A monotonous repetitive routine over the past year(s) has left me feeling quite purposeless and deflated. Everyday seemed to blend into another. Wake up, go to work, clean the house, eat, TV and bed. I spent half the month waiting for the next pay check and the other half looking for what I could spend the leftover bits of that money on. Maybe Papa Johns on a Friday night, or a new video game would break up the boredom that had become my life.
Something needed to change before I completely lost my mind or just got so used to it I stopped caring.
I discovered a documentary called minimalism and in the couple of months since I watched it, my mind-set and approach to life has been completely transformed.
Minimalism is about living with less: less stuff, less clutter and less junk. We fill our lives with so much crap that we don’t need.
My minimalism journey began by de-cluttering the house. In the first week after watching this documentary I got rid of 70% of my clothes, old electronics and a bookcase worth of novels I wasn’t reading. However it didn’t stop there, I sold DVDs from my collection, video games and even comics! These were the harder things to throw out but it has made a huge difference. I’m trying to get rid of more but I’m not going to lie, I’ve become quite attached to my stuff. However I’m not alone in this, we all have numerous piles, cupboards and rooms full of stuff we really don’t need! I’m proud to say my attic is nearly empty and therefore I no longer have a dumping ground in the house.
However there’s a deeper meaning to all this minimalism business; it’s not just about charity shopping the t-shirts you’ve had since you were 15 (I genuinely still had these in my wardrobe). It’s about living deliberately. Asking the question, “Does this [thing/person/activity/food] add real value to my life?” It extends far beyond just items and stuff.
Since becoming a minimalist I have questioned what I spend my time doing a lot more than I ever had before and I’ve found it has helped me live a much happier and calmer life. I feel stress free and each day I’m looking forward to my next adventures, because I’m deciding everything that takes place in them. Facebook, bye now! TV, no thank you. Negative friends, have a nice life. These things that once dominated much of my free time without even realising it are now at the bottom of my priorities. That doesn’t mean you can’t do any of those things at all but I’m being much more deliberate and asking myself that same question: “Does this add real value to my life?” and if the answer is no why waste your time doing it?
Days that were polluted with addictive habits like channel surfing and Facebook scrolling is now occupied with writing a superhero novel, animating a science fiction cartoon, spending more time with family and reading my favourite comics because all of those things add real value to my life. What adds value to my life might be different to yours therefore it’s about being deliberate in your choices. I’m not claiming to be an expert in being a minimalist and I’m far from perfect. I hope that what I’ve learnt and implemented in my life will be helpful for you in your own lives.
I’ve found that minimalism has spread to all corners of my life: diet, thoughts and of course my work. I am more deliberate in my role as an ASE practitioner. My daily tasks have purpose and the content I create for clients is more focused and creative. It has helped me to be more organised and clear which is something I struggled with before.
Three things you cannot recover in life: the word after it’s said, the moment after it’s missed and the time after it’s gone.