May 21, 2018
I recently read this article on the most productive countries in the world, and three of which were Scandinavian countries. This got me thinking what are they doing right that we’re not?
Let me introduce to you the Swedish work ‘lagom’, which means not too little and not too much but just the right amount. Rather than fitting a bit of lagom into your day, it’s more about your approach to your life as a whole.
Keeping a note of your finances, consciously reducing your environmental impact on the world. This could be with fabrics of new clothes, recycling or energy consumption at home and to start reusing your canvas bags. Every little helps.
For many aspiring minimalists, getting rid of physical belongings served as their initial tribute and exercise in livening more consciously. It makes sense. De-cluttering of one’s non-necessary possessions frees up both physical and mental spaces and allows one to focus on what’s really important. What adds joy, purpose and fulfilment to one’s life.
Getting rid of the physical clutter comes later but my first lesson on minimalism was that the core of living minimally is determining what I cannot live without and not so much asking how little I can live with.
Being a minimalist is both personal and individual in its definition and practice. There is no standard to dictate that one must own a maximum number of belongings, live in a particular type of space, or adopt a certain lifestyle in order to qualify as a minimalist. There is no all or nothing.
Minimalist comes in many different hues and no two minimalists are exactly alike but their ultimate goals are the same –happiness. What defines them is a common set of beliefs, ethos and practices. For me, these include:
Keeping only what adds happiness, value, purpose and freedom to our lives and discarding the rest that is non-essential. These include both physical and emotional things.
Living minimally should be a joyful choice, not a deprivation forced upon us.
Being more conscious and mindful of the things we buy and own, the relationships we have, and the experiences and situations we allow into our lives so that we live with more intention, purpose and intensity.
At its core, minimalism is an ethos with focus on joy and purpose. It inspires a reassessment of one’s priorities so that you can strip away the excess and non-essential stuff-the possessions, beliefs, ideas, relationships and activities that don’t bring value to your life and focus on those that do. It is a tool that helps me in gaining freedom, freedom from consumer culture, mental clutter, emotional baggage, negative relationships, debt and joyless pursuits. Tangible freedom.
Learn to live more consciously, questioning my beliefs, ideas, possessions, relationships and commitments. I have found purpose in things that inspire and support me, that allow me to grow as a person and contribute to those around me.
Moderation, a balance between less and more, immeasurable and personal in its own definition, is at the heart of minimalism.