A Collection of City Thoughts

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Art of Minimalism

One of the best things I did for myself a few years back was get rid of my television set. To some people this might seem extreme. For me it was pretty easy. At best my television set was an architectural feature in my apartment, an overflow bookshelf, a plinth to burn candles. If ever I needed entertainment, I'd simply go online for it, search it out myself and pick and choose the things I wanted to fill my boredom with.

Thus, my television set became a useless, clunky, dusty, space sucker. So I junked it.  Besides, more floor space = more room to dance, roll around, and stretch. Something we should all do every day (at least the stretching part).

Around the same time I also gave up a lot of my belongings.  I've never needed much. I've never wanted much. For years I've listened to my mother (god bless her) insist upon me that I take advantage of my looks, that I buy pretty clothes, style my hair, polish my nails, or at they very least, care about my appearance.

Between us, I do care about my appearance. I just don't have the patience or the energy or the time or the money to buy stuff. I have zero interest in buying stuff to make me feel prettier, happier or more productive. In fact, I believe the exact opposite to be true.

Getting rid of stuff will actually make you feel prettier, happier and more productive. Here are my reasons why:

1. Getting rid of stuff frees up time.
No TV to dick around on? Well then read a book, write a story, go for a walk, start a revolution.

2. Getting rid of stuff frees up space.
Less stuff means more freedom. Freedom to roll, dance and stretch without bumping into things. Freedom to breathe and think without clutter.

3. Getting rid of stuff makes you prettier.
Pretty people, in my humble opinion, are pretty because they don't try. They just are. Vanity is the most common and ugliest of qualities. Let it go. It's killing your beauty. Vanity is the #1 sucker of beauty from this world.

4. Getting rid of stuff makes you mobile.
There's a whole Digital Nomad movement on the rise. Welcome to the creative age. It's all about maximizing creative ideas and minimizing needless commodities. If you've got what it takes (talent & dedication), it's now possible to work from anywhere with very little.

5. Getting rid of stuff saves you money.
This goes without saying. Buy less, save more, do the things that make you happy. Spend less on things and put your money towards experiences. Dinner with friends. Vacations. Live-entertainment. Support the arts.


6. Getting rid of stuff makes you happy.
Really there's no quick fix to happiness. Sadness stems from the deluded expectations people put on themselves. At 30 I am gonna have a house, a car, a kid, a sailboat. No, at 30 I am gonna be content. As content as I am now, living without much, not needing much, and loving life fully.

Minimalism is like Veganism. You have to work towards the goal. I am not there yet. I am like a half-ass vegetarian. I'm not even sure I want to get there. Although I must confess, the thought of a being a full-on digital nomad makes me school-girl giddy. 

Most of what I own is in this picture (minus the appliances)