Change your life for the better? A rapidly increasing number of people believe that pursuing Minimalism can do that. When I say “Minimalism” I am not referring to the popular art style. I am referring to The Minimalist Lifestyle philosophy.
Let’s explore the Pros and Cons I believe you should embrace and better understand to change your life for the better with Minimalism.
What Is a Minimalism?
Can Minimalism change your life for the better? Possibly. I learned the hard way the things you own either contribute to or detract from the quality of your life. The things you own can metaphorically own you.
I was suddenly thrust into a situation where I acquired a bunch of stuff and it slowly eroded my quality of life, physically and mentally. As a result, I felt like I was slowly suffocating. I always hated the stuff as I was growing up and preferred quality over quantity.
As a result, I woke up with a pit in my stomach feeling like every day was moving day and I needed a way out. I unconsciously began to implement a form of Minimalist Living as a solution to my problem. I later found out my solution was called minimalism and it was a growing popular trend.
For me, Minimalism is about making a decision to consciously live with less in all aspects of life. For many so-called Minimalists, this begins with getting rid of excess and embracing the essentials and the things they love most.
As a result, followers of Minimalism would live more based on creating memorable experiences with good friends and family rather than overworking to accumulate worldly possessions.
What Are The Pros of Minimalism?
I really believe Minimalism can change your life for the better. Here are a few benefits I believe you will enjoy while on your personal minimalist journey.
Less Decision Fatigue and Stress
Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision-making. Decision fatigue may also lead individuals to make poor decisions towards the end of the day.
I quickly embraced the notion that fewer clothes mean less thinking about what to wear in the mornings and make it more likely I would be wearing clothes I actually like.
No having to agonize over wardrobe decisions in the morning keeps my decision-making reserves top off to help avoid decision fatigue towards the end of the day.
As a result, I have a more simple functional wardrobe, with significantly fewer choices. My Minimalist Uniform Wardrobe is a work of genius. It’s small and functional. All of the pieces mix and match together perfectly.
My Minimalist Uniform Wardrobe makes shopping for clothes easy. I purchase the same items and choose only three colors every time. Decision fatigue was avoided.
This is just one example of how Minimalism equips you with a set of predetermined rules crafted to concentrate your life around what you love most and helps to avoid decision fatigue.
The fewer decision you have to make during the day (especially in the morning) the less stress and more energy you will have by the end of the day.
Gain More Time and Freedom
Let’s face it, less stuff to manage leads to more time enjoying your living spaces. Less stuff to clean, maneuver around, and keep track of or manage.
I believe the same goes for the way you earn a living. In most cases, your cost of living goes way down along with your need to earn more money when you adopt Minimalism.
As a result, you gain more time and freedom as you should need to work less. Minimalism allows you to live more with less and possibly view work as a means of future enjoyment.
For me Minimalism allows me to change my life for the better and changed my relationship with work. I choose to do more of what I like instead of what will earn the most money.
Ironically it’s proven when you are doing what you enjoy you effortlessly work harder, longer, and often earn more money in the long run. Minimalism gives you more time and freedom to choose when and where you work.
As a result, I have more free time to volunteer on a regular basis. I enjoy more time and freedom to enjoy my new peaceful retreat, enjoying the health benefits of living with less anxiety and stress.
Makes You A Better Citizen
When you decide to be more intentional about the way you spend money and why you accumulate possession you save money.
As a result of saving money by purchasing less, you have more money to be more generous and charitable with causes and people you care about most.
Ok, I get it. More disposable income should in up in the bank and a portion is usually spent on one’s self. I suggest you try thinking of someone else occasionally. You probably have more than you need. If so share with the needy.
As you slowly realize how much less you can comfortably exist with you become increasingly more familiar with overconsumption in society. Many can’t believe how vain and wasteful our society has become.
This realization can make you a better citizen as you become less affected by advertisements, marketing, wants, and false needs.
Makes You Happier
Minimalism helps you realize you can “decide to be happy” and change your life for the better. Yes, happiness can be a decision.
The less you decide you want or need the happier you become. There is something to be said for loving what you already have.
Deciding to spend more time creating great memories with good friends and family as opposed to working many hours to accumulate useless possession will make you happier.
Most likely you already have enough to make you happy. Not even that but Minimalism supports the idea you even have enough to share.
Minimalism focus on ensuring people and possessions you love to add value to your life. As a result, you begin to understand the power of strong relationships in your life.
Sometimes we falsely accept there may not be enough time to cultivate great relationships as we pursue the Rat Race. I don’t have time to spend with my children, go to that dinner party or join a club.
Minimalism helps puts an end to that way of thinking. The concept shines a spotlight on the importance of making time for the ones you love most.
Minimalism helps you develop a routine that becomes second nature. As a result, all of your relationships will greatly improve.
Enhanced Concept of Success
Minimalism changed my definition of success from acquiring more and more to acquiring a little more than enough to meet my needs.
As a result, I have more time and freedom to do what I really love.
I don’t mean to travel the world (that would be nice) but make great memories doing things I like to do within my means.
This life-changing realization leads to many beginning Minimalists learning to love what they already have. Along with the many other philosophies of Minimalism that can change your life for the better and enhance your concept of success.
Success becomes living life happy and not working to die with the most toys.
Most Minimalism concepts will help you save a whole lot of money. I not only desire less stuff I only purchase what I need and not what I want.
Before I make a purchase of over $50 I ask myself a few questions.
- Do I really need it?
- Do I have anything similar that will serve the purpose?
- Can I borrow it?
After that, I will wait one week to a month and if I still believe I need to make the purchase I will buy the item.
