Minimalism will not solve all our problems.
Unfortunately, we often believe that the goal of simple living is to own as few things as possible—to declutter our homes, organize our lives, and clear our minds. Once we do this, we’ll each find our own private utopia and bask in the glory of our newfound happiness, right?
Real life doesn’t work this way.
Minimalism is not the end game. Chucking material possessions does not necessarily equate to happiness. You could get rid of all your stuff and still be miserable.
Removing the excess will, however, help you discover what does in fact bring you joy—experiences, people, passions—because it’s much easier to find the path once the debris is cleared.
Simplifying may never usher you to your utopia. Even the simple life has its moments of tedium and drudgery and sadness and pain. But letting go can lead to a better life, one that’s worth more than any shiny object.
You can start small, but it’s worth getting started today.
Read this essay and 150 others in our new book, Essential.
In May 2019, Jordan Bates and I (Jon Brooks) met up in London to attend the Rebel Wisdom summit. Having not seen each other in the flesh for 6 months, we thought we’d celebrate our reunion by recording our first ever podcast together. Jordan and I have always had incredible, dizzying, profound conversations about topics […]
The post Jordan Bates and Jon Brooks Discuss Spiritual Narcissism and the Shadow (HEx Podcast #22) appeared first on High Existence.
But doctors say that comparison oversimplifies how the disease actually works.
- How do I create an exercise habit that fits my busy life?
- What are some effective exercises that don’t require a gym?
- What is the ultimate minimalist exercise?
Joshua & Ryan’s pithy, shareable, less-than-140-character responses. Find more quotes from The Minimalists at MinimalMaxims.com.
- “Everyone has eighteen minutes a day for their health.” —Joshua Fields Millburn
- “Gym memberships don’t make you fit; consistent actions make you fit.” —Ryan Nicodemus
- “The simplest exercise is always the exercise you enjoy.” —Joshua Fields Millburn
- “Minimal exercises lead to maximal health.” —Ryan Nicodemus
Mentioned in This Episode
- Added Value: Baritone Ukulele
- Added Value: Fusion Bags
- Added Value: Tales of America
- Added Value: The Umbrella Academy
- Book: Anything You Want
- Book: Daily Rituals
- Book: Essential
- Essay: Play the 30-Day Minimalism Game
- Essay: Simple Triggers
- Explore: Blood Flow Restriction Bands
- Explore: Kaatsu
- Facebook: Ben Greenfield Fitness
- Instagram: Ben Greenfield Fitness
- Instagram: Podcast Shawn
- Instagram: Jessica Williams
- Patreon: The Minimalists
- Podcast: Ben Greenfield Fitness
- Subscribe: The Minimalists
- Twitter: Ben Greenfield
- Watch: Just Run
- Watch: Minimalist Home Tour | Joshua Fields Millburn
- Website: Ben Greenfield Fitness
- Website: Jordan Moore
- Website: Mark Sisson
- YouTube: Ben Greenfield Fitness
- YouTube: How to Play the 30-Day Minimalism Game
So that coming week we’re taking our first big family trip together. I can not think as it looks like between Tyson and I that sentence is actually true , we’re always on a plane, or traveling with one of those kids individually. We have taken road trips together of course, but I’m only now realizing we have not actually been on a plane… all together… ever. I believe it is fascinating that we don’t have any experience on this, and yet have chosen to create that inaugural flight with them haha. Is it obvious that we purchased the tickets in 1AM?
ANYWAY. Our enthusiasm for the trip is through the roof. We’re going to London and taking the kids to Peppa Pig World (yes, that is a thing) and Legoland. They don’t entirely know that we’re going yet, so we’ll surprise them the dawn of, but I am pretty confident they manifested this trip with their belief in it alone since they haven’t stopped talking about the way they are definitely, one-hundred percent, entirely, for sure going to Peppa Pig World and Legoland… for at least a year now.
And to make matters more interesting… we are just bringing two carry-ons. Oh yes.
The plan is to take one set of shoes each, to be worn out on the plane, in addition to whatever jackets/layers likewise be worn around the plane. And we’ll attract a select few flexible outfits, toiletries, a tiny detergent, and compliments everything (! ) ) zero diapers. And the kids will each have their own little backpacks for plane activities and snacks… can it be crazy to say I feel like this will be pretty easy to pull off? I can be a minimalist once I need to be.
Normally what happens up the most space in my luggage is my toiletries. Between my own hair and my skincare routine – BOY HONEY. In case you guys saw my skincare regimen in my instastories (now saved for my profile), then you already know I’m going to get to acquire real discerning. It’s no secret how big a fan I am of Biossance goods, I’ve used them for many years, and appreciate that they’re a clean beauty manufacturer that really produces real results. So. LUCKY FOR MEI only found out that a few of my favorites today arrive in the finest little travel sizes (will be packaging some free samples too!) So that I don’t actually have to give up that while trying to keep the packaging to a minimum.
