11. More gratitude: When we start living with less, we become more appreciative of the things that we already have in our homes and our lives. Everything that we have adds value to our life in one way or the other and we feel contented. When we become aware that what we have is enough for us, we are able to cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude.
12. More contribution: Giving away our non-essentials can sometimes contribute to the betterment of someone’s life. Our junk can be someone’s treasure. Our stuff finds a better home and is able to again add value to someone else’s life. Also, we are able to direct some of the money that we save from buying less towards charity or supporting a worthy cause. Last, but not the least, when we consume and buy less we make the world a better place by reducing our environmental footprint. Owning less has a direct impact on minimizing pollution. When we focus on quality and multi-functionality rather than quantity, we end up buying high-quality items from reliable (sometimes environmental friendly) stores that last longer, meaning, we add less to the landfill overall lowering our negative impact on the environment.
13. More quality in our relationships: With less stuff to distract us and more time and energy, we gift ourselves the opportunity to focus more on our family, friendships and relationships that are most important to us. We have more time to spend with our partner, play with our kids and or meet a friend at the coffee shop. We also become more open and comfortable with inviting friends and loved ones to our place as there is less tidiness and upkeep required. Our home becomes a soothing haven to nurture and develop our friendships and relationships. As an outcome, they deepen and flourish with time.
14. More happiness: When we adopt a minimalist lifestyle, we learn to ask the right questions. Sure, it starts with asking questions about the stuff we have in our homes, but then we get on a trail of asking better and deeper questions:
- What is truly important to me?
- What kind of work brings me more meaning and fulfillment?
- What things and activities help me experience long-lasting joy?
When we ask these questions, we are able to attain better alignment in all areas of our lives. We understand that happiness doesn’t come from our belongings, but it comes from our experiences. We realize that we’ve been tricked by society and advertisements that we need to seek happiness through things, but in reality, it was within us all the time, we just had to access it. Along with physical baggage, with minimalism, we are also able to get rid of our mental and emotional baggage, and thus open the gateways of happiness for us. As Henry Van Dyke points out, “Happiness is interior, not exterior; therefore, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.”
15. More money: When we embrace minimalism and own less, we also tend to spend less money. And whenever we buy, we do it intentionally having put a lot of thought behind our purchase. We build rules around our spending so that we spend only on our needs and not on luxuries and non-essential items that don’t align with our way of life. We buy because we need something and see it having a purpose and meaning in our lives, not because it is cheap or for sale. As a benefit of minimalist living, we are able to save money that we can direct towards things that fulfill us such as traveling or cultivating our passion. Also, we are able to direct money towards building investments and assets that can help us a build a better and richer future for ourselves.
PS: If you enjoyed this three-part essay and align with the “Less is More” philosophy, I’d encourage you to read my new eBook Minimalism (Meditations for the Learning Mind, Book 4) . The condensed timeless knowledge in these daily meditations, inspired by the best books on simplicity and clutter-free living, will help you navigate through the complexities that come with modern living and guide you in your quest to living a happy and meaningful life. Get your copy here.