“Once you understand the ‘why,’ the ‘how’ takes care of itself.”
Inside Minimalism, Vol. 1
Based on our exclusive subscription series, Inside Minimalism Vol.1 is a collection of 50 short and relatable essays on simple living by a small team of writers from different backgrounds, but who all share a deep appreciation for minimalism as a way of life. Enjoy a curated collection of beautiful writing with a single one-off purchase and support independent creators.
Words by The Minimalists
The newest, latest, greatest version of Product X is available today. It’s only X dollars and it does all the cool things you wish it could do. Act now and Product X will change your life.
We know we don’t need Product X to live a good life (even though we really, really want it). We know we don’t have to buy the new iPhone when our old phone works just fine. We know we don’t need a new car just because the old one isn’t as shiny, just as we know we don’t need the latest version of software, iPad, television, laptop, or gadget to make us happy.
Advertisers spend millions to create a sense of urgency to make us drool over their products, but we can refuse to play that game. We can turn down the noise. We can focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have. We already have everything we need.
Sure, sometimes things break or wear out—and when that happens, we are left with at least three options:
Go without. This option is almost taboo in our culture. It seems radical to many people: Why would I go without when I could just buy a new one? Often this option is the best option, though: when we go without, it forces us to question our stuff—it forces us to discover whether or not we need it—and sometimes we discover life without it is actually better than before.
Repair it. Sometimes we can’t necessarily go without. But, instead of running out and procuring Product X, we can attempt to repair the item first. You wouldn’t buy a new car just because the brakes needed to be replaced, would you? The same goes for many other household items.
Replace it. As a last resort, we can replace things. But even when we do, we can do so mindfully: we can purchase used items, we can buy products from local businesses, or we can downgrade and still have what’s necessary to live a fulfilling life.
Words by Evelyn Chong
The last time I closed all tabs on my browser, I had 164. Imagine the constant fireworks that must have been firing between my neurons!
Now relate this to the last time you spent more than 30 minutes on Instagram watching one cat video after another, laughing at one meme after another, and unconsciously tapping through 32 stories of your favorite influencer talking about her new arm chair.
We unconsciously fall into all the various social rabbit holes—Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Tik Tok, Fleets, etc. Short bursts of entertainment that we switch to and from, consciously or unconsciously. The consumption of ephemeral content that we are hooked onto clearly crystallised into new habits and behaviors—challenging a lot of what we know, how we do things.
As much as we would like to argue that our work and private lives are more integrated that ever, we are at risk of a neural short circuit where we can no longer afford to play catch up. The constant fear of missing out makes us anxious, not conscious. Trying to balance our attention across social media is the same act we are reenacting at work, one way or another and at the expense of our happiness.
While it seems to be a thing of the past, happiness is now most often equated with a slower lifestyle, a calmer state of being, where we can completely switch off. Could the decline of our attention span finally be a wake-up call to the importance of a slower life?
A Little More of Less
A few other articles we think you might enjoy…
→ Of Course Minimalism is For Everyone by Joshua Becker
→ Balancing Busy with Being by Heather Aardema
→ Find Freedom in Any Moment by Leo Babauta
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