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If you thought being a minimalist is about living out of a backpack, owning fewer things, living frugally and never investing in something you like- then you are reading the right article because those are exactly the myths we are here to bust today!
A minimalist can be defined in several ways-
Someone who values experiences more than material things, someone who is more focussed on the quality rather than quantity and someone who is detached from the things that take focus away from the above said.
It is not always about having a smaller house or 2 pairs of trousers; although it can be. But in many ways, minimalism is like training to be fit- it ought to be a lifestyle change, a few days of abstinence won’t go a long way. It is not just a fad that millennials are indulging in, minimalism is a culture that can render brands out of business if adopted at a larger scale.
Hence, for starters, here are a few tips to get you started on this journey of minimalism:
If you have not used a belonging for the last 90 days, chances are that you won’t in the future as well. So, you pick up each item, check when it was used last and discard it accordingly. It isn’t as simple as it seems. Studies show that the more modest your upbringing has been, the more prone you shall be to holding onto things. So, here’s what you do- choose your own cycle. Perhaps, it can be 150 days for you. It is not about forcing yourself to get rid of items necessarily, it is more about mentally letting go. Hence, do it when you are ready!
Ease Off The Debt
A very important aspect of minimalism is to rid yourself of liabilities. And what better way to start than with financial liabilities. Are you using 3 credit cards? Switch to one. How many EMIs do you have on you? Can you buy your car out? How many subscriptions do you have- Hotstar/Netflix/Amazon prime? Our parents did not have these subscriptions but how is it that they entertained themselves and us every single day! As you start cleansing yourself of debts, you shall feel a huge weight off your shoulders.
Invest In Relationships
To a large extent, minimalism is a route you take to find yourself. For the millennials, it is all the more important because we are lost in all things immaterial so much so that most of our relationships are virtual. Once you detach yourself from the material belongings is when you begin to invest in human interactions. You have to rewire yourself to thinking that happiness is not just department stores and social media, happiness is also meeting friends and family and engaging in conversations.
Don’t Stop Shopping
It is a misunderstood concept that minimalism forces you to live frugally. You can if you want to and if that’s what makes you happy but minimalism is strictly about finding happiness in less. So, it does not mean that you can not go shopping. Being a minimalist implies that when you do go shopping, you buy one thing of sustainable quality rather than 3 different things of questionable quality.
Inevitably, minimalism also implies that you go slow on technology, love your life, plant trees, ride public transport, reduce your carbon footprint and many more such global responsibilities that are quite underrated. Our societal conditioning beings us to think that most of these things will cause us unhappiness. But what if that’s not true? What if you find joy in going back to your roots and owning less?
Minimalism is often referred to as a rich man’s luxury because it is said that only when you have in excess can you begin to discard. However, this couldn’t be more wrong. Minimalism is just about not conforming to an image society has set for you, rather it is about loving yourself for what you are and not letting the material things define you. The things and habits that follow are only consequential.