It’s one that is stripped of the unnecessary, to make room for that which gives you joy.
It’s a removal of clutter in all its forms, leaving you with peace and freedom and lightness.
A minimalist eschews the mindset of more, of acquiring and consuming and shopping, of bigger is better, of the burden of stuff.
A minimalist instead embraces the beauty of less, the aesthetic of spareness, a life of contentedness in what we need and what makes us truly happy.
A minimalist realizes that acquiring stuff doesn’t make us happy. That earning more and having more are meaningless. That filling your life with busy-ness and freneticism isn’t desirable, but something to be avoided.
A minimalist values quality, not quantity, in all forms.
I’m a minimalist, and it’s something that’s deeply satisfying. I wake in the morning in a room that lacks clutter, in the quiet of the early morning, have coffee and read, go out for a run, and then write. Work a little more, spend some time with my family.
These are the things that make me happy. Not buying a lot of things. Not traveling all the time, nor going to parties or spending money on expensive entertainment. Not watching a lot of television and being bombarded with ads. Others might find joy in these things, and I’m not criticizing them. I’m just stating what makes me happy.
And that’s the key. Figure out what makes you happy. Get rid of the rest, so you have room for those important things. It’s not a life of nothing, of boringness. It’s a life of richness, in less.
Your minimalist life will be different than mine. You’ll need to figure out what makes you happiest. Plan your ideal day. Then strip your life of the non-essentials, to make room for this ideal day, for the things and people you love.
Excerpt from “The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life” by Leo Babauta