Live a more meaningful live by having less stuff. That is the promise of the minimalists. I recently watched their documentary, http://www.theminimalists.com/netflix/, on Netflix. I realised after a few minutes that I actually visited their website a couple of times in the past by chance.
The concept or message is simple, yet hard at the same time: Own less stuff. I remember a quote that goes something in the order of the more stuff you own, the more the stuff owns you. You have to store it, maintain it, worry about it. It makes sense to believe that mindless consumerism doesn’t really make sense.
Research has shown that after a peak of happiness most possessions in our life don’t offer any additional happiness. I guess it is tied in with the basic premise that the human happiness scale always returns to some sort of default. Similar to why people don’t get happier after peaking at 70K income, or why most lottery winners are less happy one year later than before winning.It reminds me of Jim Carrey, and his quote.
I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer.
The message of minimalism resonates with me, and feels nature if I look at the desire to take care of the planet and be mindful. It is still hard, and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own anything. Rather each object you own should have great value for you, otherwise you might as well sell or give it away. Every time I buy something I ask, do I really need it? Or do I just want it? And if I want it, will it bring me some form of happiness for a longer period?
Another great way is to have a maximum amount of stuff. Say you clean out all your stuff and whatever items remains is your baseline. If you buy something new, you have to get rid of something else in your possession. It is not easy being a minimalist in a world that is driven by, what sometimes looks, mad consumerism. That is the challenge today, until we all realise that consumerism isn’t really the answer to the meaning of life.
Anyway if you find this interesting you can find more information on their website, or you could go and watch their documentary.