|Source: Flickr: Mary Le Breuilly|
I'm obsessed with the idea of living thoroughly, fully, abundantly, and well. I want to overturn every rock in my personal odyssey of living life to its highest degree. It's like going through every oyster to find a pearl. There's lots of talk out there about philosophy, ideology, and theology, but I'm tireless in my quest for application. In terms of Minimalism, LNRU is the application of going through everything; no junk drawers, no area of my life unaccounted for; everything evaluated.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is simply the act of cutting away everything that is unnecessary, revealing an entity in its purest, most simplified, and authentic form.
How did you become a Minimalist?
First off, I use the term Minimalist lightly. I don't ever want Minimalism to be something systematic and religion-like.
I began my minimalist journey during a time of trial. My house flooded and I was forced to live in a hotel for the holidays, out of one suitcase. I discovered that I liked living simply, without any clutter. When I moved back home, my mother and I decided to go through everything and pair it down to the essentials. That coupled with an obsession with the film Into the Wild, and a few backpacking trips around Europe, and I was hooked.
Do you think Minimalism is counter-cultural?
Yes, in America, materialism, greed, and abundant indulgence are rampant. I watched as materialism not only didn't deliver the happiness it promise, but actually caused unhappiness. People think that things can fill some kind of void, but in reality, they cause stress, anxiety, and a false sense of worth.
Minimalism takes a stab at American consumerism and evaluates its control of our lives and the consequences of its far reaching influence. In a society that tells you to consume, that your identity is found in consumption, Minimalism goes against the grain.
There is a generation who sees through the lies of consumerism and wants a more authentic way of living. It's an intellectual's hippie movement.
Is Minimalism gaining influence?
It's growing like wildfire. I think a growing population is concerned about what we're doing to the environment and, at the same time, dissatisfied by the typical drudgery of producing in order to hyper-consume. Minimalism says that if you consume less, then you can produce less to maintain your lifestyle. For instance, if you buy tons of designer shoes and eat out everyday, you have to work extremely hard in order to maintain that lifestyle. Then, because you spent all of your money consuming, you don't have the time or money to travel, spend time with your family, and purse the things that are most meaningful to you. Just Google "Minimalism" and you'll see websites, blogs, and e-books devoted to it.
Is Minimalism laziness?
Many people have asked that question, especially when considering book titles like The Four Hour Work Week. Minimalism is anything but laziness, but at it's core it's about balance. There's that only story about the happy Mexican fisherman who worked hard all morning, so that he could dance, eat, and make merry with his loved ones in the evening. A businessman comes to him and asks him if he's like to expand his business and make millions. The fisherman answers him something like this, "Why, so I can make millions, retire, dance, eat, and make merry." He already had everything he wanted and didn't need more money or possessions to bring him happiness.