I am a millennial and I am fascinated with the idea of minimalism. And no I'm not talking about the art form or furniture style; I'm talking about a lifestyle.
Through literature and real-life examples, I actively expose myself to minimalism ideas/principles for a few reasons. Besides it being a freeing experience both physically and mentally, practicing minimalism is a catalyst for growth. It's a journey to discovering a hidden treasure. But this journey is not long and arduous; it gets easier along the way and instead of gems, this treasure contains the most powerful gem of all: a freeing state of mind.
When I think about minimalism, I think about living life in its purest form. To think that the key is as simple as simplifying life is a refreshing revelation, to say the least.
Sometimes it's just throwing stuff away, donating or not buying that hot new item; however, the more I discover, the more I realize that minimalism is all-encompassing -it's so much more powerful when applied to all facets of life. The moment I apply it to decisions about my relationships, work, passions and future; almost immediately, I get mental clarity.
What did my math teacher always say when I stared blankly at a scary, complex math equation? "Break it down." When I looked at it as a whole, it's intimidating, paralyzing even. But as I broke apart the pieces of this long, scary-looking equation, I realized it's just made up of many very basic mathematical rules.
And it's like that with everything. If you want to understand your finances, break down your expenses. If you want to be healthier, evaluate your diet.
When in doubt, simplify, simplify, simplify. You'll discover so much in the process.
Simplicity is a beautiful thing. "Simple is always better." This statement resonates with me, and I do my best to actively practice it. I seek simple. I say seek because we live in a complex world. And so, to experience simple, I clear and create space for it.
There's nothing like walking home instead of taking the bus on a sunny day. The city is breathtaking, the people are free energy, and Vitamin D is fuel for the body and soul.
A perfect Friday involves talking, thinking, asking and listening to close friends.
A perfect Saturday morning is waking up to natural sunlight and enjoying every sip of my green tea while writing till my thoughts run dry.
These are simple, effective and most importantly, mine; my pure moments of happiness and clarity.
Basic. Contrary to popular belief, basic is not boring. Basic is fruitful. Less is more.
For many established individuals, those that garnered immeasurable "success," minimalism is a Zen destination, a realization later in life; Sometimes too little too late.
For them, monetary success, and all its stickiness, precedes this realization that money, power, fame, and even "respect" are just not everything. Minimalism embodies this very idea.
And Millennials get it.
You know, we get a bad rap sometimes; we're often called lazy, entitled, or cocky. But this generation is redefining success. We're not easy. You can't buy us with money and fancy titles. We're just not that impressed.
We want depth. We want meaning.
I am proud to be a part of a generation that is enamored with culture, consumed by curiosity, and hungry for change.
And as I've said above, change requires evaluation. Evaluation requires what? You got it. You need to break it down before you can build it back up.
And in this process, you may discover that some things, many things, can remain broken down. Not everything has to be complex to be cool or right.
It's the little things that matter. And it's the little things you'll remember.
Minimalism is a way of life; a life of meaning; a life of purpose.
I'm not here to define it. I'd be doing it a disservice. It's too powerful of a concept to be defined by any one or few people.
You see, it's actually funny. Minimalism itself is a giant Oxymoron. It's one pretty complex concept muddied by ambiguity.
That's actually the beauty it in. There's simplicity in the ambiguity in that it can mean a lot. All I can do is try to break it down to what it means to me in my Millennial Minimalism series.
For now, thanks for reading, following, and sharing! Have a happy Tuesday!
Liz is the creator of 20swealth.com, a personal wealth blog for Millennials.