You are here because you are a lot like me. You dream of having a simple life full of family, friends and great experiences!
And it wouldn’t hurt if you become successful at something you love and it just happened to pay!
But the thing is, you are just like me in another way.
No matter where you live in the world, at this point, you are living in a society that pressures you to believe that you ALWAYS need more.
Because of the consumer society we live in and how it connects our personal value to things we own, the cars we drive, the jobs we have, the homes we live in, and how well we are keeping up with the Joneses, it can be really hard to have a minimalist mindset.
Why Do I Need The Minimalist Mindset?
The minimalist mindset is a totally foreign thought in modern society. It is a very counter cultural idea that you need less, not more.
That being said, you may be surprised to hear that the minimalist mindset might just save your life! Or at the very least change it for the better.
Why do you need the minimalist mindset?
Simply put, without the minimalism mindset you are doomed to unhappiness, stress, and even a measure of loneliness. How could that be true?
Well if you are always chasing happiness when do you catch it? If you will be happy when….when will you be happy? And if you are focused on getting stuff how can you really enjoy the relationships in your life?
Wouldn’t it be better to develop the minimalist mindset and be happy?
Of course it would! So let’s find out how to think like a minimalist!
How to Get The Minimalism Mindset
In order to get the minimalist mindset you are going to have to shift gears big time.
You are going to have to learn to think like a minimalist instead of a consumer.
That means you are going to be doing the OPPOSITE of everyone else.
But it’s ok. It’s easier than you think! There are 5 easy steps you can take to get the minimalist mindset and here they are…
1: Appreciate Your Abundance
What is the first thing you need to do to cultivate the minimalist mindset? Stop and look around!
That’s right. Look at the phone or computer you are reading this on. Notice the clothes you are wearing. Gaze around at the home you are in and the people who are in it.
When was the last time you appreciated all that you have? Have you really counted your blessings, however small, recently?
Now that you have appreciation for the abundance in your life you can approach letting go from a safe place. You are going to be ok if you live with less.
2: Cultivate Contentment
The next step in getting the minimalist mindset is cultivating contentment.
What is contentment? It is the feeling that you have enough. Wow. The whole world is telling you that you need more more more. But you don’t! You are full and you have enough.
That thought alone can be so freeing. You don’t have to strive and fight for stuff! You don’t even have to wait in line on Black Friday!
Cultivating appreciation and contentment is the only way to start the minimalist mindset. As long as you feel scarcity and lack you will not be able to let go and live with less.
3: Know Your Value
Now you have to take another important step. This is where gaining the minimalist mindset turns inward.
Look at yourself.
Think about how you have grown and made steady progress in your life. What do you know how to do today that you didn’t know how to do 10 years ago? Have you developed new qualities? Have you learned important life lessons.?
Really stop and think about things you can be proud of yourself for. Pick 3 external things you like about yourself and 5 internal things you can be proud of.
Does your worth really have anything to do with what you own? Does the car you drive, the job you have, or the house you live in make you valuable? Do the clothes make the man?
Of course not! Your value is within you. Accept and appreciate that value.
Knowing my own self-worth is one of the most valuable things I have learned from minimalism.
4: Stop Competing
When you realize your worth it will be easy to stop the comparison and competition game the whole rat race revolves around.
You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses cause with the minimalist mindset you have created your own picture of what you want your life to look like.
Getting money, cars, houses, bags, and shoes doesn’t mean you are a better person. You realize that now.
The external status symbols won’t mean as much to you when your are busy collecting experiences and memories!
And last but not least you don’t need to compete with or compare yourself to other minimalists!
Minimalism looks different on everyone. There are lots of different types of minimalism because it should be used as a tool that serves you.
5: Shop Carefully
But what if you don’t have something you need or you would like something that you don’t really need? Does that mean you don’t have the minimalist mindset?
Of course not! The minimalism mindset is all about really evaluating what you need and what will make you happy. If something fits into one of those categories it is totally okay to acquire it.
If you do need to buy something don’t drop your minimalist mindset at the door! When you think like a minimalist you will realize that most of our clutter comes from things we thought we needed. These things just didn’t work as well as we hoped.
Prevent that by asking questions before you buy anything, researching products before you buy them and returning them quickly if they aren’t completely perfect!
6: Use What You Have!
Before you buy something though, look around. Use the minimalist mindset to think about what you already have. It will be easy cause with less stuff you actually know what you own.
