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My journey towards minimalism

The Minimalism documentary popped up on my YouTube feed. I remember watching it on Netflix a few years back. Back then, I proudly called myself a minimalist, but everyone laughed and doubted me. No one believed it.

Minimalistic room generated by Dall E based on text inputs
Minimalist room

Now, with more years spent on this Earth, I am wiser. Meditation has helped me reflect and understand myself better. I'm not a perfect minimalist yet, though. I've got some issues to sort out.

First, is my attachment to material things. Shopping feels like a waste of time. It's a necessity, not a luxury. Whenever I browse Amazon for gift ideas, it's a struggle. I rush through the process. If I visit a shop, I know exactly what I need, buy it, and leave. But if a salesperson starts pushing add-ons, I quickly give in and buy them too. On the flip side, I splurge on an iPhone instead of choosing a cheaper Android phone. I prefer a MacBook over a Windows laptop. I've got DSLR cameras and accessories that I probably didn't need. I even have my eye on a particular bike. So, yeah, my attitude towards owning stuff is a bit conflicted. I buy what I want but rush through when it feels like a chore.

Second, is my relation with money. I see it as a necessity, something to be financially secure. I play it safe with my decisions, but sometimes I impulsively make financial moves that leave me confused. Does my drive to make more money contradict my path to minimalism?

While watching the first 15 minutes of the documentary, I had some questions. So, I turned to Chatgpt for help. Acting like a psychologist, Chatgpt asked me open-ended questions about minimalism, money, and my values. It even led to me mentioning my interest in spirituality.

Chatgpt's responses were eye-opening:

  • Minimalism is about living intentionally with less, not earning less. It's more about thoughtful consumption and saving resources.

  • My vision of freedom, peace, and spirituality aligns with a minimalist lifestyle.

  • Wanting quality in the things I own is actually part of minimalism – having fewer but better things.

  • Financial independence, for me, is about owing less and living life on my own terms, which fits right into the minimalist philosophy.

Chatgpt's answers challenged my fears of financial instability and reassured me that my personal values weren't conflicting. They gave me a boost of self-belief and confidence.

Looking closer at my lifestyle, I realized my wardrobe is already minimal, with only a few favorite pieces. But there's still room for improvement. I need to get rid of those unused shoes, shirts, and trousers. I'll keep only what I truly need. I also need to use my DSLR camera more often. If I can't discipline myself to use it at least once a week, it's better to sell it. My bike, though, is something I enjoy and use daily. As for books, well, I'm building up a collection. My wife even dreams of a big wooden library with glass windows in our future home.

So, minimalism comes into question again. But I've learned to smile at these conflicts. It's all about the realization.

So, honesty and ethics are values I stand for. I don't want to do wrong by anyone. But sometimes, my straightforwardness leads me to say things that hurt my loved ones. I need to work on that. I also believe in the value of "slowness." It means being present and fully engaged in the moment. You may have guessed by now that I'm talking about meditation and spirituality. Yes, I aspire to be a spiritual person. In fact a minimalist-spiritual person.

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