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Minimalism: How to Simplify Your Life to Increase Your Wealth
What is Minimalism ?
Over the past few years, minimalism has become a massive topic of conversation. With more and more content on the Internet focusing on this particular topic, it can almost be mistaken for a fad, or trend. However, minimalism is not a fad or a trend, minimalism is a lifestyle. It does not have any steadfast rules. However, its main premise is that, we find ways of simplifying our lives. We find ways of reducing that overwhelming stress of owning too many possessions, letting some of it go in order to live a more free, authentic life. In this article we will talk about reducing your stuff to increase your wealth.
Reducing Your Stuff
Ok, so when you hear the phrase “reduce your stuff” you might be feeling slightly overwhelmed. Especially if you own a lot of “stuff” You might be thinking, there is no way you could possibly reduce your stuff. Afterall, your stuff is your life right ? You “need” it! The thing is, to embark on your journey to minimalism, you do not necessarily have to go on some kind of rampage to get rid of all your possessions and live out of a backpack. Minimalism is a tool, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus from The Minimalists blog talk about minalism being a lifestyle, a tool to be used to rid yourself of fear, overwhelm, depression and the enslavement of the consumerist culture that we live in today. It represents freedom, freedom from attachement to belongings, freedom from having too much “stuff” to do. Once you simplify one aspect of your life, you will start to see that simplifying other aspects of your life just makes sense. So, you don't have to do it all at once. Just make one change, take that one step towards freedom. Take control of your life, remove the clutter, and focus on what is important to you.
I am a writer, in 2007 I decided to quit my job working as a political consultant to focus on my writing. I ended up working as as staff journalist for a newspaper in the UK. I subsequentaly went on to work as a freelance journalist/copywriter, I still do a lot of freelance work to this day. I run my freelance writing and creative lifestyle company, alongside my healthy living and personal development company. I do everything from the comfort of my own home or from a coffee shop, my studio/office, or the park. Put it this way, I work wherever I want, whenever I want. In the past couple of years, I started to think about ways that I could simplify my life. My freelance writing company and creative lifestyle business went from a writing company to an art, and online media company combined. We had over 12 blogs, 50 writers and I was creating creative mixed media decorative prints for the home and office. Although I loved my work, I had reached burnout! I started to feel like I needed a change, I needed to switch it up and focus on the things that I enjoyed the most. I was beginning to feel like I had become a slave to the pound note.
So fastforward to the beginning of this year(2016) I started to scale back, downsize. I got rid of all, but 3 of my sites and I decided to focus on writing about arts and culture, and lifestyle. I reduced the amount of writers that I had on my books, I began to home in on these two topics. I have never been happier, I can now call my business a minamlistic business. I feel lighter, less stressed and generally happier. So, now that I had scaled back on my business, it was time to look at other aspects of my life. Namely my “stuff” my physical possesions. I was beginning to feel like my possessions were owning me, suffocating me and making me feel like moving forward from past issues was just an impossible task. So, I just started getting rid of things, I now own less than 200 things, and I still think I have too much. What I am trying to say here is, it takes time, it all starts with one step. When you begin to focus on simplifying one aspect of your life, you will start to see that other aspects just automatically follow suit.
Check Out This Awesome Video on Minimalism
So Where do I Start ?
Make a list, just make a list. Write down all the different aspects of your life, and decide where you need to start. If you feel overwhelemed, do it bit by bit. Take each day as it comes, if you need to get rid of your possessions in order to feel lighter and more free. Then do that, but you definitely do not need to get rid of everything in one day. You can start by doing a challenge, call it the 25 item challenge. Take a box, or a large bag, and fill it with 25 things that you quite simply do not want anymore. When I did this, I did it by removing all emotion from my decision making processs. I just looked at the item, if I had not used in the last 6 months I just got rid of it. I either sold it, gave it to charity, gave it to a friend, recycled it, or simply put it in the trash. One of the methods that I also tried was a method that is popular in the best selling book by Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up. In her book, she says in order to figure out whether or not you want to keep something or not, you should pick it up, look at it and ask yourself one question. Does it spark joy? If it sparks joy when you hold it and look at it, then you should keep it according to her. However, when I did this, I found myself keeping things that I had not used in 2 years just because it made me feel happy when I looked at it. No two people are the same, so no one size fits all approach can every really truly be effective.
Do Whatever Works Best For You
I Read an article this morning on the Real Simple blog, and one of the strategies that was mentioned in the article was, to act like you are moving. Anyone who has to had to move from one place to another, will know that moving with tons and tons of possesions can be stressful and expensive. Moving is always the perfect opportunity to assses the things you have, and get rid of the things that don't serve any purpose in your life. Sometimes it is necessary to actually put all your possessions into boxes, starting from clothes, to kitchen items, to toiletries, to general misceallanous things. You will soon see how irrelevant some of the stuff you own really is.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
How to Simplify Your Life and Live Minimally
Do You Think You Own Too Much Stuff ?
