If you were to step through my door now, though it may not be immediately apparent, the signs are there of change. I never had what I would call an abundance of things before, but I certainly have fewer things now, and it feels good. The signs are in the wardrobe, a portion of which is probably right now newly hung up in the local YMCA store just down the road from where my flat is. It is a consistently good feeling, one of freedom and purpose, to rid yourself of clutter. But the beauty is that it’s so much more than simply tidying up and getting rid of stuff. This is something I’ve learned recently in a whole new light, and it’s all thanks to coming across this way of living and thinking that surely must be on the lips of millions by now: Minimalism. Particularly, I feel I owe thanks to the two guys who clearly seem to be leading at the forefront of Minimalism: those two men who go by the names Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus: The Minimalists.
As soon as I’d finished watching their brilliant documentary, I was hooked. There was something so genuine about these two guys and the true stories and priceless wisdom they were imparting throughout, that I immediately felt the importance of it all; I felt that buzz that comes from being newly inspired in the face of something truly great. Of course, as soon as I was done with the documentary, I had to seek out anything else they had produced, and I was happy to discover their book Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life, which I wasted no time in devouring. (This book, while I wait for their other book to be delivered, I’ve now donated to our office’s new book-swap, and I can’t wait for others to read it.) Currently, when I’m not wrapped up in myself in the quiet, reading or writing, watching Planet Earth II, or sleeping, the iPhone is out and I go about my business with Ryan’s and Joshua’s voices singing inspiring truths from their podcast and you only have to listen to all the callers they have to get a sense of the amount of lives they’ve touched.
Though the changes I’ve made to my own life recently may be relatively minor, the effect of those changes on my general happiness and sense of productiveness and meaningfulness have been considerable. Everything from keeping a more watchful eye on my diet (limiting myself with alcohol, not eating anything packaged etc.) to sticking to a disciplined routine of exercise (at least three or four days in the gym weekly for running and weight machines, on top of push-ups throughout each day). As well as this, there are other areas I’ve learned to be mindful of: the role I play in my relationships, cultivating my passions and contributing more to the world around me. I feel I have a lot to learn but I’ve already come so far in so little time. It’s a great feeling to know you’re on the right path.
So, Joshua & Ryan: thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing.