Imagine a life with less stuff, less clutter, less stress, less debt and less frustration. Now imagine a life with more time, more meaningful relationships, more growth, contribution and satisfaction. In “Love people, use things”, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus show how minimalism can change lives.
Why is minimalism important?
Today’s world encourages us to seek fulfilment, meaning and pleasure through consumption. Advertising and social standards constantly tell us that buying certain clothes, electronics or other products will make our lives better. Yet these purchases satisfy us only for a while and contribute little to our well-being.
Consumption is not the problem—thoughtless consumption is.
Many of today’s problems are due to consumer lifestyles. A large proportion of people end up in debt as a result of overspending. And often we do not use or value the things we buy. They clutter up our homes and prevent us from doing more enjoyable things, like developing new talents or spending quality time with loved ones.
A Rolex won’t buy you more time. A Mercedes won’t get you there any faster. And a vacation home won’t earn you more vacation days.
Fortunately, minimalism is the solution to this problem and will help you break the vicious circle by getting rid of all the unnecessary stuff that clutters up your life.
Knowing how to value the important things
Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which aren’t things at all.
What the authors meant by this quote is that the minimalist way of life forces people to define what is really valuable in their lives. Being a minimalist means that you value yourself more than material things. It means making decisions based on what you need rather than getting everything you want.
In time, we realize the things we wanted aren’t the things we want.
The problem with over-consumption is that we always buy more things, but we are never satisfied. The authors make us realise that temporary material things are not what we want or need.
We fill our homes with stuff, but we feel empty amid the clutter.
Wanting too many new things leads you into a vicious circle. You feel the urge to buy a new purchase. But before you do, you consider giving something away, or selling it again because you don’t have room, or you want more money, and on and on it goes until you’ve bought the latest and greatest again.
Minimalism gives you the opportunity to redirect your energy towards richer experiences.
By removing the physical distractions around us, we’re able to look inside ourselves and begin the process of mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual decluttering.
As we let go of many of the things that once bothered us, in time the pressure of unnecessary mental baggage will also be released. You will rediscover yourself and discover the potential to achieve your goals. If you are aware of your perspectives and true self, it will be easier to set and reach your desires, making you happier.
Minimalism is the key to happiness
When you free your life, happiness comes naturally because you focus on the things that matter most to you. You will also find happiness because you will be more efficient, you will find focus because you have reordered your priorities, you will find joy in slowing down. The authors of the book describe it like this:
Happiness is not the goal—living a meaningful life is, and happiness is a beautiful by-product.
With more time and freedom, life can become more enjoyable. Freedom will give you enough time to focus on yourself. Taking a break will help you to overcome difficult situations that would otherwise overwhelm you. This freedom will also help you to be creative and achieve things you never thought possible.
“Love people, use things” gives wonderful advice on how to escape the clutter of life, get rid of unnecessary things and re-prioritise your life. Throughout, the book is packed with genuinely useful information for everyone and is written in a friendly, easy-to-read way.
We recommend “Love People, Use Things” if you are looking for a new perspective that is less about collecting things and more about finding value in life.
If you’re looking for more inspiration and motivation, check out our other articles: Tips for easier home cleaning and Ways to improve your self-confidence.