Ever since children are born, they are taught to follow the rules.
There are many rules that are there to keep us safe, but there are just as many rules designed to encourage conformity and mediocrity.
We are supposed to enjoy kicking our feet up and watching television after a long day’s work at the office. We are suppose to have a large house, filled with items purchased with one of our many credit cards. We are supposed to do all this during four decades of our adult life, after which we can retire and finally start relaxing and enjoying life.
Obviously, it has become more and more apparent how flawed this system is.
Minimalism allows us to break free from the rules and norms to which society says that we are “supposed” to adhere.
Why then should anyone try and conform to any rules of minimalism?
To be minimalist you do not have to:
- Have less than 100 items.
- Move to a different country.
- Operate a one-person business.
- Give up a career that is personally and professionally satisfying.
To be minimalist means:
- To think consciously about our spending choices and how they will affect us and our environment.
- To own items that complement and facilitate our goals and dreams.
- Valuing experiences and real personal interaction over mass-produced consumer goods and television.
There is no set template one has to follow to qualify as a minimalist. To me, the most incredible thing about the minimalist movement is that there are so many people using minimalism in so many different ways.
- Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist takes a more moderate, practical approach to minimalism, demonstrating its effectiveness for families.
- Tammy Strobel from Rowdy Kittens focuses on how minimalism can create positive social changes, such as lessening our dependence on automobiles.
- David Damron’s site, the Minimalist Path, is a honest look at how he uses minimalism to improve his own life and achieve his goals.
Many minimalist bloggers have released some incredible eBooks, but none of these books have to be treated as the final word and absolute rulebooks of minimalism. I highly doubt that their authors would even encourage that.
The point of minimalism is to improve our own personal journey, not to duplicate another.
Make your own rules and don’t follow anyone else.