How The Minimalist Approach Is A Solution For Clarity In Life
By Yana Stockman
Would you like to have less stress in life, be less overwhelmed, procrastinate less, enjoying only beliefs that do not limit you? And would you like to have more focus, more clarity, more productivity, and more meaningful relationships?
Then this approach will bring clarity to the answer.
We are often confused about what makes our life happy, fulfilled, and purposeful. It comes with the price of progress and a fast-paced life; it comes with expectations and role-playing; it comes with an enormous amount of pressure and stress to keep up, to fit in, to be relevant.
Nowadays to live a happy and successful life is a delusion because we have to get “this” and to have “that” to be more and bigger. Who said this is so? Well, everyone! We get targeted from everywhere—social media, entertainment industry, magazines, advertisement in transportation, commercials, restaurants, driving on the way to work, or simply listening to some podcasts. We compare ourselves and our lives whether we want to or not by asking: How can I get this life, how can I be that person? This brings more voices and more “mind chatters” and as a result it creates a disconnect when we feel something is missing, devastating, addicted, more pressured, bombarded with more options, more noise, and it is exhausting!
We work so hard to find fulfillment that we constantly need to tell ourselves that it's worth it. But there is always more money and more work and never enough because we will never get enough of things we don't need. By chasing more we forgot to prove to ourselves, not to everyone else what is needed in life, what is truly missing, what’s important; by trying to meet standards and playing roles we don't know what is important anymore.
Working with clients as a transition life coach and applying my minimalistic approach to identify where they got stuck along the way and uncover their potential and dreams, I discovered something. Our dreams are never about material things—even if they are in the first place—there is always a meaning behind our why—why we want this, why it is missing, and why we want to fill the void.
By collecting things, items, thoughts, beliefs, expectations of others, listening to self-sabotaging voices, sooner or later we run out of storage, which ends up cluttering spaces we live in. The outcome of this mind cycle could end up that we serve them not otherwise.
But what if everything we worked for and invested in career, relationship, beliefs are crashed or collapsed and we do not have what we invested in, what do we do? We would ask what is left, right? What did we have all this time? The answer always will bring us to basics, to essentials; we always had ourselves, our skills, talents, dreams, our purpose, and our story. Wouldn’t that be a wise investment to invest in ourselves?
I moved to the United States with one suitcase and a backpack, leaving everything familiar behind—all that I thought was important and needed in my life, but it simply did not fit in a 25-pound suitcase. So I faced an opportunity, which every human being has—a choice. I had to choose to illuminate, choose to ask myself, what is essential for me, what can I optimize, scan pictures to the hard drive, donate clothes, pass my books and journals to someone who would benefit from them, evaluate everything that is just junk and clutter and only take space in my luggage. I call it a "suitcase mindset" when you evaluate your life and ask yourself, what if I have a one-way ticket to my better life, what would I bring with me there?
Would you like to think about less stuff? Would that make you calmer? Relaxed? More focused and easy-going?
BY DOWNSIZING SABOTAGING VOICES IN YOUR HEAD WE CREATE MORE SPACE FOR FOCUS AND MEANINGFUL INTENTIONS.
Minimalism is much more than decluttering and simplifying. It is a mindset that can be applied in different ways to different situations. It is not about black and white and empty spaces without furniture and one fork, one cup, it is a highly flexible concept and naturally open to variations.
Despite the lifestyles we live in, there are common values. On this basis, here are five principles of a minimalist approach for clarity in life.
1.Strip Down To Essentials.
This minimalist principal to start simplifying your life is to start identifying what is essential or most important in your life. Is your focus there? Or is some "thing" or some "one" is distracting it. If you don't know what’s important to you, start to discover what you do value in life, what matters most. Importance identification brings focus and clarity on your priorities and it is so much easier to make decisions for what fits into your life and what does not. Applying this will not leave any room for what others tell us we should want or have or be.
2. Unclutter Yourself.
Knowing what is important, we find out what isn’t serving us anymore, and this is where the principle of unclutter takes its turn. Extreme is decluttering not going to work, because eliminating unnecessary things that prevent us from living the life we enjoy will not bring any benefits. Everything you plan to keep should have a value because it's functional, make you feel good, it’s beautiful, or you just love it. We give attachment to people and rarely to things. Think of your old car, the previous version of an iPhone, last season’s shoes, your favorite book, or a candle, do you even recall thinking how good they made you feel? No, because you have already moved on and have another “favorite." Uncluttering your space helps to unclutter your mind.
3. Love What you Have.
How many things do we own that are considered truly special? After we unclutter, not so much. Spending time cleaning and moving things around, absorbing negative talks, investment into people who do not serve you, hustling to save to buy another thing are simply not worth our precious time. Time is all we have, we have a choice to use it wisely. So by the end of the year, season, go through every part of your life, belief, connection, or living space and get rid of what you do not use or love.
4. Take An Inventory Of Your Life.
Autopilot of constant life flow without reflection never brings clarity into life, instead, we get stuck in the flow of feeding negative beliefs: "nothing changing,” "life is a mess,” "nobody cares,” and "it's not enough.” An inventory system brings a management approach to sourcing, storing, and distributing or illuminating inventory. Being a manager of one’s life and evaluating the inventory means the right goods, at the right levels, in the right place, at the right time, and with the right value.
5. Recycling Your Mind.
Would minimalistic thinking change the meaning of success for you? By recycling your mind you challenge your beliefs and standards not on whose house or car is better or bigger, whose shoes are more expensive and whose career is more impactful, but who you are as an individual, what options you once had and what the importance was for this world. Do not waste your mind, be mindful of your waste and what might be clogging your daily life and productivity. Recognize what stops you from moving forward, what reduces your energy, and what limits your dreams.
This minimalistic approach works by having balance and meaningful consumption. Separate what is yours and what we have been told to believe. You may have consumed an idea and took it as your own, but does this really belongs to you? This life is yours only yours. Clear out the chatter in the brain and create clean, uncluttered space to impress the thoughts of what you want and turn it into a beautiful source of abundance, energy, and potential.