The word “Minimalism” owes its popularity to New York City in 1960. It emerged chiefly as an American movement in the visual arts and music.
Minimalism, or to be more precise minimum, as the word clearly suggests, refers to the lifestyle where you make your needs and longings concise. Confusing, right? Let’s go deep.
There’s a natural human tendency to want more. For example, suppose a person is too poor, almost in rags. After working hard, he achieves a living where he can afford his necessities—food, lodging, and clothes to wear. But as he earns more, he won’t be satisfied with his ongoing simple living after some time. His needs will increase. If earlier he would eat simple bread, now when he is financially sound, he will begin to have burgers, pizzas, Starbucks coffee, and wear expensive clothes. After that, he would want to buy a car and decorate the interior with extravagant stuff. Yes, this happens quite often. I am not blaming these people. It’s human nature.
There’s no doubt that we should earn enough so that we can afford a normal standard of living. But try to contemplate when you sit alone: don’t we sometimes squander our money for useless things? Extra pair of shoes, innumerable dresses, expensive phones, laptops and what not. We keep buying, regardless of the fact that our home is gasping for breath under all the clutter we have created.
Minimalism doesn’t ask you to be a miser. But it forbids you from squandering. It says, don’t crave more than needed. The money you waste in buying extra stuff can be saved for future purposes.
Being minimalist is completely subjective. But if you include minimalism in your life, it’s not going to offend you, for sure. Rather you will become content with time. Let’s see some benefits you can reap out of minimalism:
You must be wondering how mental calm is related to minimalism? Believe me, it is. Your craving for physical possessions is linked to your mental health. When you stop craving more of your mundane possessions, somewhere mentally, you become free. Or say for example, when you free your closet from that extra burden, you feel liberated—liberated from the headache of maintaining that clumsy heap of clothes and stuff.
When you stop spending so much on that which is not needed, you save a lot of money. Later this money will help you out in times of real need, like medical emergencies, education, etc.
We run out of time when we rush to grab things, trying to keep pace with others. For example, if your wealthy friend has a Netflix subscription or a dazzling car you can’t keep calm. You also want to prove yourself and go on longing for these things. But, think if you save that time and do some useful activity like reading a book or cleaning your room, then ultimately it will benefit you. With minimalism, you will have ample time to do such things.
Will Rogers says, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” These lines say the truth, reveal the trap that we are in. The Bible says, we will return to dust at last—then why be subdued by material cravings?
Less is more.