A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about getting wealthy by wanting less. I believe this is a powerful way to increase your wealth. When you want less, you spend less. And when you spend less, you can save more and you don’t need as many financial resources to live happily and achieve your goals.
But what exactly does “wanting less” mean? What does it look like?
You may say someone who wants less is a minimalist, but even this term is open to interpretation. Let’s consider at what wanting less looks like in reality, and try to discover what minimalism means to you.
The Definition of Minimalism
Originally, the term “minimalism” referred to a style of art. But over time, a new definition has been added for the term — although it seems that most people have a hard time nailing down exactly what that is.
The website The Minimalists probably comes closest, and shares this definition: “Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”
This is a good start, but still leaves much open to be decided by each of us as individuals. What is excessive to me may feel necessary and required for the next person.
Living Well on Less
The Minimalists go on to say that anyone living as a minimalist does so by”search[ing] for happiness not through things, but through life itself. Thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life.” Obviously, this concept is very personal, but there are some common lines we can draw for everyone. They start with living well on less.
The key point was that minimalism means finding happiness in life — not in stuff, things, or material possessions. This ties in nicely with the idea that wanting less helps us become truly wealthy, both financially and personally.
Living well on less will keep us financially, emotionally, and mentally rich. You don’t have to abandon “stuff” all together, but you should be able to appreciate what you have without being envious of what you don’t.
You shouldn’t need to impress people with your possessions. You shouldn’t need what anyone else has to be a benchmark for what you need.
You should be able to be more resourceful and less wasteful. And you should be happier engaging in an activity or conversation with a friend than buying yourself something else you don’t need.
That’s what living well on less means. And it may be what minimalism means, too.
Does Minimalism Mean Going to Extremes?
You can certainly take the concept of minimalism to an extreme, and some people do. But remember, it’s all about how you determine what’s necessary and what’s not in your life. It’s not up to anyone else to decide for you.
This may mean you choose to shed some of the possessions you have cluttering up your home, and decide to stop shopping for and buying superficial items. It may mean eliminating everything that doesn’t have a tangible purpose or function so you can live without distraction from stuff.
It could mean selling most of what you own and living in a tiny house, or keeping your possessions limited to what you can carry in your pack as you find happiness through adventures and travel.
Whatever minimalism really looks like to you will be determined by what you feel is weighing you down in life. It’s not worrying about the things that don’t bring true happiness and fulfillment, and instead spending your time (and your money) on the experiences and relationships that make you feel truly alive.
What Does Minimalism Look Like in Your Life?
To answer the question, what does minimalism look like to you, start by understanding what makes you truly happy. What makes you smile, laugh, feel content? That’s probably the “necessary” in your life.
For anything that didn’t make your list… it might be time to consider removing it from your life. If it serves no purpose and only weighs you — or your wallet — down, it’s superfluous and unnecessary.
How much of a minimalist are you? Are you interesting in embracing minimalism and living well on less?