Lifestyle minimalism is a way of understanding existence in a much deeper and more meaningful way than most people. Minimalism as a philosophy of life, it is an extremely beautiful and fascinating concept, which helps to live in harmony, beauty and quality. Living following the minimal current is a choice that can really help you spend your days in a healthier and more balanced way. But that’s not the only benefit, because once you embrace this line of thinking, you realize how much more you can do with less. You also realize how this has an extremely positive impact on productivity as well. So, what is the minimalist lifestyle?
We live in a capitalist society, which has made consumerism its pillar. All this is creating very significant social and psychological problems. Minimalism, however, does not mean going against capitalism, but finding the antidote in a society that promises you everything does not get you anything. Lifestyle minimalism, on the other hand, leads you to select and choose a little, to have it all.
What is the minimalist lifestyle?
Although minimalism is often associated with a current of design, artistic or product functionality, or in some cases with brands such as in the case of Apple; we can say, instead, that this term means much, much more. Minimalism can in fact be a real philosophy of life, a way of interpreting reality and living accordingly, following precise values and beliefs. When we talk about lifestyle minimalism, we refer to a way of making choices based on sustainability, effectiveness, optimization, beauty., all factors that enhance the reality that surrounds us.
In fact, minimalism does not apply only to material objects. But also to the services we use, the commitments we make, the people we choose to share some moments with. Being minimalist means continuing your life in a conscious way, pondering your choices and carefully selecting what deserves to be part of your life and what doesn’t. To put it in the words of Gregory McKeown, who wrote the book essenzialism (a must for all true minimalists).
“if it is clearly not a yes, then it is undoubtedly a no. “Gregory McKeown
Can everybody become a minimalist?
There are many clichés and ways of thinking that lead people who approach this mindset not to deepen it, or worse still to think that it is not for them. In reality, minimalism is accessible to everyone, but like all things it requires time, perseverance and discipline. It is not easy to change your way of thinking, especially after having grown up in a society like ours, where consumerism has reigned for many years, and still has a lot of influence today.
For us human beings, interfacing with objects, with products is simple. Instead, it becomes much more difficult to work on our abstract thoughts, and on the mental patterns we use every day. The minimalism philosophy of life then helps you by making you approach this way of seeing the world, precisely through objects.
By changing the relationship you have with objects, with the products you choose to buy, you also implicitly change your ways of thinking and interpreting reality. And here is the key, to act on the most concrete and material level, to change one’s inner world, obviously for the better.
Lifestyle minimalism, choose quality
When you decide to buy a product, make sure that that product stays with you for a long time. Choosing minimalism also means choosing our travel companions well, treating them with care and respect and trying to make them stay with us as long as possible. For this reason when you take for example a phone or a computer, choose one with a little more memory than you think you will need.
The selection process should be thorough and methodical. The problem arises, however, when we have to buy an object that we are not sure about its actual use and real value. Sometimes, it’s not the top of the range product, but you can find objects that, at a more than reasonable price, allow you to test the value that a product has for us. We can then think about switching to an upgrade in the future, after we have demonstrated to ourselves the actual usefulness.
Minimalism philosophy means choosing sustainability
Entering a sustainability perspective is the first step to take to approach this issue. First of all, we must understand that in an increasingly populated world, and where the negative effects of overproduction and waste are now known, choosing sustainability is not only a conscious choice, but also a fundamental and respectable one. This alone already helps to have an excellent self-esteem, knowing that you are acting in a socially responsible manner.
Products that we no longer use, or that we don’t like, or that we rarely use, can in fact be managed in a more sustainable way. For example, you could sell a product if it is still in optimal condition. This way you may also have more budget to buy what you really need. If the product is not salable, you could choose to donate it to those who need it most, or to those you know who will surely make good use of it. And finally, if you realize that it can’t even be donated, you could take it to an ecological recycling point, to give it the chance to have a second life.
The theme of value is a crucial theme when it comes to lifestyle minimalism. Everything that revolves around this philosophy of thought, and therefore the real key to understanding lifestyle minimalism, consists precisely in the concept of value. The minimalist, giving value to himself, also manages to give value to everything that surrounds him.
This happens because those who follow a minimal lifestyle have understood that life is full of opportunities, but they have also understood that to be able to take advantage of them you need to know how to choose. The trade off, therefore, or the giving up of something to get something else, taking up the book by Gregory McKeown, is a reality to be accepted. Indeed, in the case of a minimalist, this phenomenon is even celebrated: a true minimalist reveres the power of choice, and derives enormous benefits from it.
Another value that every minimalist feels his own, especially when he chooses to pursue his existence according to the minimalism lifestyle, is beauty. There are some people who give little value to beauty. We could define them as more pragmatic people and oriented exclusively to the functional part of a product, service and more generally of life. In the case of a minimalist, this value is by no means negligible. The intrinsic aesthetic beauty of an object is precisely what drives people to pursue lifestyle minimalism.
