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Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists

Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists
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Lately, more people than ever are embracing the minimalist lifestyle. If you’ve been on social media at all these last few years, you’ll have noticed several influencers taking part in the increasingly popular trend of decluttering their lives. One of the common ways they do so is by employing the now famous KonMari method described in Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.[1]

If you’re an observant person, you may have seen that millennials, in particular, are placing more value on experience than they do on material objects.[2] Following the philosophy “less is more” helps minimalists succeed both in their business and personal life.

So, how do you become a minimalist in such a materialistic world? Below is a list of famous people who have fully embraced the frugal aspect of this lifestyle. Hopefully, they will inspire you to lead your best minimalist life.

Steve Jobs: Simplify complexity

    Apple founder, Steve Jobs, was a firm believer in minimalism. The success of his products is attributed to beautifully simple design and user-friendliness of the software, but Jobs took it even to the higher level. “Simplify complexity” was the main lesson he taught businesses. This technique shows that the focal point is not the sophisticated product you sell, but the way you approach the customer and develop lead generation tactic.[3]

    Not only did Jobs apply this philosophy to his business, but it was also very much a part of who he was. Former Apple CEO John Scully once said in an interview, “I remember going into Steve’s house and he had almost no furniture in it. He just had a picture of Einstein, whom he admired greatly, and he had a Tiffany lamp and a chair and a bed. He just didn’t believe in having lots of things around, but he was incredibly careful in what he selected…”

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    Albert Einstein: Lead a simple life

      Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of Relativity. However, according to the biography published by Walter Isaacson in 2008 (Einstein: His Life and Universe), he also led a simple life and embraced minimalism.

      For Einstein that meant he owned very few pieces of clothing, gave away most of his money, and couch-surfed whenever he traveled somewhere. All of that doesn’t mean he didn’t enjoy a few guilty pleasures here and there, however. He was known for splurging on cigars, coffee, and musical instruments.

      Jane Siberry: Live life free

        Canadian singer and songwriter, Jane Siberry is a devout minimalist that lives on the road. She carries with her no more than two bags, a guitar, and a laptop while she tours the world sharing her music. Not only that, but Siberry now has all of her records available on her website for free.

        Apparently, Jane got tired of being pressured by the major-label executives and cut all ties with them, selling most of her possessions a few years later as well. Nowadays, she owns a single house and spends most of her time roaming the world.

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        Robert Pattinson: Support charity work

          Twilight star, Robert Pattinson, may be a celebrity but it appears that he doesn’t much like spending money and has no interest in material things. The British actor, model, and musician may be a minimalist in his spending habits, but he’s very active in his charity work.[4] He’s a known supporter of several organizations and in 2015 became the first ambassador for GO Campaign.

          Vincent Kartheiser: Live a frugal lifestyle

            Known for his role on TV series Mad Men, actor Vincent Kartheiser slowly began selling and giving away the things he didn’t want or need. At one point, Kartheiser didn’t even own a toilet, if you can imagine that. Though he did go to some extremes, his frugal lifestyle is quite a rarity in Hollywood.

            Currently, he lives in a beautiful minimalist apartment in Brooklyn with his wife, Alexis Bledel. He still doesn’t own a car and prefers to walk or use public transport.

            Leonardo Da Vinci: Be generous and feed those in need

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              As Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” His character was described as kind and appealing by his contemporaries, “…he was so generous that he fed all his friends, rich or poor….”

              Michael Bloomberg: Cut down on spending

                The former New York City Mayor is very wealthy but apparently, owns no more than six pairs of shoes. Though not much more in known about Bloomberg’s minimalistic choices, he does seem to cut down on spending in spite of his incredibly deep pockets and give away his wealth.[5]

                Marcus Aurelius: Support living in minimalism

                  Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century A.D. He’s best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy, a philosophy that supports living in rather extreme minimalism.

                  “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking”

                  Henry David Thoreau: Give up luxuries

                    American essayist, Henry David Thoreau, was also a poet, philosopher, and a minimalist. Thoreau often wrote about the benefits of living a simple life; giving up luxuries in order to quiet the mind.

                    “Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.” – 1817

                    Socrates: Pursue virtue instead of material wealth

                      Said to be the founder of Western philosophy, Socrates believed that the best way to live was in pursuit of virtue instead of seeking material wealth.

                      “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

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                      Melissa Burns

                      Melissa is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She writes about communication, entrepreneurship and success on Lifehack.

                      Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First Everything We Can Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs Around the World Why Is Empathy So Important?

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                      1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

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                      Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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                      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                      From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                      More on Building Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                      Reference

                      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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