In the past, I wrote quite a few guest posts about happiness and positivity. I could not claim to be the happiest or the most positive person around, yet, in theory, one thing became clear in these blogs. The topics always centred on happiness as an inside job, a journey of self-discovery and values introspection (I remember my interviews with Dr Demartini) versus society’s ideology of telling us what we need to be, do and have to be content with our lives.
Changing the flawed, general worldview on happiness is the start of the minimalist journey, too. It is what attracted me to the minimalist lifestyle: the realisation of true happiness and fulfilment based on the ‘less is more’ principle – reducing consumerism and material possessions to get to the core of what matters most.
I believe the way we currently seek happiness in our modern lives is our greatest challenge. Society forces us into a vicious cycle of buying, consuming and accepting what we don’t need to maintain a sense of fulfilment, acceptance and success.
The current definition of happiness – consumerism, fame, wealth, and status – dictates that we should buy or acquire more material possessions to aspire to the lifestyle and standards preferred by modern society and, as a result, increase happiness.
But conforming to the conventional notion of happiness as found in consumerism never brings happiness, just fleeting thrills and temporary highs. We all go through buyer’s remorse, sooner or later.
It’s precisely like Will Rogers said in his famous statement:
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers
You may notice something that feels incomplete about your life or cannot sustain your joy in the face of everyday opportunities and challenges.
You may feel lost and overwhelmed by the myriad of choices in your grasp – which way to go?
You may struggle to keep alive those fleeting moments of happiness brought by newer, shinier or better things.
However, happiness should not be defined as a single exhilarating feeling or the material wealth that defines your status;
Happiness should be a ‘being’ state of inner serenity and total comfort with yourself.
Minimalism is an authentic way of living and enjoying more happiness and freedom by having and doing less. There are no more unnecessary things, activities, expectations and worries that bring you down and do not represent the real you.
The goal is to be happy with your inner being and derive maximum joy from the fewer things you possess. You don’t need all that stuff or the stress it brings to call yourself successful. More often than not, this stuff and its expectations weigh you down and deter you from achieving the happiness and success you desire.
Minimalism redefines the traditional notion of success and happiness by breaking free from societal pressures instead of constantly worrying about what others think of our choices and trying hard to fit in with the herd mentality.
By contrast, the minimalist lifestyle portrays a different journey of living a simple, comfortable, clutter-free and stress-free life, where inner comfort, happiness and joy are the most important.
In a way, the minimalist lifestyle is a straightforward path to fulfilment and happiness, which implies living our true selves and reaching our potential while also helping others realise their inner peace.
Finally, this is a new definition of happiness that we can all relate to, as it fits our lives and what we believe to be true to our journey.