We live in a world where we are surrounded by things. We look for things online, we buy them in stores, we save up money to buy them and we even get into debt to obtain them.

Ultimately, however, there’s only so much time in our lives to do stuff, be the person we want to be and to love the people in our lives. If we pay too much attention to things, we miss out on the really important things in life. Love, family, achievement, travel, contentment…

Minimalism isn’t about doing without material possessions, it’s more about living (as in actually living) with just the things that you need to be functional and comfortable.

You free up mental space and have more worthwhile aims

Sometimes when you buy something you’ve been saving up for, you have it in your hands and you feel a little bit empty. So, you wait for the next edition, the bigger version or move onto something else entirely. This isn’t right, yet we accept this cycle of acquisition and then emptiness as normal. Do you ever feel like that when you look around your friends at a party? Or when you see your children bonding with the old lady down the road? No. This is because these moments are what really count.

The same applies to professional ambitions and achievements. You might feel spurred onto the next one, but do you ever feel empty at having achieved your latest success? Chances are, no.

Comparison is the thief of joy

That unpleasant feeling of envy that drive many people to keep up with the neighbours becomes a thing of the past when you embrace minimalism. Learning to be happy with what you do have sets you free from wanting what you don’t have.

You learn more about yourself

You won’t suddenly become a piano virtuoso just because you’ve decided to go minimalist. However, if you’re always working overtime to pay for material things, then you never have the time to practice and improve the talents you have. If you’re always dusting your glass animal collection, do you ever have time to do paintings of those creatures?

You’ll teach your children to be happier with less

What do you want for your kids? That’s right – happiness, life satisfaction and good people around them. Credit card debt and a fancy new mountain bike? Nah.

You value your work for itself

Work stops being something you do to pay bills and it becomes something you do because it needs to be done. Whatever you do, from working in an emergency room to dispatching cabs, you’re adding value to people’s lives and adding value to them.

You’ll feel more in control

By eschewing too many material possessions, you’re wrestling back control from consumerism and doing what your heart really wants. Buy once, buy well.

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