Since the word minimalism features prominently in this sites tagline I figure it is about time I explain how I can call myself a minimalist while praising the advent of technology and technological gadgetry.
To me the most important aspect of minimalism is to live without everything that you can live without.
Well, what I am saying here is that minimalism to me is not about how many or few things I own but about whether or not I use them on a regular basis.
Instead of owning ten different jackets to suit all types of weather I try to find one jacket that I can wear during most of the year. Obviously this wouldn’t work out if I lived somewhere with bigger temperature difference throughout the year, but here in Copenhagen you really only need one jacket as well as changing layers of other clothing to make do.
Some people might not think that my brown leather jacket is cool but it is not the leather jacket that is going to impress people, it is the person wearing it.
In reality, clothes doesn’t make much of a difference as long as you got style.
Similarly I’ve decided that I am shirt guy. As it is I’ve got a fair amount of different shirts but my long term goal is to get maybe 5 high quality shirts of different colors and then switch between those depending on what else I am wearing.
Most people notice if you look good / are a sharp dresser, not the variety in your wardrobe.
This might sound boring but you will never go wrong with a casual to semi-casual shirt. If I want to fancy things up I’ll wear one of my two blazers, (one black, one blue). If the occasion is more of a casual thing I’ll skip the blazer and go with the sleeves rolled up.
Anyway, it wasn’t my intention to make this post into one on style so lets move on.
The important point with the above is to find something that you like and stick with it.
And the less different stuff you buy the higher quality can you afford.
Now, I also used to keep a lot of books around at my apartment. That wasn’t just for show because I’ve read most of the books I own, but lets be honest here, it was also for show.
However, I no longer base my identity on showing off what books I’ve read or what french independent film I saw recently – because no one really cares about that when it comes down to it.
Other people care about how you make them feel and you should care about how the media you are consuming is making you feel.
Enjoying Justin Bieber’s latest album?
I see nothing wrong in that and it should not be a thing to shake your confidence in yourself.
So I am slowly getting rid of everything I own which might imply “status” but that I don’t use regularly.
I find showing people a really cool gadget (and I have lots of those) impresses people a lot more than serving dinner in someone’s grandmother’s silver plates – mostly because my enthusiasm for the things I own shine through when I talk about them.
And so, getting rid of all the books, the stacks of tasteful album covers by famous but not too famous indie-artists, and the designer lamps has cleared out a lot of useful space in my home for things I really love, but mostly just so that I can enjoy the pleasure of dealing with less shit in my life – to be frank about it.
What minimalism is not about (to me)
Minimalism is not about living a frugal life, it is about having high standards for what you bring into it.
Being happy about where you are in your life at this very moment is important but minimalism is neither about letting go of dreams, goals and plans for the future. On this point my opinion is the opposite of that of Leo Babauta (I think).
The three golden rules
To me minimalism is about three words: attention (to the right things) focus (being in the moment) and love (for everything and everyone that you let into your life).
If you follow these rules, in my opinion, you will lead a healthy, long and most importantly, happy life.
PS. The featured image is a recent one of yours truly.