I so enjoy mails from Courtney. She is utterly authentic, full of heartfelt and sensible advice, and one of my favourite minimalists. I have just received this from her, and I offer it here word for word as a reminder of why I am choosing to walk this path towards Minimalism:
Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash
You might expect that when you become a minimalist, you’ll have less stuff and more space, but there are a few surprising things you can look forward to as well.
Just the most obvious benefits like more space, time, and freedom are reason enough to pare down and live simply, but these surprising benefits offer even more incentive to give minimalism a try.
11 surprising things about becoming a minimalist
1. You will be friendlier.
When you reduce stress and free up time and space, you can naturally give more thought to how you treat people and how you react in different situations. You can take the time to give more compliments, listen carefully, and smile more.
2. Silence is more appealing.
In a high pressure lifestyle, you may think you thrive on stress and speed, but once you pull back, you will come to appreciate silence and solitude. You’ll lose the guilt about sitting still and discover that it is possible and rewarding to do less and be more.
3. You’ll make better decisions.
When you eliminate the smorgasbord of endless choices, and set limits, you can save your decision-making skills for the choices that matter. You’ll be more confident in making decisions and happier with what you choose.
4. Happiness becomes a decision.
After you spend time away from shopping and accumulating stuff, you’ll realize that you didn’t need all of that stuff to be happy. You’ll begin to see happiness as a choice instead of something that you have to buy or chase.
5. You can go without.
Living with less demonstrates the uselessness of just-in-case items, and removes the obsession with being prepared for everything. You’ll slowly begin to realize that you have enough. That makes it easier to let go of the clutter and say no to most purchases.
6. Live a healthier lifestyle.
Listening to what your body really needs is so important, but how can you hear the messages amidst constant chaos? Becoming a minimalist gives you time to pay attention, make changes, and do what you need to do to live a healthier lifestyle.
7. You can buy when you are ready.
Advertisers want to convince you that you need the latest and greatest. Then they create sales and specials to remind you that you need it now. When you want and need less, you can buy what you need when you are ready, not when they are ready. That eliminates all concern for billboards, pop-ups, coupons, groupons, sales, reward programs and other silly distractions.
8. Simple is sexy.
Minimalism says, “This is who I am without all of the stuff.” It says, “I’m peeling off the layers of excess so I can know the real me, and you can know the real me.” That’s sexy.
9. You can be more confident.
When you remove everything that doesn’t matter, to make room for the things that matter most, you can align your lifestyle with your values and stop compromising in an effort to make room for all of it. Understanding what matters and what doesn’t and creating a life with what does, is a massive confidence booster.
10. Develop a personal style.
Simplicity in the closet lends itself to personal style. Instead of chasing trends, you can finally wear clothing that fits your body and your lifestyle. It may take some time to figure out how you want to dress, but soon you’ll feel more comfortable, receive more compliments, and be better dressed with less.
11. You can be open to uncertainty.
Minimalism provides room for uncertainty. When you live with less, you move through the world with a lightness that allows for change and the uncertain nature of life. When you aren’t weighed down with stress, stuff, and worry, it’s easier to let go, make simple shifts and transition with grace.
These benefits are all available to you, and there is more than one way to get there. You don’t have to be a single, rich, white guy to be a minimalist and you don’t have to do it overnight. For some of us it takes years and tiny steps, but we can experience the benefits along the way.
There isn’t one right or best way to do minimalism, but it does offer the best way to live life your way. Minimalism provides freedom where the traditional pursuit of the American dream may not.