Do You Think You Own Too Much Stuff
Categorise Your Stuff
Walk around your house and put everything into categories, clothes, shoes, toiletries, electrical stuff, furniture, kitchen stuff etc. Work through all your clothes first, then do your shoes, and toiletries etc. This way of de -cluttering is very organised and less stressful for me, but you might find it best to do it room by room. It is entirely up to you, the bottom line is this, if you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and fed up with the way your life is panning out, then it is time for a change. What better way to start than to reduce the clutter, and clear the unnecessary to make way for the necessary? When I say necessary, I don't mean that you should run out there and purchase a whole bunch of new stuff to replace the old. What I mean is, once you clear the clutter, you make room for new and exciting experiences to come into your life. Once you relinquish that belief that you need a million possessions to feel happy and worthy, then you can actually start to build wealth. I am not just talking about financial wealth either. I am talking about physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wealth as well. Simplify your life in order to inject meaning into your life.
Take a hint from Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg simplifyied one aspect of his life in order to focus on what he deemed important. He eliminated this whole idea of decision making fatigue from one aspect of his life, and that was the clothes he wears. If you notice, he dresses very simply, his main focus is creating and solving problems that pertain to his business. Not deciding what he is going to wear the next morning, or the next day. So, you see you might not necessarily need to simplify every area of your life to see results. But if you take a look at just one thing and take the necessary steps to start simplyfyinng that one thing, your life will definitely start to change.
How Can You Possibly Increase Your Wealth By Simplifying Your Life ?
You might be asking yourself the question, how on Earth can I increase my wealth by simplifying my life?
I was reading on Scott H Young's blog the other day that materialism for most people just simply fills a void. So when you relinquish certain material possessions it can create this void, this feeling that you need to fill that void with something. Instead of trying to fill this emptiness you might be feeling in your life with stuff, why not fill it with knowledge, passion, goals, love, experiences. Why not focus all your time and energy into becoming a better version of yourself rather than focusing on acquiring or caring for lots and lots of stuff. Abundance is not having 100 pairs of shoes, abundance is having a wealth of knowledge, abundance is freedom, abundance is giving and receiving love daily, abundance is being financially free and not being in debt. You see, the majority of people who own the car, the house, the latest clothes and other worldly goods, are in debt up to their eyeballs. This not only causes stress, but it is actually a form of enslavement. When you live in a house that you work 80 hours a week in order to afford to live in it, you are not free.
So, can you see how simplifying your life can help you draw one step closer to feeling free? Not being tied to a job you hate just because you need to buy some expensive car that you know you will be paying off for the next 10 years? Why not just buy a car you can afford, and save that money that you could have spent on those inflated car payments on a memorable experience, or finally setting up that small business that you have been so desperate to set up. Little changes, small steps towards simplification can actually produce amazing results. I mentioned earlier how I got rid of all, but 3 of my 12 niche websites in order to focus on just 3 sites instead. I have been able to put all my effort and time into creating stellar content for those websites, working with a small team of writers, instead of a large team of 50 writers working for several different companies. I was able to increase my financial wealth, increase my spiritual wealth, increase my physical wealth because I was able to find the time to really focus on improving my health, work on my spiritual and emotional goals as well as my financial goals. I was able to clear the clutter in my mind, and in turn I managed to clear the clutter in my house. I am still doing it though, I am still working on simplifying my life further, it is journey not a destination, remember that.
Take a Look At This Video By The Creators of The Minimalists. It Will CHANGE Your Life !
QUICK FINAL TIP
Quick final tip: Find some inspiration. I watch YouTube videos often, I am a massive fan of two wonderful YouTubers, Thriving Minimalist and Brittany Taylor. I will leave their YouTube links below. I also read The Minimalist blog daily, and I am a huge fan of the book Stuffocation by James Wallman. I keep the content I read down to a minimum though because I often suffer with something called analysis paralysis. Whereby, I assimilate too much information and then I just don't know where to start. Therefore, I would recommended that you focus on a couple of YouTube channels, start off by reading one book and home in on the ideas in the book. Adapt the teachings to your own lifestyle, and take one step. You don't have to take a thousand steps in one day, take one step and take it from there.
In the meantime, drop your comments below and tell me all about your minimalist journey. Let me know ways in which you have simplified your life. Tell me about your struggles with simplfying your life. Let's connect.