So you want to be a minimalist
It’s vital to know why you believe something. Often we accept ideas because they’re in fashion. Right now, it’s in style to be a minimalist. 20 years from now… it might not be.
Sometimes we believe ideas because they arouse us. Throwing 50 possessions into a suitcase and becoming a digital-nomad is an adventure, and who doesn’t want that?
Sometimes we cling to an idea as an identity. We want to belong to a larger community and identify ourselves with a movement… and that’s why we believe.
How to Be Convinced of Anything
If you don’t know why you believe, you might be convinced of anything. You might start out decluttering your office and then your house and then your life and before you know it you’ve quit your job. But you like your job… so why’d you quit? You tried to apply a belief to your life in the same way others applied it to theirs. You stopped thinking critically about WHY you believe.
You might start out with one purpose but quickly be persuaded to another. For instance, you started simplifying your life in order to spend more time with your kids and free up a little time to go fishing. But now, you’re caught in the mad rush to become more and more minimalist. You spend so much time scanning blogs and reading the latest ebook that you’ve hardly gained any time at all. You’ve gone from one crutch to another.
Authenticity is a return to your true intentions. It’s taking a step back to say this is why I chose this course and this is why I’m forging ahead. That’s not to say that our goals and motivations can’t change along the way, but these must be conscious changes… not a result of entropy.
This is Me Being Transparent
Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about complete transparency. It’s about living your life so that others can see, evaluate and understand your true motives. It’s a great way to live, but it’s much harder than I imagined. For one, people are naturally skeptical of your true intentions, and being completely honest about your motives makes them even more suspicious. For me, it’s been a bit of a Catch-22.
At the same time, I think we can learn a lot by being up front about the beliefs and assumptions we each bring to the table. In that way, we can open the dialogue even further and broaden the horizons of this great, big discussion across time and space.
Separating Facts From Opinions
I’m not just a minimalist; I’m also a husband, son, brother, entrepreneur, best friend and Christian. Every one of these dimensions makes me who I am.
What difference does it make?
It makes a big difference. The thoughts I share on this blog aren’t just objective facts about the reality of the world. This blog is infused with my own interpretations and assumptions about what it means to live the good life. If we’re honest, that’s what all media is. And in order to benefit from reading this site, you should know what these assumptions are and how they influence my thinking.
The editor of Ethical Living, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.