Mindful Moments

Minimalism Life Weekly Edit

“You will become what you focus on.”

—The Minimalists


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.


That One Goal

Concentration of productive effort instead of divided attention

By Rutvi Rossaendra M.

Having missed 70-80% of my goals for nearly five years, I had a deep feeling of failure at the end of every year. I was very grateful for all that I had achieved but a part of me felt like a failure, a natural feeling I didn’t fight.

Last two weeks of 2019 I took time to reflect in a different way. I asked myself every morning what did I really care about? I asked everyday till my answer was distilled to only one thing as at 1 January 2020. Reflection isn’t always about quantitatively measuring what you have achieved versus what was l eft unfinished. I realised that my individual goals were achievable but cumulatively they divided my energy and time in a way that I couldn’t achieve them all simultaneously. Time and energy in your body are finite; you have to decide what do you really care about. The 20-30% goals I had achieved usually were the ones I really cared about and invested all my energy into.

My actions were like a butterfly. Jumping from one goal to another to make them all work. Never taking a moment to feel which one I truly cared about. In the world of doing more, having more and achieving more, I forgot less is more. Chasing one goal after another makes you realise in time that you haven’t really lived any of your goals. While you were living one you were already chasing another, and so on. We are not mindful of what we choose to chase. We choose to chase because we are like a hamster on a wheel—we need to keep going. Never letting go of that addiction of chasing something new.

Having to focus all the energy on one goal that you truly care about helps free up space and time. Concentration of productive effort instead of divided attention. For some, choosing one goal can be difficult, in that case I suggest to choose a maximum of two of your most important goals. Still follow the strategy of one goal at a time though. Take one step, one day, and one goal at a time. You will see how quickly you reach them and how satisfied you will feel because you have given it your all!

For me, 1 January 2020 has been different. I now only have one goal. It’s simple—pursue happiness. Afterall, we do everything we do because we want to be happy.

What’s your One Goal this year? I hope you find it and truly enjoy the journey towards it.


If, Then

Remove the ‘if’ clause from your declarations and reveal your true potential

By The Minimalists

People concoct a myriad of excuses to explain their bad decisions:

If I had more money, I could be happy.
If I had better genes, I could lose weight.
If I had more time, I could exercise more.
If I liked vegetables, I could eat healthier.
If I had gone to college, I could be successful.

If this, then that. It’s the if statement that fails: such utterances are debilitating, self-fulfilling prophecies. They hold you back. The best thing to do is remove the if clause from your declarations, revealing your true potential:

I could be happy.
I could lose weight.
I could exercise more.
I could eat healthier.
I could be successful.

Because if you wanted to, you could live a meaningful life.


A Little More of Less

A few other articles we think you might enjoy…

The Necessity of Time Unplugged by Carl Phillips

Big Family Minimalism by Jillian Johnsrud

Living a Lighter Life in 2020 by Heather Aardema


Are any of your friends interested in minimalism or living simply?

If so, please invite them to subscribe.


Brought to You By

MinimalissimoThe Minimalists, and 5 STYLE

Mindful Moments

Minimalism Life Weekly Edit

“Now is the time for less.”

—The Minimalists


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.


In Weakness Veritas (and Minimalism)

Finding meaning and purpose on the road less traveled

By Anna Elin Kristiansen

For a long time, I was of the traveling tribe, longing to experience life in vastly different corners of our world. As soon as I was old enough to escape my childhood town and fend for myself, I tried life on for size in San Francisco, Chamonix, Auckland, London, and Hong Kong, settling down close to home soil a decade later to start a family in Copenhagen.

I never carried much with me. Life in transit did not allow for extra luggage, so I constantly cleaned out, gave away, resold, or just avoided accumulating in the first place. Though volatile financially, life in a suitcase did teach me how to rely on myself. I thought—perhaps arrogantly—that my ability to fend for myself and metamorphose into what the situation demanded of me would keep me safe. I had started over numerous times; I could always roll up my sleeves and do it again, anywhere, in any job. It also taught me that life was not lived in dazzling metropolises or in valleys lodged between the majestic Alps. Life, as it happened, was always lived inside my mind. This vision followed me into proper adulthood and comforted me even after signing a mortgage with my husband, birthing two children, and growing comfortable in a decent job.

