I believe it starts with an individual diverging from the social consumption norm. It begins with a dissatisfaction with the lifestyle of consumerism. It's as if the veil is torn and the minimalist sees life for what it is, apart from the facade of materialism. The minimalist recognizes that materialism harms the individual, not increases his or her happiness. The minimalist sees life in all of its raw beauty and accepts it.
Then minimalism digs in deep, and the minimalist sees the futility of distraction in everything around him or her. The minimalist has found peace in a chaotic world and wishes never to be enslaved to greed again. It is deeply ingrained in how they keep their home, do their chores, shop for items, clear their minds, plan their schedules, balance relationships, and sustain emotional harmony.
Happiness is light in the soul, not money in the bank.