Minimalism is often associated with an artistic current, with design, with product functionality, or in some cases with brands, as in the case of Apple, but in reality it has a more complex and articulated meaning.
Minimalism as a lifestyle is a way of understanding existence in a profound and meaningful way. Today’s society is oriented towards consumption, the use of material goods, often non-essential; appearing is worth more than being and social networks are the tool par excellence to flaunt what you think can be a common object of desire: gourmet dishes, holidays, entertainment. Minimalism as a philosophy of life involves going beyond appearances, to grasp the values that make our existence and above all our experience authentic; it means going beyond the superficiality of appearing to identify what really matters, without conditioning. Minimalism, in fact, does not apply only to material objects, but to the commitments we make, to the people we hang out with, to the way we spend our free time. Being minimalist means living consciously, carefully weighing the choices and carefully selecting what deserves to be part of your life and what doesn’t.
Valuing one’s life
In this regard, the concept of care is essential, it is necessary to take care of oneself and to do so it becomes necessary to know our essence in depth; every day we are faced with possibilities and this involves making choices; life is made up of choices and the choice necessarily involves the exclusion of something in favor of something else.
This happens because those who follow a minimal lifestyle have understood that life is full of opportunities, but they know that to be able to take advantage of them you have to know how to choose. The trade off, therefore, or giving up something to get something else, is a reality to be accepted. The true minimalist reveres the power of choice, and benefits enormously from it.
Now we will analyze some founding values that should inspire our choices:
The choices of the minimalist should be inspired by environmental sustainability, avoiding waste, buying exactly what you need, eliminating the superfluous.
Jonas spoke in this regard of the ethics of responsibility: our choices are decisive for the world we live in and for the world we intend to leave to future generations.
Another value that every minimalist feels is beauty: it, and in this regard Kant docet, is not linked to profit, wealth, mere pleasure; beauty has its own intrinsic value that comes from its simple use. “Beauty will save the world” asserted Dostoevsky, surely it can make our life better. The harmony, calmness, serenity that come to us by contemplating beauty are a source of satisfaction that improves our existence.
Effectiveness must be understood as essentiality: being minimalist also means having understood that, by removing all the superfluous from one’s life, it is possible to be much more agile, and therefore efficient. Imagine how complicated it can be for a person to manage many superficial relationships or take care of a house full of useless things. Let’s keep interpersonal relationships really important, surround ourselves with order and essentiality, it will be much easier to manage our time and live in harmony with ourselves and, in return, with others.
Let us now consider minimalist productivity, a real paradigm shift, in which productivity is no longer understood as “doing as much as possible”, but is conceived as qualitative productivity, which aims at the quality of the final result and does so by taking into consideration all direct and indirect aspects.
Let’s take a concrete example.
Writing a blog article could be considered a productive activity; the final result, concrete and tangible, will be the article itself. But the way this type of article came about is different between a person who doesn’t live by minimalism and a minimalist. In the first case, it could for example have been written in a hurry, with the idea of publishing as many articles as possible.
In the second case, on the other hand, in a more conscious way, the quality of sleep and rest will be taken into account, as well as the work environment in which the article is written, with a decidedly different final result. In this way, a minimalist manages to bring higher quality content, and at the same time feel more fulfilled and live better.
Optimization is another essential value of the minimalist; it comes from the combination of sustainability and efficiency, for an excellent use of time and resources. It is necessary to establish priorities , understand what really interests, this will allow to optimize money, time and energy, which are limited resources, increasing their availability. For example, cutting unnecessary expenses may generate greater availability for more useful purchases.
Furthermore, by getting rid of objects that are no longer needed or are no longer used, buying used items and borrowing what you need for a few days, you can reach a very high level of optimization, with an optimal impact on the available budget.
We have seen what are the basic values that lead to pursuing minimalism as a lifestyle. If you liked this article, please leave a comment, and follow our Instagram page @wearemudesk. Also, if you want to know the practical steps to start living like a true minimalist, I recommend the minimalist life article.