Minimalism: Lesser stuff, greater joy in life

Our material possessions define us and tell us more about ourselves than we care to admit.

Consequently, the journey of getting rid of our possessions can also reveal valuable truths about ourselves.

But how many of us dare to live a life of minimalism?

In a world of consumerism where we are so easily driven to keep up with the Joneses, the thought of getting rid of our possessions can send shivers down our spines – more so for the hoarders among us.

But here’s a reality check.

How often do you wear those nine pairs of Jimmy Choos still in pristine condition? When was the last time you used that electric can opener? Or drove that vintage car you spent a staggering amount on? Or brought out the expensive China when friends came over for tea?

Can we intentionally let go of these material trappings? But more importantly, have our possessions brought us any greater sense of satisfaction?

If you do dare take that huge leap of faith and begin a journey towards minimalism, you will discover two valuable truths worth more than any material belonging in your possession.

Lesson 1: Living an intentional life is living a more meaningful one

Instead of reacting to every stimuli, train yourself to live with intention. When you do, you will start noticing how much you take out of your wallet.

You will question the types of purchases you make. Or the nagging urge to go on an expensive holiday you can ill afford.

You will also begin to realise the time, money and energy you waste on things that bring very little satisfaction to you even if those very things are what every close friend, neighbour, billboard or TV advertisement says you can’t live without.

You will soon discover that living intentionally will bring more purpose into your life that you never knew existed before.

Lesson 2: Life is about progress, not perfection

Learning to paint from an online course… gunning for that promotion at the office… or taking that first step towards adopting a kid… your dreams come in all forms and sizes.

Be that as it may, it’s the journey towards realising these dreams that counts the most, not so much the end result.

In other words, forget the finish line, and enjoy the ups and downs you experience along the path to your dreams.

Rejoice in your strength of character, cry when you temporarily lose hope, laugh at your silly mistakes, and give yourself a pat on the back when you overcome a hurdle.

The same applies when ridding yourself of possessions that overcrowd your life. Be conscious of the journey of looking at each item and questioning its connection and value to you.

Sometimes our possessions can be so dear to us that the experience of releasing it can be quite emotional. But there is light at the end of the tunnel – with each “edit”, you will feel a weight off your shoulders. The lightness will make you feel calmer and in more control of your life.