer to our True Person. Cheers! tomas ☼

  33. You give us some nutritional food for thought here, Lidiya.

    That noted, I am not – by spirit – a minimalist. I wish I was – it is a pain to move “stuff” as George Carlin’s famous comedy calls non-minimalism. I have a bit of maximalist hoarder in me, but not as seen on television hoarding shows. I do like to have tools useful for a varied lifestyle.

    Visiting lots of yard and garage sales, I can tell you from the massive amounts of totally inane tchotchkes I’ve seen (mostly from old ladies who’ve died or gone into nursing homes?), that they should be paying others to take them off their hands, just like they pay the garbage collector.

    One can tell that the former owners of all those overabundant, schlocky, drippily sentimental little curios survived their own birth so long ago, but their brains did not.

    Material minimalism is very freeing.

    1. Thanks for commenting.
      Well, if its philosophy intrigues you, you can always apply some of its principles into your life. It may be connected with outer belongings and stuff, but the point is to free our minds, to let us live in the present, have more space and time and so on.

  34. I didn’t know this would become interesting to others – how about that – I am Spartan by normal standards. Its obvious to people that know me – many even get around to saying so – after a while – I can see it when anyone first gets to know me – and I just wait till it settles with them. Its just easy living.

  35. Whaaashuup Lidiya, Thanks for “liking” the poem on my blog! Having read this post, its the 1st time i hear of the term “minimalist”. So in asking myself- what does minimalism feel like; couple things come to mind that i wanted to share. Not to submerge people into deep contemplation of what is and isn’t but i think its important to grasp the repercussions of how we diffuse “living in the moment” by accepting “tomorrow” psychologically as time. Think of it, we may have the pleasure in meeting people tommorow; My life will be different tomorrow; I’ll realize enlightenment tomorrow. I’ll show affection tomorrow. If there is no tomorrow psychologically, what happens in life today?
    Minimalism implies perpetual growth rather then justifying limitations. Being mindful of the constant almost instinctual habits that sabotage momentum for either better or worst. I think the 1st step towards humility is acting upon deadening our story that accommodated this misery of “I can’t!”. Just a smidge of self-actualization has cracked my shell open to a truth of the unexplained.It’s helped me towards letting go With 2014 around the corner & I’m just as excited as you. Its like renovating with more room to grow or glow if you will. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication as Da Vinci says,an I agree. Hey, cheers to your new philosophy of living. Hope every journey embarked upon can lead you back to yourself with richer understanding. Happy New Year! Look forward to reading more.

    1. Thanks for commenting. It’s an honour that my post was the reason you came across the term minimalism. 😀

      You immediately applied phisolophy and psychology and that immediately raised a few questions. Which is good because you’re into two of the sciences I respect the most and have the ability to question everything and to rationalize.
      But here it makes things more complex. And that’s exactly what minimalism is trying to avoid.

      So accept things as they are.

      Living in the moment, consciously, epxperiencing and enjoying the now. That’s minimalist. That is to live simply and happily and find joy and contentment in the present moment. We tend to live either in the past or worrying about the future. And eventually we realize we’ve missed the present and never actually lived truly. So let go of yesterday and tomorrow and live today.

      Of course that doesn’t mean you should abandon any plans. It’s okay to look forward to tomorrow with its new people, things that can happen and possibilities. But the point is not to let it ruin what is now.

      Another thing you should realize when becoming more minimalist, is that things are perfect just the way they are. And you can change them and achieve more, but that only means that tomorrow they will be different. And still perfect, just in another way.

      Happy New Year! Best wishes!