Years into my settled life, I found that I was floating toward a destination I had not consciously picked but aspired to nevertheless, spurred on by the very a ‘Keeping-up-with-the-Joneses’ mentality I had thought myself above. My mind became trapped and I lost myself in it, lost myself in my thoughts, in my surroundings, in expectations, in work, in being a proper adult, and a mother. My energy, dangerously low at times, was split over too many tasks, my sense of self too fleeting, my desire to please and produce all too present. Over time, my body slowly caved in. After years of more or less subtle attempts, it finally spoke to me in a way I could not possibly ignore; it hijacked my head and my ability to think quickly and clearly. I broke down. Being weak and dependent was not a feeling I wanted to embrace, but there was truth in vulnerability. Once I had shed one layer of able-ness, I moved a little closer to the core of who I was, and yet a little closer to the people around me.

As I drifted further away from the life I thought real and connected to, slowly letting go of what was right and proper, I opened myself up to new ways of being. If I lost everything material, who was I? Could I start all over again, now that I was a married mother-of-two, responsible for safeguarding two budding girls? Finally, could I create a life built on a foundation that I truly believed in? A life where there was time for reflection, for care, for deep and meaningful conversation, a life that allowed time for idleness and discovery. A life less focused on stuff and targets and more on the present, the most important gift I would ever receive but that often passed me by.

Slowly clawing myself out of the prison that held me captive was a journey that demanded more endurance, conviction, and determination than any of my geographical travels. It required that I dove all the way to the bottom of the pond and emerged with new but ancient knowledge that was always inside of me but hidden underneath layers and layers of societal labels. It required that I grew nails so I could dig with more focus and defend against intruders. It required a determination to live differently and grow our savings account month after month with no goal other than a desire for more financial freedom in the future. It required that we give up on the universal dream of owning an enviable home and instead started planning to convert our city apartment into lodgings further out in the countryside; a humble home that we would have to create to make cosy and functioning but that would allow us as a tiny mortgage and, above all, time.

And in the midst of all this frugality, I found joy again. I found myself enjoying cooking dinner at home every night and tackling the subsequent cleanup, I liked browsing through the second hand stores for clothes, I grew to love our pre-owned, tiny little family car (but I love our bikes better). I even found happiness in our ‘staycations’, cherishing the extra family time stemming from not having to haul ourselves through airport security and back again. 

Having less to spend also forced me back into real, authentic interactions with my surrounding humans again, as opposed to running past them on my way to more important destinations. Being vulnerable and dependent split me wide open and acts of kindness from my fellow humans have never affected me more. They made me feel like we really are floating together, perhaps not physically bound to each other but close enough to throw one another the odd life jacket.

Weakness led me to discover a more authentic life, and for me, minimalism was the life jacket that kept my head above water and carried me to the other shore. From now on, I will wear no labels but my skin.


Uncluttered

A twelve-week roadmap to help you rediscover the home you love underneath the stuff

By Joshua Fields Millburn

A decade ago, there were four minimalists who inspired me to declutter my life—Colin Wright, Courtney Carver, Leo Babauta, and Joshua Becker—all of whom you saw in our Netflix documentary, Minimalism.

I was especially inspired by Joshua Becker—a husband and father with a job and a car and a house in the suburbs—because, unlike many minimalists, his approached to minimalism seemed practical, not radical. Frankly, he seemed the most “normal” of group.

I’ve followed Becker’s popular blog, Becoming Minimalist, ever since, and it has only gotten better over the years. Even as a long-time minimalist, I’m still inspired by his simple-living ruminations.

Today, Becoming Minimalist is launching Uncluttered, a twelve-week roadmap to help you rediscover the home you love underneath the stuff. This online course includes videos, interviews, webinars, articles, accountability, and community, strategically packaged for one purpose: to help you declutter your home, own less stuff, and find space to live the life you want. (Enrollment runs Jan 2–12).

Of course, as one of The Minimalists, I’ll be the first to tell you that you don’t need a special course or a book or a blog to simplify your life. But if you feel like you could use a little (or a lot of) help clearing the excess from your life, then I hope you find value in these twelve weeks of guided decluttering.


A Little More of Less

A few other articles we think you might enjoy…

Focus on One Priority at a Time by Joshua Hook

Home Investments by Carl MH Barenbrug

Fashion Time by Manu Moreale


Are any of your friends interested in minimalism or living simply?

If so, please invite them to subscribe.


Brought to You By

MinimalissimoThe Minimalists, and 5 STYLE

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