05 July 2010

The Essentials.

I found this passage recently and thought it was worth sharing:
Stop buying unnecessary things.
Toss half your stuff. Learn contentedness.
Reduce half again.
List four essential things in your life;
stop doing non-essential things.
Do these essentials first each day.
Clear distractions; focus on each moment.
Let go of attachment to doing, having more.
Fall in love with less.
- [via mnmlist]
This seems like a good and simply way to declutter both physical and mental spaces, so I filtered this mantra of sorts through my day-to-day life to gauge myself. For a post about minimalism, lots of words ahead :)
  • Stop buying unnecessary things. I'm currently renting a room with family acquaintances for three months. My living quarters consist of a small-ish bedroom with a desk, twin-size daybed, closet and just enough floor space to exercise in. This setup prevents me from bringing much else into the room, so I've been reduced into only buying grocery items. I don't really need new clothes (I wear scrubs 40 hours a week), and the only thing(s) I'm planning over the next few weeks are travel- or school-related. Obviously, the fact that I don't get paid at my preceptorship helps out a lot with me not buying things.

  • Toss half your stuff. This has virtually been done, with me being forced to live with much less. Over the past year I've donated tons of clothes, mostly shipping them back to needy people in the Philippines. I've also been in the process of digitizing my music collection -- a slow, painful but necessary process. My living, dining and bedroom furniture now lives at our condo in Columbia.

  • Learn contentedness. Actually I'm pretty happy with having to live with less. It should be no surprise that I love sparsely-decorated areas.

  • Reduce half again. Before I move back to the West Coast this autumn, I plan on pruning my possessions even more to make my transition as easy as possible.

  • List four essential things in your life; stop doing non-essential things. Here's where I had to take a moment to think about what I really considered "essential.". Admittedly, I have more than those listed below, but here are four in no particular order:

    1. A calm qi. This is especially important for me as I've had great trouble with negative energy and impulse control in the past, resulting in regrettable damage to myself and the people around me.

    2. Music. No surprises here. I'm always on the hunt for great music, and it's become a massive part of how I self-identify.

    3. Physical health. I've always wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, and finally seriously took steps in achieving this with much more regular exercise and a restricted diet. I suppose getting work experience in a clinical health setting didn't hurt either.

    4. Positive relationships with others. Unfortunately it took me a LONG time to really understand this, but I've found that healthy, happy relationships with family and loved ones have just as much (if not more!) benefit for my personal well-being and growth than just having to rely on myself. I'm not saying I use my family and friends as crutches, but it's a great comfort to know that people really are there when I need them -- to either lift me up or kick my ass, whichever is appropriate.

  • Do these essentials first each day. Clear distractions; focus on each moment. Interestingly enough, I say a little prayer on my way to work each day that covers most of these essentials. (I should probably do this when I first wake up to minimize the distraction.) I don't really think of myself as a "religious" person, but I believe I am getting more in touch with my spiritual, introspective side as I grow older.

  • Let go of attachment to doing, having more. Fall in love with less. I cannot say that I don't wish for luxury items. Who am I kidding; I'd love to own stuff in high-end retail catalogs. But I know the line between simple possession and excessive consumption. As for "doing more," I am consciously trying to achieve this [discussed in this post], purely for the life experiences.

simple equals good

So I guess I'm doing okay so far. I suppose any lifestyle change is easy to implement. It's successfully maintaining that change that's difficult. But since I've already "fall[en] in love with less," I hope the rest falls into place sooner rather than later.

2 comment(s):

Mike Smick said...

Love it. I need to unload about a million things, clutter inside my mind and outside in my environment. Reminders are good.

Ran said...

Thanks Mike. I'm constantly trying to declutter, with varying degrees of success.

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