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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

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                      Melissa Burns

                      Entrepreneur

                      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 Why Do We All Feel Empty Sometimes Everything We Can Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs Around the World YouTube Blogger 4 Pillars of Becoming a Successful YouTube Blogger

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                      Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                      16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                      16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                      The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

                      How about a unique spin on things?

                      These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

                      1. Empty your mind.

                      It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

                      Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

                      Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

                      Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

                      How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

                      2. Keep certain days clear.

                      Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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                      This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

                      3. Prioritize your work.

                      Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

                      Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

                      Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

                      How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                      4. Chop up your time.

                      Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

                      5. Have a thinking position.

                      Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

                      What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

                      6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

                      To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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                      Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

                      7. Don’t try to do too much.

                      OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

                      8. Have a daily action plan.

                      Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

                      Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

                      9. Do your most dreaded project first.

                      Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

                      10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

                      The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

                      11. Have a place devoted to work.

                      If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

                      But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

                      Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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                      Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

                      12. Find your golden hour.

                      You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

                      Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

                      Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

                      Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

                      13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

                      It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

                      By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

                      Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

                      14. Never stop.

                      Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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                      Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

                      There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

                      15. Be in tune with your body.

                      Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

                      16. Try different methods.

                      Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

                      It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

                      Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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