Most of the time I lose the desire to purchase the item somewhere in the process and save a few bucks. I avoid the debt trap by loving what I already have and desiring less stuff. I actually like my last year’s model Cell Phone and my well-worn backpack.
Over time your actions begin to match your beliefs and values. I am sure your brand of minimalism will yield similar or even better results.
What Are the Cons of Minimalism?
Minimalism is still a fast-growing trend. There is no right or wrong way to implement Minimalism. Concepts that work well for you may not work well for others.
Some Minimalists, live with only 50 or 100 possessions. Others travel and live out of a Backpack. Most just live following a set of Minimalism rules they believe will help change their lives for the better.
Let’s explore some of what I believe can be some of the possible negative aspects of Minimalism.
It’s Difficult To Implement Minimalism
Committing to Minimalism can be difficult. There are no rules and it can be difficult to learn how much or how little will be ideal for you. It can be tricky because there is a need to experiment.
Getting rid of stuff will begin easily enough but can become increasingly more difficult over time. You will have to keep up the willpower to be consistent and combat feelings like sentimental attachments to items.
Many people’s life goes flash by in their minds as they evaluate each item’s fate they come across. Sometimes there is an overflow of memories, emotions, and a mixed bag of feelings.
This is when you need to suppress emotions and stick to your decluttering plan. You may feel like you are disregarding your old lifestyle but you are not. You are just making room for more of what you love.
It can be difficult to embrace change.
Discovering What Minimalism Means For You Can Be Difficult
Minimalism will mean different things to different people and its meaning can even change over time.
It will take time to develop your personal flavor of Minimalism. You may not get it right the first few times and you will not find success copying others.`
Actually, Minimalism should be simple but we sometimes complicate it. It should come naturally but sometimes we will not allow it to happen. Frankly, we are born Minimalists.
Every 2-year-old baby spends most of their time doing only what they like and spending time enjoying the things they love. I don’t know what happens when we get older.
That’s all you have to do, is find a way to cultivate a life mostly doing the things you like, and spending as much time as you can with the people and things you love.
Easier said than done but that is the plan. With some help, (Here, Books, Blogs, and YouTube) you will discover what works best for you.
I like to live my life pretending I am a Hunter-Gatherer Tourist. LOL. I always say Hunter-Gatherers lived the best lifestyle. They were very busy and fit hunting and gathering.
They only concerned themselves with what they needed and loved because they had limited time and space. Hunter-Gatherers could not carry any unnecessary stuff around with them. Greed and accumulating possessions become a burden.
Without a permanent home and the ability to hoard food, items, and riches they almost eliminated crime and wars. Ok, that may be an oversimplification but you get where I am going with the concept. Not having to mow a lawn is freeing. LOL.
I need to be able to cherish everything I own and I behave like a tourist and enjoy EVERYTHING a place has to offer. Even in my living room. Even if I have visited a place a thousand times.
Please give yourself some time to find your sweet spot and not allow your attempt to blow up in your face.
You Become Cured Of The Shiny Object Syndrome
This can be a stumbling block on your path to changing your life for the better with Minimalism. Allow me to explain. At the beginning of your Minimalism journey, you can easily become accustomed to easy wins.
In the beginning, many moments in your day will be filled with joy and have the meaning as you easily find items to add, keep, and remove from your life. You can be overwhelmed by the feeling of progress.
That is the honeymoon phase and can not be sustained for very long. Yes, in the beginning, there is low-hanging fruit. You find things to declutter and organize that promise to change your life for the better. As time goes on, Minimalism can begin to lose its shine and quickly begin to feel like a burden.
All of the shiny objects have been consumed and that is when the real work begins. Again, avoid being driven by emotion. Just stick to the program you devised. Again don’t be afraid to make positive changes on the go.
Please, please, please do not go overboard looking to edit everything from your life in the name of Minimalism.
Minimalism Can Be Lonely
The Minimalist Lifestyle can be lonely. Try not to push it on people to avoid having them scatter when they see you coming. LOL
Let’s face it, many people don’t live minimally, and even suggesting it can cause people to give you the side-eye and possibly be insulted or take it negatively.
There are times you may need to distance yourself when friends suggest doing things that run counter to your new lifestyle choice.
Be diplomatic. Don’t get on a High Horse to explain Minimalism to the as the reason you can not participate. Practice Minimalism in your explanation. Sometimes the less you say the better.
But please don’t become this joke:
Question: How can you tell if someone is Vegan?
Answer: Don’t worry, they will tell you over and over again. LOL.
Sorry Vegans. All love 😉
You may not have many people to talk to about your Minimalism accomplishments, or your setbacks but that is OK. You know what they are.
Use blogs (this one), social media, and YouTube for support and inspiration.
Living with someone that will not be joining you on your Minimalism journey can be difficult. The key is to not badger them or make them feel uncomfortable.
Just lead by example to show the benefits of Minimalism in everyday life. Maybe in time, they will be willing to give it a try. Then say “I told you”. LOL. No, don’t do that 😉
The cold hard fact is others may never support your Minimalism choices but there is a need for them to respect them.
There are times you will need to stand alone. Keep your head on a swivel, and be mindful about justifying your motives, wants, and needs.
Every choice in life has Pros and Cons and Minimalism is no different. There are an infinite amount of ways to implement Minimalism with the hope to change your life for the better.
There are no rules so it is up to you to maximize the Pros and limit the Cons. I have shared the Pros and Cons that littered the road on my Minimalism Journey.
I hope they will help you if you have or will be seeking to give Minimalism a try. Also please let me know in the comments below if I have missed any Pros or Cons.
Also, share any tips or tricks that you believe will change your life for the better.