First of all, no, it isn’t the Marie Kondo bandwagon that I’m jumping on now. Although there are certain points that correlate to Kondo’s (and the rest of the world currently going through every single item and asking themselves out loud whether it sparks joy) philosophy, this is just about the things I learned on one atypical Sunday afternoon after browsing through Netflix and randomly clicking on Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.
If you have the time, get on your Netflix and check it out – it’s only about an hour plus but it’s so full of depth and meaning. You won’t regret it.
Let me just show you the trailer right here:
I suppose what drew me to it was how true it all is. We are always in constant search to fill a void in our lives. Most of the time we turn to shopping. Bag after bag, shoe after shoe and yet it does nothing but make us feel more miserable. We’re stuck in this vicious, never-ending circle and it seems that we try to counter or deny this problem by adding more stuff in our life. Inadvertently, we become hoarders. Miserable hoarders.
Before you accusingly think, “oh, she’s watched this and now she’s some inspired feel-good fairy”, I’m going to stop you right there and agree with you. You’re damned right. This inspired me so much that I make conscious decisions for my retail therapy now (or lack thereof post-watching), and it has also inspired me to share what I learned after watching it.
Again, I do encourage you to take a bit of time to watch it, but if you’re still insistent on NOT watching, let me help you out:
The 16 elements I took away from the show that may just help us all live minimal, happier lives:
1. Ask yourself this question: is your relentless lifestyle eating into your happiness, one impulse purchase at a time?
2. Pair down so you can focus on what matters in life – actively. This is where Marie Kondo will work her magic on you and inspire you to cut the crap (literally) from your life. So if you have time to binge watch her show, now’s the time to do it. My friend Nad wrote a wonderful piece on her a few days back, so check it out here if you like. Get rid of things that don’t add value to your life, and donate them to other people that may get something out of it. And, like Marie Kondo says, if it doesn’t spark joy …
3. People are spending money faster than they are earning it. Just let that sink in for a minute. If you’re guilty of that – I know I am – it’s worth knowing that you cannot control how much you earn, but you can control how much you spend.
4. There’s more to life than bills, money and work. Now this goes without saying but it’s that one thing that we all try our best to escape and fail.
5. Reevaluate your wardrobe. If you’re keen on doing extra research, check out Project 333, a movement started by a Courtney Carver way back in 2010 when she embarked on a minimalist fashion challenge where she dressed with 33 items or less for 3 months. She found that by mixing and matching her existing stuff, nobody fucking noticed that she only wore 33 items the whole year.
6. Meditate. We are always distracted, we know this. I’ve been failing at meditation for years and I’m still trying to do it at home. Try the ‘Calm’ app, or ‘Headspace’, for starters. Nobody will blame you if you fall asleep though. Meditation is hard AF.
7. We’ve been told by society that we need certain things, that’s why we THINK we need them. A new phone, an entirely new makeup kit, the new Gucci SS19 collection … can we really live without them?
8. When you get something new, ask yourself: is this adding value to my life? How?
9. Your life is 100% up to you. Make it sweet and easy.
10. Find well-being in the present moment. Go on digital detoxes for an hour a day, and see how you feel. Go for a walk. Enjoy nature.
11. Question what you want, what matters to you most, and what your ideal life looks like. Think about these three things now. If you’re all about Kim K’s life then … um, why are you even reading this LOL
12. Love people and use things. The other way ’round never works. But for real, don’t use people. Don’t be a dick.
13. On worrying: there’s a certain amount of worry that makes sense, and a certain amount that doesn’t. Think about that for a second. There is a certain amount of worrying that is called ‘constructive anguish’ because it allows you to be prepared. Then, there is useless rumination which makes you downright miserable.
14. When you’re worrying excessively, ask yourself this simple question: Is this useful? BOOM.
15. Don’t aim for MORE. Don’t aim for LESS either. Aim for ENOUGH.
16. Live deliberately. Be aware of your actions, instead of reacting blindly or mindlessly. Your purchases, what you do in a day, how you feel and how you would like to feel at the end of it … think before you act, always.
Well, that’s that. If this inspired you, good. Go and spread the word. Good luck, and I hope to connect with you soon, in the near future, when we’re both happier.