      1. Your welcome!

        I appreciate your input, but I feel we bumped into a miscommunication here on a deeper level. Although I totally understand the premise of what you’re implying. In other words, your saying we must avoid being bogged down with the complexities of life. Whereby applying this minimalist mindset you eliminate chaos and within time naturally manifest living in the “now” having less stress clutter as a result. But I’m of the opinion that this can be taken out of contexts based on our individual levels of development if you follow what I’m saying. Lets not even give it a name,shall we. Because man has invented a peace which is not peace at all; such peace is between 2 wars,2 conflicts.
        By calling ourselves minimalist or becoming more minimalist. What your doing is stepping yourself away from it. When lets say you are in actuality someone who prefers to consume less within this material driven culture of ours. I totally agree, Less is more. But we are our thoughts. So if you take care of the thoughts the actions will take care of itself.
        This individuality is free from any labels adopted. Labels ultimately create separation and separation creates confusion. I’m not persuading you to agree or deny it. I’m saying find out what it means in your life.If you ever asked out of casual curiosity your answer would be according to your own intensity in asking that question, and its urgency. Just imagine we had no books to tell us get rid of this,that, and the third.
        Although to place myself in the artist shoes, I can imagine how this grass-root idea of minimalism served as a huge vehicle in revolutionizing the art scene of the 60’s. Imagine you can’t express your art because its scrutinized. And your faced with austerity from all angles of the art community. Old-school art critics being doubtful almost fearful of going outside of this culturally cleansed box in fear of being shunned from their colleagues. So in a sense as an artist in America our medium is controlled till the barriers are broken. “Minimalism” is a collective effort to break the norm of that Material-based consumer dependency.
        How do we break our barriers though? Sorry if your mistaken. It is not that I apply philosophy nor psychology but there is a harmony between the 2 sciences which cannot be separate. To respect it is one thing to understand is fundamentally different.
        I’m reluctant to use the word perfect. Use to call myself a perfectionist But there’s no such thing as perfection. Just to merely cling onto this idea of perfect; one is never content and constantly striving. Patience and humility has helped along the way to realize we are imperfectly perfect people on this planet; working towards goodness, its refinement and expression of it
        This is a daring concept so please don’t refute it so quickly. You see, I don’t want to avoid my past nor reduce it. It eventually leaks into our relationships i don’t know if you have ever had this experience of how we treat people when we are moody. Instead i want to acknowledge my past and forgive myself and others. By releasing this anguish & sorrow i’m choosing not to downplay it as if it doesn’t exist in me,being in denial an such. Instead i’m gracefully letting it go. But easier said then done. Can you walk with me on that thought? I want to understand my conditioning, my fear, my kinks. How has this come about? Where maybe there’s a greater lesson to extract here in the now; Listening to our own voice however beautiful,ugly or impatient it may be. Thats gradual growth by observation.Observation is discipline. You don’t have to impose discipline when you only realize it.
        If I’m labeling myself a minimalist at the end of the day its wastage of precious energy into fitting an ideal that the fragmented mind aspires to cultivate,while discarding and neglecting the rest of the picture. Whereby with honesty, love and humble sensitivity action is encouraged. We generally act by doing something about it. But this is an on-going responsibility of ours i believe. Its hard work.
        Our complexities accumulate due to an intimate experience with power & powerlessness in relation to our past where we probably had no control over of the situation. Those unfortunate experiences bring back memories. These memories are processed through our limbic system (check it out). If you have a negative imprint it’ll unconsciously bring unpleasant feelings once there’s a trigger.And minimalism suppresses,avoids or tries to deny this as you put. We do move in a fast-paced environment, i agree.
        But I ask myself why don’t we have time to contemplate and how can i carve out the time necessary. Not just make peace but have peace within me. In actuality, it makes me the man i am today; fallible and ever-growing. I’m not an advocator of questioning every single thing meticulously myself. But rather those “Ahaa” moments that show a window of opportunity into the subtle movements of where our mind takes us when we’re @ your low. When you give your attention completely you naturally eliminate the clutter with consolidation (simplifying). Habits slowly flush itself out. Metaphorically speaking, we’re always ploughing never sowing the seeds. Therefore never reaping the benefits, you follow.. Our hidden wants,hopes or worries keep us disengaged from exposing ourselves to ourselves truthfully. Escaping or avoidance is a temporary comfort.
        Accepting things as they are is to move beyond it, embrace it. Not verbally, intellectually or theoretically but actually. I’m of the opinion that it’s not so much about becoming more minimalist but rather how do i become more human in this material driven society thats been passed down generation to generation. Accepting what is because as i agree, like you said we re perfect the way we are. Otherwise by fragmenting the mind this implies escapism. Escaping the past while shooting through our present and projecting our future. The goal is live for now not tomorrow or yesterday. I hope this helps clarify. All the Best 🙂

        1. Glad you understand me. And I respect your point of view. It’s actually really interesting. And I agree with you.
          I also agree that we shouldn’t put a name on it, or on anything. Often the moment we label something it loses its magic and power.

          I always keep in mind how complex every human being is. I mean we are individuals (although most people nowadays live following the crowd, allowing other people, authorities, media or else to choose on their behalf and speak for them), even if we live in the same place under the same conditions, our experience, thoughts, desires, etc. will be different.
          That is why everything on my blog is just my opinion, or what I’ve read/heard/seen somewhere else conveyed through my point of view.

          What you said about art in the 60s sounds valid. Unfortunately I can’t add anything here because I don’t have the knowledge, and when it comes down to history it’s almost always pure facts. That’s not my strong side. But of course that’s when minimalism started and how the idea originated. I’m trying to see minimalism through its simples nature though, without thinking what is used to be and what it will be, or how people react to it.

          I also used to be a perfectionist. I’m still working on defining what perfect is. It’s purely philosophycal, I think. And it’s so closely connected to needs and desires, our constant goal to achieve more, change and thrive. The same is with success. The definiton of ‘success’ and ‘perfect’ is always related to a period in the future. But even if it comes, we crave for more and can’t even enjoy what we’ve achievend. Thus we end up in a never ending competition with ourselves and spend our live chasing a perfect future state.

          Letting go of the past, making peace with ourselves and forgiving, together with compassion and how wrong we treat others are the things that have been occupying me lately. You should read some of my latest posts if you want. These are some of the most important things in our personal development, as once we let go of certain things and move, we are emotionally free and have space in our lives for the new wonderful things.

          I also think control and security are an illusion: http://letsreachsuccess.com/2013/10/13/embrace-insecurity-and-live-the-life-you-deserve/
          So there’s no point in being concerned with that anymore 😀

          When I see a long comment like that I don’t always look forward to reading it, because it usually requires a lot of time and thinking. And when I read something, I always make sure I focus completely so that I can read between lines too. And I say I really enjoyed this one. You said many things, and one led to another. I may have understood some of your concepts in the wrong way, or may have missed some of them, but still managed to express an opinion on a few.

          All the best to you too 🙂
          Hope to hear from you again soon!

  36. Great article! I also trying to redesign my lifestyle. Sometime I feel overwhelmed by everything around me, crazy people pursuing for a need of having more and more (money, things, gadgets etc). Stupid commercial trying to prove me, that I need a pill for every problem/aspect of my life 🙂 And many other toxic aspects of current world. So I said stop. And now I am a big enthusiast of minimalism and I’m working on simplify my life.
    Best Regards

    1. I understand you. Same here. Just get more familiar with minimalism and zen and you’ll see big changes in your life without changing anything in your outer world, but only with working on yourself and consciously understanding your inner self.

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