If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital—satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.
Living a minimalist life can you wings. Your baggage is less so you can fly high—do whatever you want. Although it’s a difficult goal to achieve where there’s a will there’s away. What I have experienced is that when you reduce your wants to half, the joy in life gets double.
For me, living a minimalist lifestyle is working wonders and I am able to achieve so much peace and true happiness that I didn’t find earlier. There are many benefits of living this way:
- Better relationships
- More freedom
- Focus on health and hobbies
- Less focus on material possessions
- More peace of mind
- More happiness
- Less fear
- More confidence
- Boost in spirituality
I haven’t only reduced the stress in our lives but also reduced my carbon footprint on the planet. I feel more connected to the universe other than things and this has made me a more joyful, friendly, and loving-kind human.
And guess what?
The dustbin is half!
I consume less, hence I waste less. This song has been my inspiration since childhood. Listen to it once!
Although everyone must need to find their own pattern and formulas that work for them, here are some of my successful tips:
- Getting down the ego trip: The first recipe for a simple and minimalist lifestyle is to get rid of your false ego. False ego makes you bind and you can’t see flip perspectives in life. Life is not a race. There is no timeline and deadline for anyone, anything. As soon as I learned this, I stopped collecting things that I don’t need. I buy only those things that I really need.
- Refuse: I’ve stopped using one-time plastic and another environment unfriendly stuff. I use steel utensils at my home and have stopped buying bottled water. I carry my own bottle that of boiled water.
- Reduce: I’ve stopped buying too many things. I just shop a couple of times in a year. I do maximum utilization of the resources.
- Recycle: I recycle leftover soap, furniture, clothes etc. There’s a lot of DIY stuff on the internet you can watch to learn how to recycle.
- Declutter: When I learned the art and craft of living a minimalist lifestyle and the first thing we did was decluttered my home and mind. I removed half of the furniture, clothes and donated it for a good cause. This helped me to create more space in my home.
- Home food: I’ve reduced my habit of eating outside food to half. I cook home food for the guests—they love it and it saves me a lot of money. Home food is always healthy and is full of love. BTW, foreign alcohol doesn’t excite me, so this saves me a lot of money too!
- Cost cutting: I’ve cut down all expenses to half. I’ve made a budget for spending. You can get good food, clothes, footwear at the low process, it just takes a long time to hunt for it. If I go out for a meal, I usually go to a simple—but good—restaurant. I go to the cinema hall in odd timings when tickets are less expensive but I usually find solace in watching films on my phone or desktop PC at home. Did I forget to mention that I use a basic smartphone?
- Low impact travel: I’ve stopped traveling by first class on the local train. The ticket for the second class is ten times cheaper. The best way to do is to choose a time other than peak hours. If I have to go on a vacation, I try to break up the journey in the air, the rail, and the road. It’s difficult to find a balance between time and money but it’s possible. I ain’t interested much in traveling abroad so that saves us me a lot of money to travel domestically at new places every time. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t done foreign trips. I’ve done a lot of them but I stay and eat in inexpensive places and travel mostly by public transport; wherever possible.
- Smart spending: This can be quite subjective, but somehow, I’ve been successful at curbing my unnecessary expenses. I try to live a simple life that is not around money but around time and relationships. When I got married, we took a short sabbatical to plan our life and made a list of the things we want to do and don’t want to do. BTW, I don’t have any EMI on us and I love it this way!
- Less baggage: I never see wealth as baggage but I’ve understood that too much of everything is never enough. I had a couple of investments that we’re eating a lot of money and a big piece of my peace. I got rid of those immediately. I am at peace now as I don’t have too much to handle. I want a peaceful life but that doesn’t mean I don’t have basic investments.
- No credit card: I’ve stopped using a credit card. I observed that when I was using one, I always had this compulsive disorder to buy things as I could pay later. This would always affect my yearly balance sheet. I was consistently in debt to some of the other banks. This doesn’t mean I don’t have a credit card. I have one but I use it only in case of an emergency.
- Live in the present: I don’t save much as I don’t earn much. It’s always good to have a futuristic vision but not good to live for the future. I try to live in the present as much as possible. This way we have a lot of time for ourselves, relatives, friends, and society.
- Technology: This is the best part of the age of the internet. I use a lot of mobile apps that give discounts and cash back offers. I keep looking out of offers and use it now and then to save some money.
- Cut people from life: I had hundreds of friends that I thought were friends. Eventually, I realized that they’re friends but just for good times at a bar; an expensive one. We would never meet anywhere else and never there for each other in times of distress. I also spent a lot of money with such friends so I decided to cut them from my life. Guess what? Now I only have a handful of them left. The real ones. These are the ones with whom I can even enjoy my silence. We’re there for each other regardless of the budget and place we meet.
- Charity: You can give something even if you nothing. Charity is not just money. It can be things, time, knowledge, love, mental support, networking etc. There as many ways to give. I give our time for good causes. I donate money as I always tend to save something for the needy ones. This makes me simple and loving-kind human being and helps me live a minimalist lifestyle.
The above tips are from my personal life experiences. I think the main force that made this happen was that I got free of false ego and fear.
I’ve understood that I came empty handed and I’ll leave empty-handed. Reading a lot of ancient scriptures and spiritual content has helped us to understand inner self, life, prosperity, happiness, the universe and the interrelation of everything with everything.
Too much of everything is never enough.
You might even not aspire to live a life like I do, and that’s perfectly fine. I request you to find your own formulas in case you want to live a minimalist lifestyle; like me.