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Life is short, so why waste it being distracted? This is the basic principal of minimalism -- don't let clutter distract form living your best life.
Every person has their own ideals (goals, hobbies, etc). The nature of ideals puts them above everything else, but yet it seems common for our actions to veer from our intentions. Why is this?
In the era of ever increasing supply of goods, distracting technology; cheap gizmos and gadgets; as well as constant pressure via advertising to consume more, it is no surprise our actions don't match, or are even juxtaposed to our ideals.
Minimalism is a gateway to a distraction free life. No more waiting for tomorrow,you can tackle your problems today.
Minimalism means different things to different people, but the core principal remains the same; remove clutter, bring back focus.
The concept of clutter varies from person to person. An artists definition of what clutter is will be different from a software developers definition of clutter. The artist, and software developer have different ideals (goals), and these differing goals help determine what is clutter.
This concept of what is clutter and what isn't clutter can be applied outside of professions. For example, If your goal is to read a book, but each time you try to read you find that your phone rings, dings, or vibrates -- leaving you distracted from reading -- then in that moment your phone is acting as clutter.
If clutter keeps us from focusing, how does one stop clutter? By simply decluttering.
Decluttering is a two step process; identify what is clutter, then remove it. The process is simple enough, but a lot of emotional pain can be attached to acting upon decluttering, particularly with step two.
It might seem strange, even silly that for some decluttering can be painful, but this pain can be felt for a variety of reasons. People can wrap up a lot of emotion, and pride in objects. Objects can represent status, safety, memories, and even ones aspirations. When even just one of these emotions is tethered to an object, it becomes vastly more difficult to detach from it.
For those who struggle with object attachment and still want to declutter, you can always start small. Look for clutter that has no importance to you, the type that has been sitting around for years unattended. This could be clothes from your childhood, old phones you keep stashing in a dresser drawer after each mobile upgrade, notes from classes you are no longer taking, and so on.
Remember, if you find something brings joy or value, and it isn't acting as clutter, then don't throw it out! Minimalism isn't about trashing everything in sight.
Once you start to declutter and you feel your stresses beginning to go, it's time to make a promise to yourself. No more thoughtless purchases. Before you make your next purchase ask yourself these three simple questions.
- Why do I need this good?
- Can I borrow this good from someone I know?
- Will this good fill a practical need, or just act as clutter?
You can apply those three questions to any purchase. Answering honestly you will quickly decipher what is needed in your life, and what is an impulse buy resulting in future clutter.
Keeping yourself away from impulse buying is just as important as decluttering. The less future clutter you purchase -- the less you have to think about decluttering -- the more you can focus on your ideals.
Each person has ideals, but unfortunately many are distracted from achieving their ideals. Clutter is distracting from what would fulfil us most, yet we keep accumulating more -- just one more purchase and I'll be happy. It never works.
If feelings of distraction, anxiousness, and lack of satisfaction plague you, consider if these pains come from the objects in your life, or the objects you dream of owning. Will buying newer and "better" goods truly bring you joy?
Minimalism asks us, "Life is short, so why waste it being distracted?"