Once you realise there are pursuits in life that result in longer-lasting personal satisfaction than collecting material possessions, you understand 100% of minimalism.
Minimalism is not just the realisation that possessions don’t make us happy, it is based on the realisation that possessions distract us from happiness. We all have limited resources, limited time, limited focus, limited money. But everything we own requires money, time, focus, attention, and energy. So, the more we own, the more distracted we become.
Our finite resources could be better spent elsewhere.
Minimalism is widely regarded as a lifestyle in which participants think carefully about the items that bring value to their lives and avoid those that don't. It can take many forms.
The answer to that is up to the individual, and different people among us will of course answer that question quite differently. Some may desire to pursue travel, add to their investment portfolio, or retire early.
Add to that, most of us will never regret work and time spent on solving problems that we see in the world. Having less stuff provides that opportunity.
Our money is only as valuable as what we choose to spend it on, and when we choose to use it confronting problems that exist in the world, the potential for our resources grows exponentially.
The reality is that problems exist all around us and there is no shortage of opportunities to make a positive difference in the world: from helping the struggling individual down the street to that crisis on the other side of the planet.
We are all passionate about different things (which is amazing and wonderful). Despite that difference, there is one truth that unites nearly all of us: we all want to make a positive difference in the world.
Nearly all of us want to be generous. Nearly all of us want to help others, and we want to solve problems when we see them.
The problem is, for many of us, we can’t seem to find the spare cash in our bank or spare time in our calendar to do so.
Minimalism provides that.
Minimalism provides the opportunity to own less, buy less, care for less, and pursue less.
Those freed up resources could help the single parent down the street, the co-worker struggling with bills, the local nonprofit serving your community, or that worldwide cause you are so passionate about.
The most significant difference we can make with our lives is to lean into our passion and solve problems where and when we see them.
Minimalism allows us to do that in ways we never dreamt possible.
Own less stuff. Solve more problems in the world instead.