When many people think of the minimalist lifestyle they think of a life of just enough. Just enough to get by. They think of a barren life of scarcity.
I am a minimalist and my life and most other minimalist lives are far from that. Just enough means different things to different people. My just enough leads me to a life of abundance, not scarcity.
The secret to realizing the value of just enough is to know and understand what just enough is for you. Do you know when you have just enough? Or do you bypass just enough on your way to unsustainable excess?
Those can be tricky questions. Allow me to show you the life-changing magic of “just enough”.
Understanding The Power of Just Enough
First, we must learn the concept of Enough. More is not always better. Just enough is the point at which no more is needed. Any more would be excess, leading to unsustainable.
We must learn to recognize the point where we reach just enough and be conscious about crossing it. In most cases, we fail to recognize that line in the sand because we may have spent a large portion of our lives avoiding not having enough and fighting the fear of scarcity.
We spend our younger years living in the zone of not enough. Working hard and on the grind to make our mark on the world and living. In many cases, we unknowingly sail past just enough, with our heads down on our way to unsustainable excess.
Yeah, as a society we kinda lost our way. The curse of unbridled capitalism has permeated our souls. We live in homes busting at the seams filled with unnecessary stuff. So much so we rent storage units to house all of the stuff we really, really, really don’t need. Then use the bedroom closet basement, garage, and attic to house the stuff we only may not need.
That is the poster child of unsustainable. Just the sight of that stuff invokes stress in everyone’s life in that home, daily. In extreme cases, people live in fear of the doorbell ringing or have a panic attack from just the thought of a guest entering a certain part of the house because of the clutter.
Acquiring more stuff feeds the addiction of wanting even more stuff. We know when this is happening to us. We may feel guilty for a second but do nothing about it long-term. Instinctively we know when we reach the point of just enough. We just need to learn how to be satisfied and enjoy it.
That will require conscious thought, constant work, and the ability to understand the difference between wants and needs.
Learn To Solve For Just Enough
Before you do anything you must understand just getting rid of the excess stuff will not solve the problem of constantly acquiring useless stuff. The next time you are bored, confronted with a sale or infomercial the cycle will begin all over again.
Buying unnecessary stuff has never made anyone happy long term. That thing you cherish today will be somewhere collecting dust and taking up space tomorrow. Where are the last few “must-have” things you purchased?
How long did it take for that exercise machine to become a clothing rack? LOL.
The root of such behavior is often dissatisfaction and discontentedness with the present. Acquiring stuff adds fun and excitement to your life. Getting that $900 plus iPhone the day it comes out is exciting and fun for a few days but was it necessary?
Was it any better than your old phone? Did that new, must-have on the day it comes out a cellphone or the others add any extra value to your life? Or to your loved one’s lives?
Do you know the great memories and experiences you could create with the money ($900 cell phone) spent on buying unnecessary stuff? Memories that last far beyond the lifespan of unnecessary stuff.
Just like the iPhone (and most other stuff) you already have what you need. You don’t need the latest technology, stylish clothing, new shoes, that latest gadget, fancy car, or a big house.
This may sound very simple (because it is) or harsh. STOP BUYING UNNECESSARY SHIT! It’s not difficult. It just requires you to be more conscious of why you purchase things.
Use your definition of “Just Enough” to combat mindless consumption. The practice and understanding of just enough require constant questioning and awareness of your habits.
If you are earning enough money there may not be a need to work overtime and be away from your family. I know “winter is coming” but spend some quality time with friends and family once in a while. You have enough. Enjoy it. LOL
Don’t buy that fantasy, car house, or other stuff that may cause you to have to work overtime and be unhappy. You will end up becoming a project manager maintaining all of that junk instead of enjoying it.
If your business is earning enough money there is no need to take on that pain-in-the-ass client or project. Who needs that headache. You don’t. You have enough. LOL
Just pass on the opportunity, giving yourself and your employees a well-deserved break from that extra work and the stress of accommodating a difficult client with little gain. They can be more work than it’s worth.
You still have enough income to pay the bills and can benefit from the stress relief. Saying yes to that client or project may prevent you from saying yes to your dream client, project, or opportunity in the near future.
I hate it when that happens. LOL. Now I am like a 2-year-old. I just say no to all undesirable things because I have enough and don’t seek excess.
If the family is fed and all the bills are paid learn to enjoy enough. Enjoy awesome memory-making time with family and good friends, without the burden of excess.
This is how you do it.
We all know the feeling of not having enough. That is a horrible feeling and requires action to remedy. That goes without saying. But be cognizant of when you reach enough and prepare to slow down, enjoy and smell the roses when you arrive.
Make that the plan when just enough is on the horizon. Begin to implement a plan when you are approaching just enough. Reaching enough is not good enough. Solving for enough, preparing for enough, and enjoying enough should be the goal.
Minimalism and the Power of Just Enough
The Minimalist Lifestyle is the end result of solving for enough. This Lifestyle can be the vehicle used to make you blissfully happy with just enough.
The Minimalist Lifestyle is the result of valuing experiences lived over acquiring stuff. Acquiring necessities makes you happy. Anything after that is a want and we need to control our wants.
Once you learn that acquiring things, having things and buying does not make you happy controlling wants becomes easier. I have a ritual I use to control my wants.
If I believe I want an item I ask myself a few questions.
Do I really need it?
Do I already own something that will provide similar results?
Will borrowing it serve my needs?
Can I buy it used?
If I still believe I want the item I wait at least a week before I buy it. Now there are times I just want something just because I want it I just get it. That is rare but why not live a little. LOL.
I mostly choose to spend time and money living and creating experiences. Experiences don’t end up collecting dust in the closet. They live a vibrant life running around in my mind. Periodically putting smiles on my face for decades to come.
The Minimalist Lifestyle has taught me to be happy when I reach just enough. Not to seek more and more. Just enough is freeing. You can put the breaks on the rat race, release the stress, and be creative.
The Minimalist Lifestyle taught me just enough is the point where I can be free.
What does just enough mean to you? Do you need more than just enough? Is there no such thing as enough?