My own self-discovery in the pursuit of happiness; being content with less material possession and fight the urge of consumerism, is this the secret to contentment? In a world where the average family owns two cars, a home that includes a guest bedroom and now-a-days apparently we need a second family room because the basement isn’t good enough, an outdoor “living space” (a living room on your deck), at least two televisions, and endless electronic devices; tablets, cell phones, laptops, desktops, none of which we can share therefore each member of the family requires their own. Are we fooling ourselves in believing we are happy living this way?http://www.becomingminimalist.com/clutter-stats/
In my own pursuit of happiness I have decided to act against my anxiety and society’s expectations of what it is to be successful, and sell my 1 acre property with a newly renovated house that includes the custom made dream kitchen I thought I always wanted. I had doubts; many, many, many doubts. My husband kept questioning my reasoning and asking “Are you sure you want to move”? I questioned myself, changed my mind and began to work on the idea of building an addition to the existing house I owned! Then took a few steps back and evaluated myself, who am I now? Rather than make a list of what makes me happy, I made a list of what makes me unhappy, what annoys me, what are the social situations that anger or frustrate me. Now I know, no doubts, I not only want to minimize and not buy into this world that pushes the need to have more, I need to do this if my goal is to be happier.
My goal includes changing my spending tendencies which evolve in accumulating material things that I bought into to conform to what consumerism expects. It’s Easter and therefore I must buy the related themed napkins, or ceramic bunny to decorate the living room, maybe I need a new dinnerware set to have a happy spring! Well not this year, last year’s bunny, if I can find him, will do just fine and the plates I have will do and we’ll use one of the many themed napkins I already have to deplete the inventory I have accumulated. I believe the less time I dedicate to keeping up with my stuff whether its monetary, time spent shopping or maintaining what I own, the less stressed out I will be and will enjoy time with my kids simply reading the books I bought them last year, or hey, maybe even go to the library. The money saved I can use to go on the road trips we never go on because all the stuff I have needs to be paid for. I have made my list of where to begin minimalizing and how I want to introduce my family into this new way of living. I challenge you to look at your lifestyle and make your own list of what irks you in life and see if becoming a minimalist will lead to your happiness. Take a look at Graham Hill’s talk on his theory of less is more, let me know if you’re up for the challenge? https://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness?language=en