minimalism: is less truly more? - part 1

This essay is an excerpt from my book The Way of The Karma Yogi .

The modern movement of minimalism has deep roots in history. I personally believe this lifestyle choice can immensely benefit us in these times of information overload and advertisement-filled environments and help us stay grounded and focused. We spend all our lives in the pursuit of more, and that’s how we get trained in the society we live in. We bring so many things in our life that we hardly need, thinking they will bring us a coveted sense of stability and happiness in our lives. But if we choose to live mindfully and intentionally, there is an alternate way we can live our lives — living a simple life with less. 

Minimalism is not deprivation, but it’s about making a conscious decision to spend our time, attention and energy towards things that matter the most to us. Minimalists follow the simple equation: Less stuff = More life. Here are some reasons why less is truly more: 

1. More time and energy: The less we own, the less time and energy we spend on ‘managing’ our stuff. We get more time and energy to do things that matter the most to us.

2. More focus: A cluttered home is also a symptom of a cluttered mind. With less visual clutter and more empty space, our mind gets less overwhelmed. With a relaxed mind, we are able to focus better and attain a flow state easily.

3. More calm: The more clutter we have, the easier it becomes to lose things and forget the important ones. Also, the more we have, the more we need to pay for the hidden maintenance costs that come with them. Stuff adds more stress to our lives as we need to constantly work towards managing, organizing and cleaning them leaving us worried and frustrated. Owning less basically translates to eliminating things that make us feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. Isn’t it worth it?

4. More space: With less stuff, we are able to get back the compromised space in our rooms, closets and basements. With empty spaces, we are able to ‘breathe’. Instead of succumbing ourselves to an invisible faux claustrophobic environment, we start to realize that we have more than enough space to live a happy life. We are able to finally relieve ourselves of the ‘need’ to get a bigger home, bigger rooms, bigger closets and more storage space.

5. More freedom: When we let go of stuff, we let go of the baggage that was previously anchoring us down. We become free mentally, physically and spiritually. We get more time, space and money and we can do whatever we want with them. We get the freedom to live the way we want to live instead of living the way we have to because of being weighed down by stuff, obligations and misaligned commitments.