This year we’ve offered various strategies to help you achieve financial freedom and lead a more fulfilling life. Now we’d like to take things a step further and introduce you to another tool to help you on your journey to finding meaning and happiness – Essentialism.
Every day we put pressure on ourselves to do more, buy more and be more with the hope that it will bring us lasting happiness. Spoiler: it won’t. The good news is, by adopting Essentialism, we can determine what’s truly important and live more purposeful lives.
Author Greg McKeown, an advocate for Essentialism, believes our society is consumed with wanting more, which is why we constantly pack our calendars with activities. The only way to counteract this is to adopt the mindset of only doing what’s essential.
Many of us spread ourselves too thin because we have the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). But Essentialists prefer to focus on the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). They feel good about passing on something and understand that doing so can present its own opportunities. Think: quality over quantity.
Many of us also have trouble prioritizing. Not everything is equally important, so your list of priorities – personal and professional – should reflect that. By being more discerning with your time, you’ll do less but achieve more.
Five ways to incorporate Essentialism into your life:
- Make a daily list of priorities, and complete only the most essential items.
- Learn the art of saying no, and be okay with it.
- Understand the planning fallacy.
- Be more deliberate with the things you buy, and assign less meaning to them.
- Play the 30-Day Minimalism Game with a friend or family member. Each of you must get rid of one item on day one, two items on day two and so forth.
Put simply, taking steps like these help us to be more discerning with our time and eschew the clutter, freeing us to focus on what gives our lives meaning and value. This way of life can also help us find happiness through life experiences as opposed to things. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with material possessions; the concern lies in how much meaning we assign to our stuff. The gents over at The Minimalists blog say, “We tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth and our desire to contribute to something greater than ourselves.”
At the end of the day, time is money. By incorporating Essentialism into your life, you’ll spend your time and money more consciously and deliberately. You might also find yourself creating more, consuming less, discovering your true passions and being more present in your daily life. With 2016 upon us, we challenge you to make a New Year’s resolution and give it a try!