Being a Minimalist

Today I’ll be having the first meet up for the local minimalist group in Nashville. Today’s meeting will be a casual get together so that we have a moment to get to know one another. As much as I am looking forward to meeting with other people that are like minded, I’m a bit nervous about leading the group. Partly because I really want the group to be successful. And partly because I don’t feel that I’m actually qualified to lead it. After all, I think I’m pretty early in my journey toward a more minimalist and meaningful life.

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.

For this first meeting it’s primarily going to be a meet and greet. One of the things that I’ve heard from the members is that everyone is really looking for a group to provide support. Everything from ideas on how to declutter to leading a meaningful life. With this in mind, I think it’s worth revisiting what minimalism is really all about. It’s not truly about decluttering or downsizing or living in a tiny house, although I think those things can play a role in someone’s journey. It is ultimately about identifying what it is that’s important to you and then focusing on a plan to achieve that goal.

Minimalism is hard to achieve, but easy to maintain if you stay focused on your goals. I find that this is true for most important things in life. Diet and exercise for example. It’s really hard to lose weight and to change your diet; it’s easier to maintain it. It does take focus and diligence to maintain it. When you stop working out and eating right you tend to gain weight. Finances and budgets are the same. Getting out of debt is hard. It takes sacrifice. But once you do, so long as you stick to your budget, it’s easy to maintain. Marriages are hard as well. When you first get into a relationship you have to get to know that person. You have to learn to how to live with that person. Once you do, it can be the most fantastic relationship of your life; so long as you continue to communicate with and respect that person and not take them for granted. Its no wonder that staying focused on a meaningful life is so hard when all of the things that provide that meeting takes so much work.

So when I’m thinking about what Minimalism is truly about I think it’s important to be reminded about what you are really trying to achieve. Decluttering and downsizing and not buying stuff is all important, but only so far as to remove the distractions from our life so we can focus and work on the things that matter most.