Growing up, a new toy was the best thing ever. It immediately put a smile on my face, and I brought it everywhere I went – that is, until the newness wore off and I got another new toy. Tossing my old toy to the side, I wanted nothing more to do with it. I’m sure you remember how it was as a kid…
Today, this toy might be a laptop or phone, or it might be clothing. It might even be your relationships with best friends or lovers. Does your happiness lie within the excitement of newness, or with the constant desire for more? Does quantity mean more to you?
In the last few years, I’ve felt a shift in myself. I used to be driven to buy new clothes on a monthly basis. I was donating bags of clothes each year. I was all about wearing the latest and greatest styles. Today, my wardrobe has basically been the exact same for a few years. And I love it.
Quality over quantity is a common phrase you hear these days, but what exactly does it mean? It means that quantity will never make you happy – lots of something is never a good thing. Friends, clothes, gadgets – these won’t truly make you feel fulfilled. It doesn’t matter how much of something you have; what matters is the quality of what you have. Will it last? Is it substantial? Does it fill the void that it intends to?
Minimalist are some of the happiest people on earth, and they get by with just that: minimal stuff. What they do have serves it’s purpose well. Why would they need more?
So tell me, why do you need more clothes? The latest laptop? More friends? Really, sit back and think about why. The truth is, you don’t need any of it. Does it make you happy deep down? Probably not.
When you spend time nurturing and appreciating what you have, you practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to create and sustain a positive attitude. Happiness comes from being grateful for what you have, and when you’re grateful for the blessings in your life, you stop this incessant need for more, more, more. So start by practicing gratitude.
Once you’ve achieved this realization, take the next step and declutter your life. Remove all the excess noise and the “stuff” that doesn’t serve you anymore. Keep the quality things that make you happy, but get rid of all that excess quantity. You will feel lighter, brighter and happier. Just you wait and see.
Don’t forget to declutter your mind too. Get rid of relationships that don’t serve you anymore. Why are you holding onto them? Nurture the relationships with the people who lift you up and make you feel energized; declutter those who drain you. Find those activities that enlighten you and get rid of those that tire you.
With these few steps, you’re on your way to creating a minimalist life. You’re on your way to discovering that true happiness lies in the quality of your life, not the quantity of things in it. You’re on your way to realizing the freedom of being trapped in this consumerism culture of more, more, more. You’re learning the importance of being grateful for your blessings.
In your pursuit of happiness, don’t forget quality over quantity.
Do you consider yourself a minimalist? Why or why not? Let’s chat in the comments section!