Minimalist is someone who practices Minimalism. Keeping up with joneses is a real factor at work and within friends circle. People always try to one up against each other. Consumerism is deeply ingrained into our thoughts and lives for most people.
You definitely involve yourself, even if you’re not actively participating in trading things (buy or sell) constantly. When anything you want, reaches you the next day with Amazon Prime delivery, the blame is not on you. As a result, these companies make a habit out of people, make it easy to transact and then submerge them into that habit.
How Does Advertising Affect Our Lives?
We always seem to have advertising pitches surrounding us every single second of the day. The billboard banner you see while driving, the great effect of sales, coupons and savings online and in store, commercials during sports events are all something that we can’t ignore. They are made to draw your attention.
Every conversation you have or every show you watch or every website you browse or every video/podcast you watch or listen to, want to sell you some random thing. That’s how they try to compensate for bringing the content to us. However, that’s definitely not wrong but just that you are the product for them to sell more services.
Everyone you converse with, in online world, is also your customer nowadays. Instagram has a lot of people that converses and pushes their products in between genuine conversations.
How To Channelize Thoughts To Make Minimalism The Next Best Action?
Advertising needs to expose people of a certain interest to new and exciting things and their task is to simply provide information. But what happens with modern day advertising is they want to “influence” and “increase purchase intent” which adds to the misery after people make impulsive decisions to buy.
Sometimes, you feel you are about to reach your tipping point soon. After a point, we may want to think we have everything and stop looking at buying at more things. How to to become a minimalist? One of the best things that could happen as a result is Financial Independence (FI).
If you channelize your thoughts with wanting less for a long period of time and be completely cheerful about it, then Retiring Early or Early Retirement (RE) could be a viable option. Are you geared up to join the FIRE movement?
Read on, to know more, on the minimalist path to FIRE.
Mind Game With Happiness
According to a research done by Prof. Oswald, Modern advertising makes us unhappy. According to a happiness study, when there is an offer of a reward that’s on constant denial mode in one’s life, then the desire to achieve it increases. Makes total sense right?
But, what really happens later is, when they get the reward they were yearning for all this time, they start to like it less!
My Personal Example Of Catering To Wants
I had a really average laptop for 3 years and felt miserable with it. I wanted to upgrade to a flashy gaming laptop with high refresh rate, thermal cooling and latest Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. My aim was to seriously learn video editing and play heavy graphics oriented games on it. More the latter😜.
When I figured I had other priorities and can’t budget for the laptop that costs north of $2000, it made me want the laptop more. I have been constantly saving up, investing and monitoring my budget to somehow get the laptop soon.
But, once I got it, that magic disappeared. I use the more powerful laptop for the same routine that I did before and never needed this powerful laptop. You learn from your bad decisions in life.
I have many more examples that I can repent about, but that’s for another day. Let’s talk about how we can get rid of this.
Resist Becoming A Materialism Monster
When companies try to grab your attention ceaselessly through catchy advertising, you need to constantly alert yourself on the difference between needs and wants and acquire the rational thought process to understand those things will not be of much value after you attain them,
Remember, just filling up our life with materialistic things is what every product company wants. They want to make sure you miss something that others have in life and make you buy their product.
Without those materialistic things, you are not missing out anything. Don’t lose your mental happiness over small things. On the other hand, ownership of things doesn’t mean one is completely happy with those possessions.
Craving material possessions may have adverse affect on mental health. Also, Money is finite and you can have only so much in your life. We might be turning into a materialistic monster without our knowledge.
How can you avoid this situation? Spend more on experiences (I love travel😊 and I do it almost free) or spend more time with family or friends. As a result, lasting memories until you exist may be more worth than material possessions.
The highest measure of wealth is the ability to choose time with family over the opportunity to make more money. Concentrate on earning money passively, make the money work for you and spend time actively with your family members. – CryptoandFire
Money cannot purchase happiness. But, it can afford you experiences that otherwise you may not be able to afford.
The Tipping Point
Most of you who are reading this blog are already comfortable. You have a roof over your head, you have fast internet, you have a good phone, you have good food and water and you might have a good job and health too.
Some of us are lucky to live a life with privilege with no worry about basic necessity. Thus, the idea of enough seems far flung. When do you reach the tipping point? When is it finally enough?
A fit body, a calm and happy mind and a house full of love is all you need. If you are healthy and your safety and happiness are guaranteed, then you have “enough” in life – @CryptoFire
It is just as simple as that!
All you need to develop is contentedness!
Just spend more time on thinking what makes you happy already, with what you have. When your mind realizes you’re happy, you don’t go searching for things to spend your money on.
Stop comparing your life to others and only measure your progress with yourself from the past. You will naturally stop spending money on materialistic things that don’t make you happy more. You will naturally start appreciating people around you and keep them happy too! As a result, your family will be happy too.
How To Move Towards Wanting Less and Retiring Early?
For sure, Training your mind to be happy with less things ain’t easy. I have a hard time taking my eye away from new video games (especially racing) or watching new movies or buying fancy clothes to look better. Teaching contentedness is tough for anyone.
