The Joy of Minimalism

Last week when I met my cousin he was wearing the same pair of jeans that he wore 5 days prior to that week. But it was neatly ironed and looked like a new one. He said he washes and irons it himself everyday. I was fascinated by the idea that you can concentrate on important activities while not worrying about selection regarding routine and basic tasks. I do not think he knows that is called minimalism. For people who heard it for first time and if you google the term it is mostly related to architecture and art. But now the concept is applied to a wide range of categories.

The minimalism that I am talking about is different, it is about choices and thinking. Many people get confused between frugality and minimalism. There is a chasm of difference between being frugal and being minimalistic. In minimalism you use your energies, focus, time and even money only on what is really important in life and what which adds value to your self. A minimalist is willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a book he loves but does not waste even a dime on a candy or chocolate which is not conducive to health.

Being a minimalist means being an all-rounder in terms of overall well being. Practicing minimalism is the surest way to self respect and true satisfaction in life. I like to use the word refinement instead of minimalism. One refines what he/she wants to wear, eat or anything for that matter. It is the core of simplification of life. As a famous author said “when accumulation does not make you happy, try deccumulation”.

How to be a Minimalist?

The heart of minimalism is “de-clutterment.” It is the process of eliminating junk or redundant or unnecessary tasks/activities/things/etc so that one can focus on what is really important.

Consider the example of clothes, most of us do binge shopping and hoard stacks of clothes. In reality we use only 20 percent or at the maximum 30 percent of clothes in 90 percent of the times. We can eliminate nearly 75 percent of our clothes. You may worry that if you wear the same set of clothes you may be marked down as a boring person. Remember you can be neat and tidy with the same set of clothes everyday. People respect and adore you not by how many different outfits you wear but by the achievements and behavior of yours. You can be a role model not by the type and cost of your dress but by the commitment towards your work and endeavor. By simplifying the number of clothes in your wardrobe, next time you need not worry about what clothes to wear and get haunted by the paradox of choice. Your choice will be clear and simple to choose one.

The next advantage is money, I need not state the number of dollars you can save if you stop unnecessary shopping. This is just one category, in the same way you can apply minimalism to every aspect of your life, be it foods, clothes, gadgets, books, etc. Perhaps the most important resource on which you can apply minimalism is “time.” Time is human being’s greatest asset(yes, even greater than money). Refine your activities for which you want to allocate time to it. Quickly eliminate “time thieves” in your life whether they may be people or activities arising out of your procrastination. Fill your time with the work you love, exercise, meditation and many more activities which add value to your life and persona. Steve Jobs always used to wear a simple black turtleneck and blue jeans. Yet he looked stylish and as an emblem of charisma whenever he spoke. When someone asked Mark Zuckerberg on why he wears the same T-Shirt everyday he replied “I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community. I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life, so that way I can dedicate all of my energy towards just building the best products and services.”  Now decide on yourself what you really want to concentrate on.

Remember the simple theme of minimalism: “Doing what is exactly necessary with what is exactly required”. —–Raviteja Visakoti

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