Beauty is one of the factors that moved the greatest artists, emperors, businessmen, poets and, more generally, great men in history, to do what they did. Bringing beauty to the world, objects, relationships and our surroundings is what drives human beings to live a full life. Neglecting beauty is like denying one of our most powerful senses: sight. A minimalist is definitely attracted to beauty and understands that with this lifestyle he can give more value to everything around him, precisely in terms of beauty, thus increasing the quality of his life.
A free mind, which can concentrate on a few things and commitments, is a mind capable of having greater clarity than the average. Even though our mind’s potential is theoretically infinite, practically and in everyday life, we all need a few things to focus on to lower our stress levels. Furthermore, to adopt a minimal lifestyle, you must consciously choose what surrounds you and your commitments, and to do so you need to clarify your mind about your values and priorities. As a result you are aware that what surrounds you is what you really need.
Always tied to the mind, the ability to concentrate is dictated by the amount of thoughts that accompany you. And a life based on quantity inevitably leads you to have a lot more thoughts too. If, on the other hand, you have few things to focus on, your mind will be able to do the job much more effectively. Furthermore, it has been shown by many studies that focusing on only one task at a time is a fundamental requirement for productivity and quality of work. However, being able to concentrate and stay focused today is increasingly difficult due to the many distractions we are subjected to on a daily basis. For this reason, in addition to the practice of mindfulness, I recommend that you acquire a greater awareness of digital well-being. What is it about? Minimalistadigitale explains it to you .
Quality of results
The Pareto rule says that 20% of the causes cause 80% of the results. In other words, there is a fifth of what is about your job or your goals, which matters for most of the result. If you adopt a minimalist lifestyle, it will be necessary for you to fully understand what that 20% of work is that is so important, and to concentrate most of your efforts there. In this way the quality of the results you get is much higher than what you would get without doing this type of reasoning. This kind of thinking comes naturally to you if you decide to live in a minimalist way, because you want to optimize your energy and resources where they really need it.
Being minimalist also means having understood that, by removing all the unnecessary “weight” from your life, it is possible to be much more agile, and therefore efficient. Imagine how complicated it can be for a person who has based his life on the accumulation of objects, real estate, superficial relationships, changing cities or jobs. For a minimalist, on the other hand, it is relatively easier to move if he wants to do it, and to improve the quality of the time of his days more easily.
Having a lot of objects also implies a lot of additional expenses, unexpected costs, time and expenses for maintenance and so on. Lifestyle minimalism, on the other hand, makes it possible to achieve levels of efficiency that are unthinkable for most people. This happens because a minimalist is extremely trained to find that 20% that brings 80% of the value, and this reflects that in all the things he does. Finally, having few objects and commitments also leads to being more efficient, since everything can be found and fit together perfectly, without space and time problems .
Owning fewer items leads you to see each tool in its full potential. This is because once you get into the minimal mindset, you automatically start thinking about how you can further simplify everything around you. But to simplify you must also be able to see the multi-potentiality of the objects or commitments you have. For example, if you need to scan a sheet, instead of buying a scanner, it might occur to you that there are apps on your phone that can do it with practically the same results. This thought, which may seem banal, is not taken for granted for those who do not adopt a minimalist lifestyle, and therefore are not inclined to see, for example, the full potential of their smartphone.
An additional advantage that we can find in minimalist lifestyle, concerns the theme of minimalist productivity. In this case we are faced with a paradigm shift, where productivity is no longer understood as “doing as much as possible”, but is to be understood as a type of qualitative productivity. A productivity that focuses on the quality of the final result, and does so by taking into consideration all direct and indirect aspects.
And finally, another benefit of minimalist lifestyle is optimization. We talked about sustainability and efficiency, and the combination of these two values is reflected precisely in the extreme optimization of the resources available and of one’s time. When you have established your priorities, you understand what you really care about, you can get rid of all the superfluous, and at that point, money, time and energy, which are limited resources, seem to become almost unlimited.
We think of a life of an individual who does not live by following the minimalist lifestyle. He will think that spending € 3,000 on a computer, and € 1,000 on a phone can be a very excessive expense, and he would have to make very long loans to be able to afford certain resources. And that’s because he spends a lot of money on many other things, which are of no real value in themselves.
But, always taking the same example, in the case of a minimalist, who understood that technology is his passion, facing these expenses will not be a problem, because he has stopped spending money on what did not interest him. Perhaps listening to himself he understood that he is not interested in designer clothes, aperitifs and video games, and can thus concentrate all the resources saved on what really matters to him or her.
Furthermore, being able to get rid of the objects that he does not need or no longer use, buying used items and borrowing what he needs for a few days, reaches an incredible level of optimization, and can afford most of the things. that have real value in themselves.