I am a maximalist, that’s why I became a minimalist.
What? How does that make sense?
I think it does, although it took me more than 30 years to realize. As long as I can remember I could not get enough. It did not matter whether it was playing a game, a vacation I was on, a mountain I was hiking, stuff that I owned.
I just couldn’t get enough. I wanted more and got frustrated easily when I couldn’t get it.
I believe that a major reason for me to get frustrated was, that I never focused 100% on one thing. I could do everything in life, right? The older I grew the more I realized that I could also own everything that I was longing for.
After all… I knew people who were coming from nowhere and who owned all the fancy stuff now.
What I didn’t see back then, is that they where paying a price for everything. A day has only 24 hours and each moment can only be spend on one thing at a time. So even if you have enough money to buy almost everything, you will have to take decisions to do either this or that with your time. Even owning a motorbike, a sportcar and a sailing boat, you can only use one at a time. The more you add to your possessions the more you have to limit your time for that.
Apart from that, most people I know had to earn their money somehow. When I had a closer look at the job they needed to do in the first place, it was nothing that I ever wanted to do. At least not for more than a week.
That is the problem about comparing yourself with others. Compare and dispair. You only see the result and not the work they put in the previous years. You also don’t see the unfulfilled dreams they secretly have.
Everything comes with a price. Maybe they are in a bad relationships, maybe they don’t see their kids, maybe they would love to have more time for themselves, maybe their success comes with the price of bad health.
Furthermore we tend to compare ourself mostly to multiple other people and see the different things they achieved, all of them coming with another price and each one of them lacking the others achievements.
Now one remains unhappy and feels unsuccessful as long as you don’t own everything that others do.
Well that is the perfect ingredient to become and remain unhappy for the rest of your life.
That’s what I did for the longest time. Looking back, I already did a lot of fun things, but kept focusing on what I did not have yet… and I felt miserable.
I came to I realized one day that three steps are important for me:
I need to focus on myself. What do I really want? I mean really want. Next I needed to find out what was the underlying motivation of this and then prioritize for which one I want to go first. Sometimes I found out that I could satisfy the needs completely different or combine two or three of the needs with a different action.
Knowing what you really want, knowing your basic desires for happiness.
Stop doing things that you don’t want to do. Do things that help you be the one you want to be. Focus on your desires and prioritize. Work on the things you love most, first.
Compare myself to one person only: to myself yesterday! Comparing to others is the perfect way towards an unhappy life, no matter how much you own. If you know what you really want and who you want to be, check daily whether you are one step further today than you were yesterday. If you are not. Adjust.
Sooner that you think you will have changed your life 180°. Stay focused and thankful with what you already have and go on from there.
Because I wanted to have everything and couldn’t get enough of what I already had, I started to focus on what I wanted most. All of a sudden I became l much better and had more of what I desired most. Therefor I had go get rid of all the distractions in my life that where not helping me to fulfill my dream of living the life I love.
Minimizing helped me to maximize what I love most!
We can’t learn, when we receive no feedback. We will at least never find out if our progress is going in the desired direction.We will loose contact to the base. Therefor is it so important to act, to actually do something and get our work and actions out there. Then we will receive feedback upon which we can react. Everything is connected and action causes a reaction and if we don’t listen to the feedback we won’t know which reaction we are provoking in the world.
In case you are interested in making the world a better place as I am, you might want to ask for feedback. Especially the feedback that you don’t like. The things that go wrong, the things where you face obstacles and where people don’t like what you are doing.
Then listen to it and take it as a hint what to do better in the future. Always compare it to the one you want to be. Does it bring you closer or further apart. And then act accordingly.
My journey to declutter started in 2012. I reached a point where I didn’t thrive for more. At least not for more possessions. I wanted to have more joy, more laughter and more contentment.
I was looking for more meaning in my life. Through different blogs and writers I ended up with a person who had just taken a phenomenal decision and was traveling the world while writing: Colin Wright and his blog: Exile Lifestyle.Colin was talking about friends who called themselves “the minimalists“.
Yes, that’s right, those minimalist whom I referring to so often. I kept following all three of them throughout the last years and they have been a major influence for my own way.
By now, Colin is producing one of the best curated podcasts out there: Let’s Know Things. One of the few podcast, where I listen to each episode. Today I am thrilled to talk to Colin about life, minimalism and a vision for life.
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