It’s a mindset, an attitude, a lifestyle.
My current read is: Everything that Remains, a Memoir by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, also known as The Minimalists. If you haven’t heard or checked them out, I totally encourage you to do so. They’ve got tons of resources and ideas that focus on minimalism – truly focussing on things that matter and ridding of the things that don’t. YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/jmillburn / Blog: The Minimalists , they also have a podcast which you could find on their blog. (No I’m not sponsored, I just love them and admire their attitudes about life!)
A consistent theme and question throughout the book is: “Does this add value to my life?” So much so, I’ve been asking myself this question more.
Last Saturday night, I went out to a coffee shop with my friend and we spent nearly three hours just talking. By just talking, I mean just talking. We were classmates last semester and become closer friends. By the beginning of January, we promised we would make time to see each other within the next week. But our plan got pushed back, day, after week, after month… until last week!
As we conversed, I had a lightbulb moment. I realized the true value of genuine and authentic conversation, minus distractions. Our choice of seating had been super comfy single couch chairs, adjacent to each other. Customers came and gone while we took delight with our time. We talked about life. We caught up on our semester, shared dreams of travelling, our hobby and interest in improving our photography, and much more. Before we knew it, we got the 30-minutes to close warning. Wow, so that’s what “living in the moment” means. Being present. Appreciating the now. No distractions. Just, be.
Back to Everything that Remains, a Memoir. These guys believe growth happens through experimentation. In chapter 8, A Well-Curated Life, Joshua shared the idea of growth to stop living a goal-oriented life, rather live a happiness-filled life. Living for goals meant waiting to achieve something, and always playing catch up. Throughout this personal experiment, Joshua confidently said, “I choose to be happy. I choose to live in the moment. I choose to live a healthy life. I don’t need to measure these events; I simply live this way… Living goal-less has changed my life, adding layers of happiness I didn’t realize were possible (p. 147).
They share 3 things that changed their lives when they decided to give up their goals:
- They were less stressed.
- They were more productive.
- They were more happier.
Setting goals is great. But now, I’m challenging myself to use my vision board as a reference to what I want to achieve. However, I’m not going to limit myself to the infinite possibilities that could result as I focus on a small piece of progress each day. This means I’ll have to be okay with not meeting them, because I’ll focus more on making progress and enjoying life by being less stressed, more productive, and happier.
You’ve heard the saying “Life is too short”, well yes it is. Don’t spend your time doing things you know aren’t truly adding value to your life. Do use your strengths and abilities to make an impact in the sphere of influence you have. Cultivate and develop the opportunity to make a change in the world. Focus on the things that matter, not things that would rob you from true joy.
Don’t doubt yourself. Trust yourself. And see where that goes.