The Minimalists: Essential Essays by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
Some of my favourite excerpts…
Julien Smith articulates this sentiment very well in his essay The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck: “When people don’t like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don’t feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are.”
But perhaps Chuck Palahniuk said it best: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis.”
Awareness is the most precious kind of freedom. This is yet another reason why minimalism is so appealing to so many people. It removes many of the obstructions and allows us to focus on what’s important. Minimalism is a tool to rid ourselves of superfluous excess in favor of a meaningful life, it is a tool to take a seemingly intricate and convoluted world, cluttered with its endless embellishments, and make it simpler, easier, realer. It is unimaginably hard to remain conscious and attentive and aware. It is difficult not to fall back into a trance-like state, surrounded by the trappings and obstructions of the tiring world around us. But it is important to do so, for this is real freedom.
This doesn’t mean that you can live the same lifestyle that you lived before though. The house with the two extra guest bedrooms isn’t going to cut it. The $600 car payment isn’t going to cut it. Continuously buying stuff isn’t going to cut it. You will have to drastically adjust your lifestyle if you want to pursue your passions.
Trading Money For Freedom One principal I live by is questioning all my purchases. It takes time to earn money, and my time is my freedom, so by giving up my money I’m giving up small pieces of my freedom. Before I make a purchase (even for a cup of coffee) I say to myself, “Is this cup of coffee worth $2 of my freedom?” This has significantly changed my mindset.