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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

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.”

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      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 What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For? 2 Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes 3 10 Things High Achievers Do to Attain Greatness 4 11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity 5 How to Build Self Discipline to Excel in Life

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                      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                      Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                      Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                      Do you like making mistakes?

                      I certainly don’t.

                      Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

                      Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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                      Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

                      Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

                      • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
                      • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
                      • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
                      • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

                      We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

                      If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

                      Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

                      Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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                      When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

                      Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

                      We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

                      It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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                      Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

                      Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

                      Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

                      1. Point us to something we did not know.
                      2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
                      3. Deepen our knowledge.
                      4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
                      5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
                      6. Inform us more about our values.
                      7. Teach us more about others.
                      8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
                      9. Show us when someone else has changed.
                      10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
                      11. Remind us of our humanity.
                      12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
                      13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
                      14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
                      15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
                      16. Invite us to better choices.
                      17. Can teach us how to experiment.
                      18. Can reveal a new insight.
                      19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
                      20. Can serve as a warning.
                      21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
                      22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
                      23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
                      24. Remind us how we are like others.
                      25. Make us more humble.
                      26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
                      27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
                      28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
                      29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
                      30. Expose our true feelings.
                      31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
                      32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
                      33. Point us in a more creative direction.
                      34. Show us when we are not listening.
                      35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
                      36. Can create distance with someone else.
                      37. Slow us down when we need to.
                      38. Can hasten change.
                      39. Reveal our blind spots.
                      40. Are the invisible made visible.

                      Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

                      The secret to handling mistakes is to:

                      • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
                      • Have an experimental mindset.
                      • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

                      When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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                      When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

                      It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

                      When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

                      Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

                      Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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                      Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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