Trend 3 of 2019: Less is More
Overconsumerism has long consumed us. It is the core of our economy and has dominated many of our lives for far too long. According to Northwestern Mutual and CNBC the average debt an individual has in the United States is $38,000 with credit card debt being responsible for 25% of that. Large percentages of our debt are coming from buying things that we can’t afford and don’t actually really need.
It has long been engrained in our society that material possessions and success go hand and hand. The more stuff that you have the more successful you must be. When did the type of car, house, clothes, electronics and accessories become a symbol of success and personal worth? It often seems that the more we make the more we spend, and then the more we become indebted to our things.
The idea of minimalism is really starting to gain traction though. In short, according to The Minimalist, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so that you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. Minimalism can help us eliminate our discontent, reclaim our time, live in the moment, pursue our passions, discover our missions, experience real freedom, create more, focus on our health, grow as individuals, contribute beyond ourselves, rid ourselves of excess stuff, and discover purpose in our lives.”
Minimalism does not mean that you have to get rid of everything that you own. It simply means that you only own things that bring you joy and have meaning to you.
Some of us are beginning to wake up and realize that we are so cluttered internally and externally that various areas of lives are being affected by mindless or influenced consuming. When our space is cluttered and disorganized, it is difficult to function to our highest potential.
We have been led to believe that possessions make us happy. We are bombarded every day with marketing campaigns telling us to buy and to upgrade. These ads paint a false reality of happiness being connected to material possessions.
But, if you really took the time to ask yourself and answer with complete and utter honesty what brings you joy in your life, it is likely that it would be hard to say that an item, such as a new iPhone or another pair of shoes is really providing you with everlasting joy. Is the debt that is attached to overconsumption and the weight of working more to afford more and “better” possessions contributing to your life in a positive way?
Less is more! And the less we consume that less we are negatively impacting our planet as well. The idea isn’t to stop making purchases and stop having material possessions entirely. The idea is to be mindful about what you consume and what you keep in your space. Maybe 2019 can be your year of less!
Mindful Ambitions’ step-by-step guide to “Minimizing Your Possessions to Live a Focused Life” is a really great resource if you are interested in taking the initial steps to living a life that is less cluttered and more fulfilling.
The Minimalist also have a great documentary on Netflix that is definitely worth watching and might help inspire your "less is more" year ahead.