So do you think you could live with less than 100 things? Or is the real question not ‘could’, but ‘would’?
I personally don’t think I could. Even as a practicing minimalist, it seems just a bit too restrictive and an added stress that I don’t need to put on myself. I see a lot people out there participating in these challenges and self-monitored displays of extreme minimalism. While if absolutely necessary I could live with less than 100 things, I simply don’t want to. There are lots of minimalists out that DO live with less than 100 things. So it’s obviously do-able and it seems to be working well for them and their lifestyle.
What I love about the minimalism’s guiding principles is that it’s not one size fits all. It differs from so many other titles we assign ourselves. Take for example our diets; I was once a vegan…that’s very cut and dry: No animal or animal by-products, ever. But then I became a vegetarian. (Because I missed cheese SO badly. I just love cheese.) So no meat. Now I am a pescatarian – so fish, but no other meats.
Titles can be very restrictive. But in calling myself a ‘minimalist’ I don’t feel restricted at all. In fact, I feel incredibly free. The more things I’ve gotten rid of has progressively helped me feel less stressed and at peace with my way of living. A feeling I’m sure others have felt as they began offloading all their excess material possessions. Discovering the things that makes us truly happy in life is a continuously evolving process. To design a life we love that is unique to each of us, is anything but easy. What might be essential to me might seem completely frivolous to another. One trendy stereotype of a minimalist is that we must be boring, stoic, clinical, unfulfilled, poor, sad etc. Yet that couldn’t be further from the truth. Quite the opposite in fact. By reducing our belongings, we often experience greater financial freedoms, gain ability to travel, allow more time for personal reflection and discovery. Simply by possessing just a fraction of the things most average Americans own.
At the end of the day, I prefer little luxuries, experiences, creating memories. I just don’t need duplicates or excess clutter to make me feel worthy or fulfilled. I’ve shifted my mindset to appreciate quality over quantity. More things does not equate to more happiness.
It all boils down to Maslow’s Want V. Need.
So could you do it? Or more importantly would YOU want to? Personally, I think a majority of the material possessions I had in my life were crap. Even things I spent good money on were often poorly made, always breaking and more times than not ended up in the junk drawer. It was so nice to see them go. I have gone on living a happier and just as fulfilling life without them. I can definitely see the merit and freedom that would come with living with less than 100 things. You could fit your whole life in a box or backpack. The freedom you would feel would be insurmountable. For many, that is the ultimate happiness.
I guess you’ll never know until you try. The great thing about it, is that there will always be more things to buy and things are all replaceable. Experiences and moment are not.
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