By now, if you have been reading our articles, you know that both Kym and I are somewhat minimalist. Over the course of the weekend, while working with some friends, somehow the concept of minimalism got a bit trashed. I believe I’m not the best of the examples of minimalist living, but today I want to debunk the most common myths about minimalism. If I’m lucky, perhaps you will understand why it’s good to embrace it.
Minimalism Myth 1: Minimalist own almost nothing
This one is tossed around fairly frequently. But it’s far from the truth. Some of the people I know that have embraced minimalism has truly tossed away most of their stuff and now live happily owning less. Those who travel a lot like Niall or Colin, truly own very little, but they are outstanding examples of owning less, but as I have encountered, they are not the majority.
The reason why minimalist usually own less stuff it’s because they try to form a deeper relationship with the objects they use and need. If you need a 1 thing or 100 things to live the way you are passionate about, please do so. Minimalism comes first from the understanding that not everything you own is needed. Most of the time we have stuff for the wrong reasons. That’s why I believe minimalism starts in your mind first and then it is reflected in the number of things you need.
Minimalism Myth 2: Minimalism like to buy cheap things
It’s true that minimalists often embrace frugality too, but they are separate concepts and usually the idea is to own something that truly will help you on the long run. Having cheap stuff is almost never the best way for a minimalist.
I am really picky about quality of the things I own, since I own very little stuff, I try to go for good quality and long duration rather than just having something cheap. In fact most of my friends know about my obsession with truly powerful computers, and those are expensive!
As I said, it’s all about the relationship you have with your stuff, if you believe a cheap object will help you then go for it. But cheap and quality are not usually related in a product, so more often than not, minimalists will own somewhat expensive things.
This is not set into stone, and it’s not a rule, this varies from one person to the next.
Minimalism Myth 3: Minimalism is for single people
I believe one of the most famous minimalists around the net is also the one that truly debunks this myth. Leo Babauta, who has inspired a lot of us to pursue a better way to live, is happily married with kids. He has also documented his experiences while embracing minimalism with a family.
If you haven’t noticed too, I have been tweeting material from Lorilee, she is a lovely lady who embraced minimalism and also documents very diligently her life, adventures and misadventures while living in a simple way.
It’s possible to embrace minimalism as a whole family and it is also possible to embrace minimalism while surrounded with people who are not into it. It’s all about communication and flexibility. Believe me, Kym and I know about this one, since our families are truly far from being minimalists.
Minimalism Myth 4: Minimalists are horrible parents
I believe this one is a clear opposite. I have met minimalist parents with wonderful and truly happy kids. That’s because they can pass the idea that stuff doesn’t bring happiness to their kids. I have no better example than Lorilee’s Minimalist Christmas series. She made an impressive impact on my concept of Christmas, but the core idea was simple indeed: “Create a way for the kids to have a wonderful time”.
They are not better parents either, they are just different and the sooner we embrace the idea that diversity is the best thing that can happen to this world, the better.
If there are any minimalist with kids reading this, please let me know in the comments your take on it, because this point would be very interesting to discuss.
Minimalism Myth 5: Minimalists have almost no friends
Also not true, minimalism doesn’t affect anyone but the minimalist, so there is no hidden rule about friends. Minimalism is not a secret club where only the chosen ones can enter and everyone is left out. It’s true that sometimes a minimalist will just let go of some friends, but that’s only because they are looking for more meaningful experiences and to truly connect with someone.
I do believe that people who embrace minimalism form deeper connections with their friends and are truly open about how they feel about it. That’s because minimalism is about having more of what it’s important to you. If your friends are something you value, then the result will be that you will be more in touch with them and care for the friendship a lot more.
My personal take on minimalism
For me, it’s not about what you own or what you don’t. It’s not about the people you meet and hang out with. It’s all about what it’s important to you and what it’s not. It’s about spending time with yourself and allowing you to understand your relationship with the world itself.
If you take the time to understand your relationship with stuff, people or ideas; you will take the time to move away from the things with less importance in your life, and you will embrace everything you love. So it’s not about counting things. It’s all about who you are and what you love.
Now, try to challenge yourself. Take a couple of minutes each day and learn about your relationship with everything that surrounds you. Then decide if you want to keep everything or just what matters, decide if minimalism is good for you or not.
If you liked this article, please share it around. Thank you!