I Threw Out Everything I Owned [Minimalism]

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Two years ago I threw out everything I owned that I didn’t give away or sell.

I haven’t gone completely rogue, but I’m making progress.

I have some clothes, a dresser, bed, one end table, Kindle, laptop, and a backpack. I do have some personal hygiene stuff like deodorant, cologne, and shampoo, so I’m not a full-fledged urban nomad.

I have a full-time job so there’s the commute thing (30 miles each way) that makes using Uber way too expensive. As Uber scales, I predict they will eventually offer affordable, flat-rate monthly rates. At that moment, no more car!

I have a small laptop to write with. If I didn’t write I wouldn’t need a laptop. I would just use my phone.

Minimalism is not about decluttering your home, it's about decluttering your mind.Click To Tweet

Every day I try to do at least one of the following:

a) Throw out a physical item. Even just one will grow your minimalist muscle.

b) Throw out an emotional burden. Someone who is a shitty person, a grudge from high school, one of the 357 worries you have about the future that will probably never happen.

c) Throw out a mental burden. An unrealistic or unnecessary goal. I used to have a strict writing schedule, but that made writing feel like a job – I don’t like that! I no longer have deadlines. This week I’ve published 3 blog posts, but if I go a month without writing a single word, that’s cool too!

There is a method to the madness…

A Story About Minimalism

A wise master and his student.

The student lives far away and writes monthly updates on his progress towards enlightenment.

The first letter: “I see visions of heaven. I’m lifted by angels, I feel light like I can fly. I can see the whole world.”

The master grumbles and rips up the letter.

The next letter a month later. “I’ve seen all the universes. I’ve created worlds. I’ve seen the inside of myself.”

The master grumbles and rips the letter into even tinier shreds.

The next letter from the student: “I’ve sat in meditation for one month straight without eating. My mind is an empty sea. I can see everyone’s aura. I see the whole past and the whole future in this single instant.”

The master says to nobody in particular, “this is shit.” And puts the letter in his paper shredder.

The master gets lots of letters from students.

Six months go by and no letter from the student.

Finally the master, curious about an update, writes the student and asks what’s going on.

The student writes back a letter: “Who cares!?”

The master smiles and thinks to himself, “finally!”

That’s minimalism.

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