Minimalism as a lifestyle is loosely defined as living with less. There are no other rules and each person gets to decide what “less” means to them.
Depending on what type of person you are, this can be liberating or frustrating when trying to figure out if you’re “minimalist” enough (hint: you are).
Still, I wanted to put together some basic principles of a minimalist life to help guide you on your journey.
You are enough.
This is a fundamental truth of every person’s spiritual journey and I do see minimalism as a spiritual journey ultimately. You are made whole. Nothing external to you can define you or determine your worthiness. You have everything you need within you to create and live the life you want.
Exist on your own terms.
Related to the first principle, you get to define what your life will be. You don’t have to live as society, your family, or anyone else believes. You are free to be who you are, pursue your passions, evolve, and change your mind at any moment.
Let go of what does not serve you.
We humans have a bad habit of holding onto things we don’t need. Not just physical things, but emotional baggage, and unhealthy habits. We keep these things because they provide some comfort and familiarity, but they are false and based on fear of the unknown. If you want to evolve and be your best self, you have to let go.
Make space for what matters.
There’s a reason why you may not be reaching the goals that will change your life. There is no space for growth in your life. When you hold on to what does not serve you, you block your blessings and prevent the things you need from coming into your life.
Doing more is not equal to being productive.
Your time is a precious commodity. Living by your to-do list is not the most efficient use of your time. Prioritize the activities, projects, and people that deserve your time. Use your time for doing the things that contribute to your overall well-being.
Value things that money cannot buy.
When you die, you will not be thinking about (insert highly coveted item). You will be thinking about the memories that form the span of your life, your family, and friends. Why spend a large portion of your life accumulating stuff that won’t matter in the end? Spend you life making memories you never want to forget.
Use your material and financial resources efficiently.
Minimalism is not about not buying or owning things. As a human living in the modern world, it is nearly impossible not to acquire stuff and create some waste. The difference is you understand the impact of using your resources responsibly. Whether you aspire to be debt-free, eat healthy, reduce waste, build your own tiny home, you know planning and commitment is required.
Be grateful for what you have.
Gratitude is an important part of this journey. Being thankful for what you already have helps you keep your life in perspective and appreciate what you have accomplished so far. It also tamps down the incessant call to want more.
These principles are not exhaustive, but arguably the most important. They are philosophical and will force you to contemplate your minimalist journey rather than focus on the number of things you own or what to declutter next.