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 practise 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 a Stoic, 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 a Minimalist, 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 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.
In time 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. And to share beauty.
I came across the SFM which I joined in order to learn the digital skills necessary to start my online business. I was looking for direction and I came across a life-changing gem.
It ticked a lot of boxes.
I unknowingly joined an online community of entrepreneurs and successful digital business owners, of personal development coaches and spiritual mentors. I am now part of a group of people all learning and growing and working on their own businesses. Knowledge is shared freely, and support given. Wins are celebrated, and challenges discussed.
A large part of the training is on personal development. So the journey is personal and interesting and challenging.
Just like in the Stoic and Minimalist philosophies, this community has a vibrancy born out of the knowledge of time passing and the need to make the most of it.
The SFM community has a belief in waking up, in creating and sharing value, and in quality.
I have found their training to be considered, comprehensive and clearly laid out. I am not a marketer, salesperson or digital expert. As such most of the training material was new for me.
Looking back I have already learned a lot. I learn every day and it makes me feel fresh and open to more. I am striving to produce quality in the work I do. I want to share the value I gain on my journey with those who are interested in starting their own journeys.
If you believe in simplifying things and creating a beautiful life, and if would like to start your own digital business, from home, in your own time, these videos are where I started my journey.
They include free training from Stuart Ross and should give you a taste of what is on offer further down the line. Enjoy this look into a new world of possibilities.