Because everything we wish to do is pretty spread out throughout the united kingdom, we wanted to create the daily train traveling as light as easy as possible so that we have our hands free. I was completely inspired by various posts I read on the capacity to travel minimally as a family, and because we’ll already be attracting two strollers, a camera bag, and then all of the snacks/entertainment for our long travel days, I thought the advantage of very little luggage sounded like a whole fantasy. My husband LIVES for efficient compact packing and as soon as I told me that I, for the first time in my life, desired to give it a try, he fell to his knee and proposed. And spent the 98 hours viewing carry-on bag reviews.
So here we’re a couple of days out, shooting our extremely-reviewed luggage to get a test run, and attempting to make as minimalist as you can. At this point I think that the term”highly curated” must probably be banned from the internet, but I don’t have any choice but to use it at the moment. Because these bags are going to be curated AF. Best of the top just. I’m sure you’ll notice in the future photographs from our trip in case my strategic outfit planning will triumph or neglect (heading for WIN), however my main obstacle… the environmentally friendly friendly skincare pattern… will soon function as follows:
Last year, I got a preview of the newest Squalane + Micronutrient Fine Mist in Biossance HQ and completely fell in love. And here it’s in TRAVEL dimensions and I’m totally geeking out. I always, always churns that on right after doing my makeup or should I want to freshen up after a flight.
For the cleansing measure, I pretty much always use the Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizeralong with the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil Together with One Another. They’re my FAVORITES. And I use the sample dimensions so in the event you wanna do the same or just try both for just $5 shipping, then you can! Highly recommend! It is also possible to try their own Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel at the same free sampling program. I have attempted several eye shapes, plus they’ve historically been fairly harsh but I have LOVED this substance. Because it’s somehow powerful, yet perfect for sensitive under-eyes.
I was also so stoked if they started offering their signature 100% Squalane Oil in travel size since I mostly use this on my hair to tame its naturally wavy tendencies. Once you’re in the midst of an inner debate about attracting your iron That is key.
I’m actually excited to travel like this! Despite my BFF Taylor being entirely beside herself that I would intentionally decide not to bring more style options for London, as hello, it is London. However LIKE I SAID… we are going with highly curated haha. I will let you know how it goes.
What makes us love Harry Potter or action films? Why do we cheer for the good men? Why can we love a good story of battle , perseverance and succeed?
Makes these stories classic?
This hero’s story hasn’t changed for thousands of years. Since early times culture and our customs venerate the myth of the hero on a mission. A hero leaves residence, faces struggles, triumphs and generally returns home as a man or women.
In 1990 the late American author and intellectual Joseph Campbell composed of the protagonist ’s travel — the mythological journey that most men and women undergo in life. He believed that the purpose in life was supposed to complete this journey.
A hero is with no shape and past time; the human need for heroes surpasses all cultures.
The Demand To Get a Story
Why is a hero unforgettable isn’t their strength but instead their will. We admire their capacity to persevere and surpass defeat. We temporarily turn into them As soon as they are watched by us. We live vicariously through them. This is the bait of sports.
What makes a hero undefeatable? What makes several times stand up after being knocked down? The answer is straightforward. A story. Not just any story, but one which involves a path that is personal that the person walks .
It may be a story that grandparents informed them maybe it’s the end consequence of some event that is powerful or while sitting around the fire or even moved in them.
Regardless of the medium, the narrative has been absorbed deep to the protagonist. His/her adventure’s ups and downs are not viewed as separate events but rather as parts of a whole.
Just like a fabric that is beautiful that the ups and downs of this travel weave together to form his lifetime.
This is actual motivation — motivation which sees beyond the successes and failures to some grander purpose of existence.
Every goal, every step, every time you fall down is seen inside a bigger context. A fanatic doesn ’ t concentrate on the trees and plants, like seeing the forest in its entirety that is exquisite.
Concentrate Rather Than Reaction
When we examine the larger picture of our own lives we see exactly that both the highs and lows as a piece of the journey. We prevent focusing on objectives that are different and focusing our attention. Instead of responding to events, we maintain our attention.
In all honesty, I’ve stumbled for nearly all my life searching for actual motivation — one that lasts. I have jumped from goal to goal like a collection of faculty romances that were unsuccessful.
My intentions have functioned well, however my leadership hasn’t remained constant.
It wasn’t before I challenged everything was important for me that my narrative became more well-defined. I wished to do things in existence. I am able to ’t if I am attempting to do everything and do nothing else in the same 25, be the hero of my story.
So I recognized it.
How to Find Your Story
The first step is defining what is important is focusing on what you want and cut out the rest. This clarity came to me from the form of a yellow legal pad and also twenty five well-thought-out items I wanted in life.
These were my dreams, my goals and my dreams. I had a great deal but I can just pick five. Doing this focused my focus and my entire life . It allowed me to recover my purpose without feeling scattered like I did earlier.
Physically writing down them and deciding which five things were the most important for me behaved as a proof of my own values. I place them on my wall.
The most strong change always comes from the simplest items.
The exercise in priorities was not my suggestion but instead Warren Buffet’s. Buffet recommended this to his pilot who had been struggling with everything to do with his life. He advised him that invest it and only the secret to ruthless determination is to amass your attention. Do not distribute it.
The story’s moral is that if you need inspiration which transcends one which unites them all together in a goal that is larger, the individual objectives and to-do lists, you must define your own story.
