“Keeping memories doesn’t mean keeping clutter.”
We’d like to invite you to subscribe to and support our Inside Minimalism series, which offers exclusive essays by our small team of writers on living simply.
Focus on What You Can Control
There are three things you can control every day. Your attitude, your effort, and your actions.
By Tod Meisner
The fact is simple. You are NOT in control. Not of everything, at least. However, you can focus on what is within your control and play the odds. If you focus on the things you can control, you will place yourself in the most ideal situations, most often. By doing that, odds are, life will work out the way you want it more often than not.
How Do You Do This?
So, how do you do this? By focusing on what you can control.
How do you know what you can control? You must start by understanding the difference between what you can control and what you can’t. This is very important.
I personally believe there are three things that you can focus on every day to ensure you’re focusing on what you can control. These three things are your attitude, your effort, and your actions.
Keep a positive attitude
Work hard every day
Ensure your actions are making yourself and others better
If you can do these three simple things each day, you’re focusing on areas you can control and that are important.
Choose to be positive. Positivity is contagious. Positivity makes you worth interacting with each day. Be someone that other people look forward to seeing each day.
I challenge you to try and be the most enthusiastic person you know. See how much this impacts those around you in a positive way.
Your work ethic doesn’t form overnight. It takes years and years of honing your skills and grinding until you reach your goals. You get to those goals by putting in the work. By sitting at the desk and working hard.
I equate this to the age-old question, “How to you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. Show up and do the work and work hard each day, one day at a time. Stack these hard-working days on top of each other and eventually you naturally form your work ethic.
You know the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. It is a maxim found in many religions and popular culture. Align your actions with your long term values and beliefs.
Go out of your way to be kind to those around you. Open a door. Give a compliment. Ask someone how they’re doing—and genuinely listen to their answer. Take someone out to lunch. You’ll be amazed at how these acts of kindness will transform your life.
Focus on what you can control to ensure your life works out the way you want. There can be a lot of variables in your life and you can’t control many of them. Focus on what you can control and watch your life change. I promise it’s not a cliché, it’s the truth.
What about you? Will you start focusing on these three areas to change your life for the better?
Slow Traveling Minimalist
How slow travel and minimalism make the perfect pair
By Shelley Gautam
There is so much more to traveling than getting dressed up to take the perfect pictures in front of major tourist attractions. And, don’t get me wrong—there are times when I do that too! But slow traveling? It is immersive, minimalist, leisurely, cheaper, and provides an in depth understanding of daily culture in a new place.
On a vacation you might push yourself to exhaustion for five consecutive days in the name of sight-seeing. But, what would it be like to stay somewhere for a month or longer? To stay in for a couple days because you’re tired or in a mood? To make friends with the shop owner across the street who always offers amusing conversation infused with regional charm? To feel conflicted about your boredom when you just got here two weeks ago? Or to check out the local library and get lost in a new book while exploring a new town? What is it like to feel entirely at home in a new place? Cozy under a heated blanket while looking out the window to a view of the mountains and wondering what you’ll do next weekend? Maybe go back to the same bar you went to last weekend and continue an unfinished conversation?
If I may use the analogy of yoga—you think the asanas feel good? Try the asanas followed by 30 minutes of meditation. That is the difference between vacation and slow travel. Your life will change.
I learned early on that minimalism is key for effective slow travel. In driving from Michigan to Montana, I have narrowed down my belongings to two small carry-on sized bags, a backpack, box of shoes, and one ice chest full of Indian food that my mother insisted on me taking along. Honestly, there was plenty of room in the car for me to pack more things. But for what purpose do I need more things? Because I have with me only things that serve me, I value all of the things that I have. Furthermore, those things can all be easily replaced if needed.
Minimalism has created room in my life for the things that are truly important to me: people, experiences, and deep introspection. It’s true that slow traveling may not be for everyone. I am fortunate enough to have a job that allows me to work from home (to be able to work remotely is a form of minimalism in itself). I can take my work with me wherever I go in the US so long as I have a solid internet connection. I can book an Airbnb for a month or two at a time in different cities. Or I can choose to stay put if I’m in a place that truly speaks to me.
That is the essence of minimalism, isn’t it? Freedom.
A Little More of Less
A few other articles we think you might enjoy…
The Problem with Turning Your House into a Toy Store by Joshua Becker
9 Things I Refuse To Make Time for Anymore by Courtney Carver
Progress, Not Perfection by Gabrielle Jette
Are any of your friends interested in minimalism or living simply?
If so, please invite them to subscribe.
Brought to You By