You may think you need something but then realize that you already have something that would work well enough. You might even find new ways to use your stuff.
It’s important to think about how you can avoid a purchase because we tend to think we NEED something just because we want it. We are really good at justifying ourselves and that is how we ended up with so much clutter in the first place.
But if you develop the minimalist mindset you can lean away from purchasing things you don’t actually need and lean towards making something you already own work. That’s how you stop buying stuff all the time.
7: Be TOTALLY Present
Have you ever heard of mindful eating? The idea is that you eat more slowly and you really taste your food. You take time to enjoy the textures and flavors as you chew thoroughly. If you do this you will probably find yourself enjoying your food more and eating less.
Well, the minimalist mindset is a lot like mindful eating. If you are going to think like a minimalist you are going to have to stop and smell the roses. The goal is to be more aware of your life and your choices.
When you take back control of your life by actually making those choices and taking time for the more meaningful things your life will go where you want it to go and you will enjoy it more!
8: Seek Experiences with People
Minimalists work to simplify their life so they can spend more time with their families, enjoy their hobbies more often, and collect experiences that will make beautiful memories.
If you slow down and you really make time for the things that make life meaningful you don’t need as much stuff. In fact, once you learn how to collect experiences and memories with people, stuff just doesn’t seem as important anymore.
What kind of experiences can you collect?
There are a million experiences to collect and memories to make! When you look for them you will choose a meal at home with family instead of a trip to the mall. You will actually choose to play board games with friends on the weekend instead of picking up extra work. And you will gift your family a fun day trip instead of a tech toy. Maybe you’ll even enjoy taking trips more than buying new clothes and home décor!
Try it! Be present in your life. Treat yourself to experiences instead of things. I promise the minimalist mindset will be more fun!
9: It’s a Journey
I think a lot of people get really overwhelmed by minimalism because we are all conditioned to think exactly the opposite of the minimalist mindset.
We like stuff, A LOT. Most of us were raised on maximalism.
And we have a lot of messy emotions tied to our relationship with stuff. There are sentimental feelings, feelings of security, guilt about being wasteful, and regret over money spent.
Because of that I don’t think it’s realistic for anyone to think like a minimalist right away.
You are probably not going to get rid of even half your stuff the first time you declutter. It’s probably going to take you time.
Give yourself time. My minimalist journey has been a slow burn. I get rid of some stuff and then I stop for awhile and then I get rid of more. Slowly but surely my life gets more and more simple. It’s not fast and that’s ok.
Give yourself the journey. If you aren’t ready to let go of something this time, maybe you will be ready next time. Stay on the road to simplicity.
10: Minimalism is a Tool
And finally the key to understanding the minimalist mindset is understanding that minimalism is not just one big diet for life. If you look at it that way you won’t last long. Soon you’ll fall off the minimalist path and be back in the consumer rat race.
Instead minimalism is a lifestyle. It’s a tool in your hand. You use minimalism to simplify your life. To make it EASIER.
If minimalism EVER makes your life harder (you don’t have enough clean undies or you can’t have friends over cause you have only two plates) then you are doing it wrong! Back up and find a way to make minimalism fit your life.
The purpose of simplifying your life is to unburden yourself, to streamline everything you do, and to give yourself more time for the things you love to do.
Use minimalism as a tool that serves you instead of letting it master you.
How Do You Get the Minimalist Mindset?
Does it make sense now? Do you understand the minimalist mindset?
It’s exactly the opposite of how the commercials and the big box stores and the fast fashion industry wants us to think. And it’s not what you are used to. Your friends and family and coworkers probably don’t have the minimalist mindset.
In fact there are lots of different types of minimalism and one of them is bound to fit you!
That being said, the minimalist mindset will make you happier. It will make your life easier and more satisfying. And it will help you achieve your goals instead of thinking that they are impossible dreams.
But how can you get the minimalist mindset if it’s so unusual, so rare, so counter cultural?
I can help. I wrote the ultimate guide to APPLYING minimalism in your life. My e-book Doable Simplicity will help you simplify your home, streamline your schedule and make your chores easier!
And this is the most exciting part, this is the part of the minimalist lifestyle that makes me so passionate. Doable Simplicity will help you find out what you really want in life and then aim right for it!
So if you want to stop dreaming and start doing you have got to learn how to make simplicity doable in your life!