“As much as we like our stuff, they really aren’t a part of us,” said Thomas Gilovich, a Cornell University psychology professor. A minimalist defines themselves according to their experiences rather than what they own. As Gilovich describes:
“Arguably, we are the sum total of our experiences. It’s almost like building up a resume by virtue of the things that you did.”
Minimalist vs. Maximalist in Daily Life
When they get up
Tidying up the bed usually has been becoming a habit for a minimalist.
When they’re preparing to go out
A minimalist puts a simple makeup when they prepare to go out.
When they cook
When they cook, minimalist tends to keep the kitchen environment clean and neat.
When they use the computer
A minimalist keeps their pc desktop neat. They love neatness, anyway.
When they take rest
When they need to search for items they need
Since minimalist people usually have a neat home and put things back at the right place, they tend to get the item they need easily when they’re looking for it.
When they’re working
Minimalist people also keep their work environment neat.
The Advantage of Valuing Experiences Over Material Possessions
Gilovich has dedicated himself to the study of happiness and how it is connected to experience and possessions for more than a decade. He said, there are three central reasons why doing something brings about more satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment than owning something: what we experience forms part of our identity; when we experience things, we connect socially with others; and there is no jealousy connected with experiences whereas there is often envy when it comes to others material things.
Material Things Are Not Memories
People who have not yet become minimalists often believe that things represent memories. They confuse material possessions with what they recall and value.
“We hold onto these things because we think they’re going to be useful in some hypothetical future that doesn’t actually exist,” Millburn said. “We hold onto almost everything just in case we might need it some day. I learned that the memories aren’t in things either. That’s why I was holding onto so many things because I thought the memories were in those things, but they weren’t.”
The minimalist knows that memories are part of us and our thoughts and are not contained in material things.