I am an aspiring Minimalist.
My husband an aspiring Stoic.
Both philosophies help us aim to live intentional lives.
In essence, the two philosophies are not that far apart. Both exist to help one live a good life by living according to a few simple ancient values.
We can translate some of the Stoic and the Minimalism theory into practice to create a life for ourselves filled with meaning and purpose, value, quality, richness, and personal satisfaction.
This can also be applied to the work we choose to do, and how we seek to continually improve, create quality work, and share value.
Here follows a definition of each philosophy.
The main idea is that we only control our mind (thoughts and actions) and that everything else is outside our control. We ought to focus on what we control, try to make the absolute best of it, and take the rest as it happens.The Daily Stoic
As Stoics, we have an opportunity to let go of anything which is outside of our control. Our mind, our reactions, and emotional responses, are within our control. Pretty much everything else is then outside.
In the modern world, the most important emotion to overcome is fear.
Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.The Minimalists
As Minimalists, we have an opportunity to let go of anything which does not serve our personal priorities. It is the creation and enjoyment of a life of intention. We choose to live with less stuff in order to live a more free, more considered life.
In the modern world, the most important factor to consider is a culture of overt consumerism.
Living within a philosophy
Both philosophies aid us in simplifying life for our benefit, and by extension the benefit of those around us, even the planet.
Living within a philosophical framework simplifies life. It provides a set of rules and boundaries within which it becomes easier to operate. Decision making becomes clearer. Living a meaningful life, simpler.
Within the frameworks we can however still choose to live expansive lives, enjoying new experiences, and creating rich, fulfilling life stories. We simply base these choices on our values, focusing on what we consider to be meaningful and worthwhile pursuing.
Both Minimalists & Stoics do not place value in an abundance of possessions, because things serve little purpose when one is aiming to live a life rich with goodness.
Instead, Minimalists value experiences over possessions, and freedom over accumulation.
Stoics value the 4 virtues of:
- Courage – in answer to the question once set to Epictetus, asking which words would help a person thrive, he responded “persist and resist.”
- Temperance – Seneca said “You ask what is the proper limit to a person’s wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough.”
Stoics believe that they have no control over the world around them. Their only control is how they respond to it and that they should always respond with courage, temperance, wisdom, and justice – the 4 Stoic virtues.
Minimalists believe there is a certain amount of control in your immediate environment through choice – thereby creating the life you want to live.
Both support the idea that there is a vast difference between needs and wants and that focus should rest on your essential needs.
This is because both philosophies believe that personal peace and contentment come from within and not from an accumulation of possessions.
Over-filled diaries or over-stuffed cupboards do not bring lasting satisfaction.
Both Stoicism and Minimalism believe in the power of saying no at times.
Stoics believe that some things are always worth a no, as this is a values-based philosophy.
Minimalists that saying no leads to more freedom. Saying no to invitations or commitments keeps free space in a schedule. Saying no to a purchase frees up money, time, and space.
Both philosophies believe in gratitude as a tool for personal growth and satisfaction.
The Stoics make the point about the transitory nature of life – both to advise one not to hold onto possessions, and also to advise that one hold dear those that one does hold dear – while they are still with us and we are together.
I have recently started my digital business based on my interpretations of Minimalism.
I intend to apply the wisdom from Minimalism and to a lesser extent Stoicism to the work I am choosing to do.
- I am seeking continual improvement through the acquisition of personal development tools.
- I am intending to create quality work.
- I aim to share value.
My aim is to create a simple beautiful life brand that is synonymous with quality and integrity. I want to spend my time on work that has meaning for me and others. I want to spread the message of living simply and according to priorities I also want to share beauty.
So there we have it. We can live and centre our work around Stoicism and Minimalism.
If you are interested in Stoicism, have a look at Modern Stoicism and Minimalism. If you want to know more about Minimalism, I am a huge Joshua Becker and Courtney Carver fan. If you would like to receive my emails about simplicity, Stoicism, self-focus, and our stories – you can sign up below.
Thanks for reading.