I've been privately courting a little love affair with The Minimalists for just under a year now. It's all one-sided of course ... they are not in love with me the way I am with them, but I am loathe to call it "stalking" because ... well, because I loathe the word!
After being introduced to the pair via Colin Wright (as a suggestion for some Hats On People folks), I kept right on reading. Their blog, their books, their tweets ... anything I could get my hands on. Here are two dudes doing the whole minimalism thing just a bit differently than the myriad other folks trying to bring you the idea of "own less, live more" on the internet.
And they do this difference well. Yes, the espouse letting go of all the crap in your life, but theirs is a message of purpose and meaning. It's not just "get rid of your stuff so you can make money writing about getting rid of your stuff"; they talk about passion, about focus, and about the easiest way to truly be the best version of yourself.
It's all the stuff we all really need to hear, we just didn't know what station to tune in to.
After publishing several non-fiction books together with Ryan, Joshua Fields Millburn presented his first solo non-fiction work A Day in the Life of a Minimalist to the world, and to rave reviews! I snagged a Kindle copy and devoured it - here are my favorite bits.
>> the entire chapter "I Don't Need Much"
>> the entire chapter "18 Minute Exercises" - reminds me of 30-day shred, which I am in the throes of battle with.
>> Your purpose gives you the leverage you need to keep going, especially when you reach a roadblock. Without this leverage, it’s easy to get excited about a new idea but quickly fall flat on your face because you no longer know why you wanted your outcome in the first place (i.e., you’ll lose interest). You might have that initial ambition, but you must also find enough leverage to take you the distance.
>> Gift-giving is not a love language any more than Pig Latin is a Romance language. Rather, gift-giving is a vapid, pernicious cultural imperative in our society, and we’ve bought it (literally) hook, line, and sinker. We’ve become consumers of love.
>> “Of course it’s unreasonable, dummy!” The older man snapped back. “Being unhappy and discontent is completely reasonable within our society. We see it every day. Being reasonable means lowering your standards. Being reasonable means doing what everyone else expects you to do. Being reasonable means living an average life. But I’d rather be extraordinarily unreasonable and content and happy. I’d rather live a meaningful, albeit unreasonable, life. Get unreasonable and everything’s possible. Forget about being reasonable— being reasonable got me into the same pile of shit you’re in now.”
>> We are but dogs, leashed by fear, thrashing in the collars of our own obligations.
>> There will, however, be a new kind of authentic marketing in the future. As we consumers continue to get wiser, as we realize we needn’t be fooled by the manufactured unrest promulgated by pop culture, we will begin to find value in genuine people and brands who actually have our best interests in mind. Thanks to the Internet, this shift has already started. There are brands like Charity Water who actually want to help people. There are individuals who want to add value to people’s lives. There are organizations who want to commit to contributing first, not focusing on money as the primary driver for their actions.
View my full reading list here.