'Happiness isn't the point, meaning is.'
Imagine how society initially reacted to the introduction of the motor car, or the TV set. These things are now fully, and warmly, embraced like a family member and regarded as the social norm.....but what about the impact of technology on human emotions?
As a stoic member of generation anxiety, I have spent more time in the past or in the hypothetical than I care to admit. Having some way to grasp and ground myself in who I am at this precise moment, even if that's someone who favours Glamour magazine over Argentine pulp fiction, is incredibly valuable and liberating.
Minimalism at its core is about ridding your life of the clutter, the noise, and the distractions to make space for the things that really matter. It's also about living greener, respecting the environment and reducing your overall impact by buying less waste.
Regret is one of the most painful feelings any of us can experience. It hurts because regret is, more often than not, based on our own choices and not external events. We can't fix it in retrospect and it's hard to know what the catalyst will be. As Kurt Vonnegut put it, the saddest words anyone can say are 'It might have been.'
In the past 12 months, I have rid my life of many things in the search for happiness. I left my steady, sensible, well paid job to chase my dream of self employment. I've halved the number of possessions I own. I've chosen who I spend my time with more wisely.
I guess I might as well point out that early humans would no doubt have considered the possessions of even the most hardcore modern minimalists to be excessive.
Books were considered a weak cousin to thinking. Now we consider them to be the purest, the most intellectual way of learning- much better than those damned Kindles. Need I continue?
2017 so far has made me think about what's important; what really doesn't matter and should be put aside. So I've been clearing my way gradually through cupboards, wardrobes and drawers. More than ever I've been wondering what on earth possesses me when I'm shopping... and how I've missed this when I've been tidying up before.
When it comes to living a minimalist lifestyle, here are no rules or requirements. Everyone implements it in different ways.