You’re already a hero. You just need to make your story and live it.
1. Focus Your Energy
Use the exercise over. Using pen and paper or computer, write twenty-five items you need in life. Pick five. Put aside a time, one hour or so, to perform this. You do not need to get distracted.
You have two lists — you to focus all your energy to prevent. Put your lists you’ll be able to see them.
2. Embark on the Journey
This is both scary and exciting. Tomorrow don ’ t start. Start now. Like literally NOW.
- Need a site? Sign up for one today.
- Longing into travel overseas? Proceed today to get your passport.
- Interested in becoming a photographer? Subscribe for a course.
There’s not any perfect moment. Beginning is the initial step of the travel. Write down your targets. I break mine into every three months, yearly and weekly.
3. Battle Monsters
Happiness is a by-product of meaningful experience. It cannot be directly chased, and when it is it won’t continue.
Instead challenge yourself to combat the monsters . Know that collapse is part of this process.
4. The Hero Fall
The protagonist returns home better and more straightforward. Reflect on your journey and discuss it with other folks. Nothing is as sharing with other people, as worthwhile.
Our contemporary world, with all the remarkable progress and technology, has forgotten a number of our origins. Modernity has slowly annexed the use of heritage.
As our world becomes more integrated, it gets easier to forget our personal connection with lifetime .
We look out for inspiration. We love inspirational speeches and quotations, but seldom do we turn our attention inward and see that motivation lies in your story.
Define exactly what you really want in your life and recover your motivation.
What helps you get through those times? Drop a comment below, and let me know how you keep yourself inspired .
Have you ever felt like you were just not good enough? That somehow everyone had received the handbook for life, except you? Do you keep waiting for the moment when you will finally arrive and feel like you have made it?
Yes, I have been there too. When I was younger, I was sure that age 35 was when I would definitely arrive at my full self — that I would finally become who I really was and who I was meant to be.
When I turned 35, I was in a state of shock when I realized I had not arrived at this age as I had imagined. I did not have it all figured out. Far from it.
How had I arrived at this spot in my life and still felt like I had so much to do to get where I wanted to be in my career? With so many unknowns?
I felt angry.
- Angry at myself for being so uncertain about my future
- Angry at all of those people who supposedly had it all figured out
- Angry that I didn’t have it figured out by now
I lashed out. I cried. I tried to stay busy, so I could avoid the thoughts that were hurting me so much.
Take a Closer Look to Find the Answer
After many days of doubt and self-loathing, I decided to start writing in my journal again to try to make sense of what was going on. Why I was feeling so much anger toward myself? Feeling so inadequate?
From that reflection, I realized that my insecurities stemmed from my recent decision to leave my corporate marketing career and become a writer.
I felt like I was starting from scratch again. There were so many uncertainties and so many things I had to learn. Should I really be doing this now?
But I knew that if there was one thing I would regret not doing in my life, the answer was being a writer.
That was how I decided that I had to start from somewhere, even if it was from the beginning again — to build the life and career I wanted — and that meant dealing with uncertainty head on.
We are all wired to want to control our environment. Once we let go of control, we are able to understand that change is a constant part of life.
Here are four ways I learned to embrace uncertainty. These tips can be helpful anytime you’re starting something new or stepping into the unknown.
1. Reframe Imperfection
Perfection is a shield we use to hide from our true gifts.
The most ironic thing I discovered is that those things I thought were my biggest imperfections are actually my greatest gifts. This was so freeing.
So first and most importantly, we must reframe what imperfection means.
By embracing our imperfections not as faults, but as a demonstration of our unique gifts, we can see our strengths more clearly.
2. Avoid Seeking the Approval of Others
We all want to be accepted and loved. However, to really live the life we want we need to tell the truth about who we are, not wait to get praise or approval from others first.
This is a difficult thing to do, and it takes practice. One thing I learned to do is to keep a Self Appreciation Journal where each day I acknowledge and keep track of the things I am most proud of, the good choices I have made, and the successes I have had.
This type of practice strengthens our trust in ourselves, so we don’t always need to look for others for the answer.
3. Rethink Risks
When we start something new, there are so many things we are uncertain about.
It was helpful for me to reframe these moments of uncertainty and the outcomes of these new actions as learning opportunities.
By taking small risks, we move out of our comfort zone and into the learning zone.
We can reframe outcomes that did not go as planned not as mistakes but as good ways to get feedback and learn something new.
4. Know That You Are Enough Right Now
It hit me that I had been bogged down with a list of all of the things I needed to learn, to master, to do before I felt ready to start the career I really wanted. I needed to stop waiting.
We need to let go of the stories we tell ourselves about where we are supposed to be. We are all becoming who we are every day, over and over again. There is no arrival point.
I like to say this short affirmation when I am feeling stuck: “I am enough.”
I am enough. You are enough. We are enough.
Build the Life You Want
The only thing constant in life is change. To fully embrace uncertainty we must replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.
With a curious mindset, we can see the new pathways that point in the direction of our dreams.
Are you ready to embrace uncertainty and build the life you want?
The world is waiting for us to tell our stories and live our dreams. Let’s get started.