Most of us equate minimalism with simple living. They’re kind of similar, right?
After all, both terms generally mean ‘making do with less’.
How can knowing the difference between minimalism and simple living really help us?
Knowing the difference between them gives us a better sense of direction.
We need to ask ourselves: Are we after simple living or minimalism?
When we are clear what we really want, we know what to look for and aim for. Only then will we be able to take the right steps to achieve our end goal.
But first, let’s check out what they mean.
What is minimalism?
If you’ve been wondering what minimalism is, you’re certainly not alone. Either everyone has their own take on them or the rest of us are just wondering what they really mean.
According to Wikipedia,
“Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one’s lifestyle. These may include, for example, reducing one’s possessions, generally referred to as minimalism, or increasing self-sufficiency. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they have rather than want.”
Why is minimalism so hot?
The word itself. It sounds ‘posh’, whereas simple living sounds mundane.
Minimalism seems the obvious answer to our modern hectic way of life.
We are increasingly getting disillusioned with the pursuit of a “better” life where it means owing more stuff, living in ever bigger houses, driving bigger newer cars and so on.
All these are leading most of us down the spiral of mounting debts, and increasing unhappiness in our lives, leaving us to wonder: Is this all there is to life?
To end all this madness, minimalism seems the most logical solution.
Is minimalism the same as simple living?
They certainly share many common traits. In a nutshell, simple living is a way of life, while minimalism is one of the main tools to get us there.
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So what‘s simple living then?
Simple living is:
#1 Making do with what we have by not buying more things than we need, especially if they don’t add any meaning to our lives.
#2 Being content with what we are.
Not measuring our success in life only in financial terms.
#3 Being comfortable and accepting of who we are.
Not being easily influenced by others to dictate our level of emotional and mental comfort. We don’t have to be more successful or financially ahead of others all the time.
For example, everyone from our home city who are now living in our present location have already achieved financial freedom. They are retirees in their 30s and 40s, enjoying their retirement lifestyle with leisure pursuits. We do not allow these folks to make us feel inferior even though we are earning a living.
#4 Living a mostly balanced and stress-free life that brings us peace and happiness with less financial worries.
#5 Exercising the power of choice. We have to power to choose the simple way of life we desire.
#6 Not being resigned to what society expects of most people.
#7 Setting aside time to enjoy the freedom and flexibility to do the things we want to do.
#8 Having the courage to do what is right for our own lives. That we are not “coerced” by the wishes of those closest to us – our parents and relatives.
If most of these above are what we strive for, don’t you think our ultimate goal is simple living?
What’s minimalism then?
Minimalism is our action plan.
It guides us on what we can do to achieve simple living.
It’s a process to help us return to a slower, saner pace of life our more sensible and down-to-earth forebears enjoyed.
So minimalism can help us to:
#1 Remove unnecessary clutter from our lives, whether they be physical, digital, mental or emotional.
#2 Maintain our sanity by reducing daily ‘distractions’, complications and meaningless routines.
#3 Identify what is truly important in our lives and give our attention to them, like looking after our own needs.
#4 Allow us to reallocate our most precious resource – Time.
Time to spend on what is truly important to us – our loved ones and ourselves.
So why are we going back to simple living?
We now know simple living offers the most direct route for us to experience this elusive state in our hectic modern world of overwhelm.
This quote below sums it up.
“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life“ – Aristotle
I hope this information has given you a clearer direction of the path you’re taking. May you live a simple life filled purpose and happiness.
If you know this will help others, do share it. Thanks.