How to train your mind to want less and eventually achieve the goal to retire early? Retiring early is not easy and not for everyone. You need to have high mental conditioning but I will make it easy for you on how I embraced it and give you a glimpse of my journey to FIRE.
Here are 3 important things to keep myself happy and help me progress towards FIRE
I have my own appreciation journal. A gratitude journal helps you appreciate the small things in your life. It helps you see that there are wonderful things in your life even when you aren’t feeling positive. If you ever find yourself thinking about a negative thing, instantly switch your mood to take time to appreciate the small things.
Appreciation journal is a journal in which you record all things that you are grateful or thankful for.
Gratitude is a positive attitude and a good way of life that has benefits like contentment and fulfillment with life. Similarly, by focusing on present moment and appreciating what we already have, rather than just always wanting more.
By encompassing positivism all around yourself, you will not focus on the negatives. Let’s get it right, no one has 100% perfect lives. According to a recent Harvard Research, encircling yourself with gratefulness can work wonders to improve your mental health and happiness. Giving Thanks can make you happier!!
Positive Thoughts and Reflection
The foremost thing you need to aim for is to become positive person. Positivism attracts positivism. We always look for similar minded ones and with the positivism, you are guaranteed to meet more who practices gratitude.
Check if meditation helps keep mind happy. Or else, try yoga. For me, meditation and/or yoga highly helps. I don’t need to go searching for instructors. Also, there are so many relaxing or motivating videos already available in Google’s Youtube for free.
If journal-ing isn’t your cup of tea, try to stop for a moment and go over positive things in life. And, this make your mind your appreciation journal. Sparing a few minutes in your busy schedule to acknowledge the positive things will make you think you are indeed gifted and don’t need anything more.
Often, the truth is you have everything already to lead a happy and content life!
Become a minimalist
Have you ever wanted things just for the sake of it or its flashy status? Don’t worry, I’m not singling you out. I, sometimes, have the same problem. We are all human. We tend to not think what we are going to benefit from certain things but just develop a desire for it.
- Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself. You decide what is necessary and what is inessential in your life.
- Minimalists believe in quality over quantity.It does not mean the things you buy are cheap. It means they are something you need, regardless of how much it costs.
- “Being a minimalist” means you value yourself more than material things. It means making decisions based on what you need instead of showering yourself with gifts of everything you want. It is better to take a look at every single piece of stuff and genuinely question : does that really enhance value to my life?
- Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding financial freedom. Minimalism is not a radical lifestyle.
- You have more of what you need and enjoy, instead of being worried about what you don’t have.
Every time you feel you NEED material possessions, ask yourself WHY. If we deeply examine our needs and desires, then wanting less can be a natural transition. Similarly, there are also some proven methods that you could quickly learn and apply to your life.
What is Marie Kondo Konmari method?
Marie Kondo recommends living a minimalist lifestyle through discarding things that doesn’t give you joy and only have few things in each category to gives you joy and improves your productivity.
If you are not familiar with the techniques, I’d suggest reading “Tidying Up – Marie Kondo” book once. There is also a Marie Kondo Netflix show if you want to watch.
She lists out 6 simple rules to get started:
- Pledge to achieve tidying up
- Visualize your perfect life style
- Work on discarding useless items first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose
- Tidy it up by each category. Don’t do it by the location.
- Do it in the correct order
- Does it bring happiness to you?
After a month, thank yourself for your clutter free lifestyle with things that you didn’t need gone. When you have a lot of choices, that could end up affecting your productivity.
How does Minimalism help achieve FIRE?
When you start living your life minimalistically, you eventually find that your expenses is going down per year. FIRE is calculated with 4% Savings Withdrawal rate or 25X savings. As you slow down your expenses, your savings account is going to get a multiple times boost. This naturally makes it much easier to reach your FIRE number without breaking a sweat on smallest expenses. Remember, owning your own time and deciding what to do with it is the ultimate freedom.
Everyone wants new material possessions and dream about it. Let is be a more powerful phone with latest updates, a Tesla that receives over the air updates or be the king of one the kingdoms in Game of Thrones (come on, don’t act as if you want to pass this up). We all draw castles in air.
To be clear, wanting more things is perfectly human thing to do. But, wanting too much things the whole life is where the problem starts.
If you concentrate on being thankful for what you have in your life and take a few minute to cherish the qualities in your friends and family, life will become a bed of roses. People will naturally want to associate with you for your positivism and motivate themselves to be a positive person too.
Last but not least, it is absolutely necessary that we question our motives for wanting more, before showering yourself that gift. Similarly, when minimalism helps you attain FIRE, you need to have a clear goal on why you are pursuing it.
In Conclusion, some of the questions you could be asking yourself is
Why do you want to be wealthy?
Do you actually have a plan for all that money?
What is actually the point of your desire to be rich?
These are the sorts of questions that we need to be asking ourselves on a daily basis if we want to retire early, happy and rich!