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8 Benefits Of Being A Minimalist

8 Benefits Of Being A Minimalist

What does it mean to be a Minimalist? It can mean different things to different people, but essentially, it is about not having anything that does not bring value to your life. If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. If you are not sure if you need it, don’t keep it. Pare down to the essentials and live a simpler, clutter-free, more streamlined life.

Minimalism is an evolving process of being aware of what you actually “need” versus what you think you need. It is taking a look at your possessions and assessing whether they are bringing you joy, or stress. It is not about having only 100 (or 33, or however many things are the saying du jour), it is about having what you need — and what you love.

As The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nickodemus) say:

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“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

Basically, our stuff gets in our way. We spend way too much time thinking about it, storing it, protecting it, and making money to acquire more of it.

Here are 8 ways you can benefit from living a Minimalist lifestyle.

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1. You save time

You don’t have to go looking for things when you have less things. There are no piles to sort through, no boxes to move around, and less confusion about what you have. When you have less, it is easier to keep organized, which saves you time in finding what you need, when you need it. Everything then is able to have its place.

2. You save money

When you step away from Consumerism, you also shift away from the need to have the newest, latest, fanciest model; even when the model you already have works just fine. You also realize you can do more with less. The need to acquire more to bring value to your life changes, so you can value what you already have even more. You can then use that extra money you’ve saved to spend on experiences, such as travel, rather than on more “things.”

3. You are more mobile

If you had to pack up your house in a day and move, could you? Your version of minimalism may not be so extreme as to be able to carry everything in one knapsack around the world with you, but simplifying your stuff can make travel much easier.

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4. You feel more free

I am not just talking about minimalism in relation to physical possessions, but also in doing away with being too busy, too over-committed, or in letting go of relationships in your life that get in the way of you feeling free.

5. You feel more peaceful

When someone walks into a minimalist’s room with things of beauty, but no clutter, they can feel a sense of calm and ease. If you are feeling stressed, try getting rid of things and making space for calm in your home.

6. You are more efficient

When you have less on your plate, you are more focused on the tasks at hand. A clear and uncluttered work-space; for example, leads to increased productivity.

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7. You can clean your house much easier

It’s simple. The less you have to clean on, in, or around, the less time you spend cleaning, and the more time you get to spend enjoying your living space.

8. You lessen your ecological footprint

Buying less stuff and producing less waste is better for the landfills, and the environment. Also, if you streamline even further to have one car per family (or even no car) you’ll be reducing your emissions, and not contributing to pollution.

The choice to become a minimalist may not seem like an easy one, but if you focus on simplifying, step by step, you will find yourself feeling much more free.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.imgix.net

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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