- Minimalism is about being frugal
Minimalism is not about frugality. It’s about spending consciously. It’s about recognizing the things I really value and spending my money only on those.
It’s about giving up the need to buy something just because people around me feel I must have it. Minimalism isn’t restricted to any particular income group.
Both financially rich and poor can be minimalists of an equal degree provided they spend consciously. What and how much we spend on is not what matters, but what I get in return does.
For instance, a person genuinely happy in buying an expensive sports car is better off than a person pretentiously going in for a cheaper one.
The key is to analyze the ‘why’. If it comes from within, it is the correct decision. If it comes from the need to show, then it’s not.
- Minimalism is about sacrificing
It’s anything but. In fact living a life where things are valued more than inner happiness is the real sacrifice. Because if I buy what I don’t need, I have work when I don’t want to. It’s a subtle vicious cycle.
Minimalists recognize the fact that when we buy something, we are not just spending money, but we’re also burdening ourselves with more amount of work that is required to compensate for the purchase.
Minimalists know that there is nothing more valuable than freedom and time, and anything that takes away either should be discarded or reduced.
- Minimalists can’t lead a luxurious life
Minimalists can lead any kind of life we really wish for. What is different about our approach is that we have realized that luxury is a subjective term.
A truly luxurious life is that which consists of everything that you value and hence it’s about your own perception of luxury. Minimalists don’t care about what the society deems a luxurious life to be. We care about how the lifestyle that we have opted makes us feel on a daily basis.
- Minimalism is boring
Minimalism cannot be boring because it’s based on two completely opposite parameters –happiness and excitement. If the minimalist lifestyle we choose to follow does not facilitate the growth of these parameters, then it’s not from within and we need to re-evaluate our priorities.
Minimalists know that cutting down on things we don’t value has a dual purpose – de-cluttering our life and at the same time paving the way for your dreams.
For instance, many minimalists give up materialistic desires that we never really cared for so we can free up resources, which in turn allows us to quit a job they don’t like and work towards their passion.
Minimalism makes life exciting because it can be applied right now. We don’t have to wait for anything because unlike the act of accumulating, the act of minimizing is always in our hands. To recognize that your dream life is closer to you than you thought is one of the most adventurous feelings.
- Minimalism means fanatically downsizing possessions.
I think most of the literature on minimalism floating around the internet has to take the blame for this.
Almost any book or blog that talks about the topic will contain images of empty kitchens, unfurnished living rooms, small tree houses, bare wardrobes and what not.
I don’t condemn this in any way because I believe when you get to know yourself more, you naturally start to get disassociated with objects and fall more in line with experiences. This results is the aforementioned scenarios.
But the problem is that most people think it’s the first step, when in fact it is the last step. When this fanatic downsizing is seen as the first step, you’re artificially forcing yourself to do something you don’t quite believe in.And you may never believe in it, and that’s perfectly fine.
A cluttered drawer is better than an empty one that requires a kid of maintenance that you’re not happy about because it doesn’t come naturally to you. The first step is always YOU; the possessions will take care of themselves.
- Minimalists don’t watch TV and don’t use Facebook.
You can watch all the television in the world and log in a million times into your Facebook account, and still be a minimalist. The question again is the same – Why? Is it making you happy, or are you doing it because of boredom?
Minimalists aren’t ambitious people
Being ambitious is worth it when the ambition comes from within. And by that rule, minimalists are the most ambitious people because we have the courage to lead the life they believe in.
We have the courage to walk the path less taken in order to realize their true goals and live a life we value deep down. We are ready to overcome and challenge hard wired beliefs that exist in society, and form our own rules of living a fulfilling life, no matter how absurd it may seem to others.
To minimalists, ambition is about leading a happy life, not the blind acquisition of material possessions. Those with outward courage dare to die; those with inward courage dare to live. Minimalists dare to live.
- Minimalists are lazy
Minimalists are relaxed, not lazy. We play, not work. Minimalists recognize that work is a part of life, not the other way round.
We focus more on working towards a lifestyle that incorporates all that we value, including work, into it. Minimalists are not addicted to being busy.
We know that doing nothing is better than being busy in doing something just for the sake of it. Minimalists work on their life as a whole, and that endeavor demands us to know when to not work at all.
- Minimalists give up on their desires
What can be a greater and more genuine desire than to make your life the best you can in the present moment? Minimalism is about being happy in the now because that is also the best way to prepare for the future.
Too many people live in division.They plan to postpone happiness until they reach some far away goal. This is not natural because no one knows about the future. Minimalists know that our control is only on the present moment, and that is what we work towards.
This is not to say we don’t have dreams. It just means that we are not unhappy when they work towards it. We do not compromise the present because of the future. We prefer happiness in the present to delayed gratification, for we know the latter is just an illusion. We are not desperate for some far away goal because we are already enjoying our life.
- Minimalists don’t like money
Minimalists are not saints or monks. There is nothing wrong with desiring money, as long as it’s not at the expense of living a fulfilling life. In fact minimalists are practical people who realize the actual nature and power of money, and that is why we use it wisely.
When we spend on things that we value, it’s not an expense, but an investment. An investment into ourselves. Spending consciously frees up time as maintenance is low.
This allows minimalists to utilize that time in pursuing their passions, which in turn leads to more money. And money that results from doing work we believe in has a different quality about it. Minimalists like money too, but we aren’t desperate about it.
We focus more on dealing with it to live a better life than to acquire it by sacrificing one.