Change In Practice

minimalism, lego minimalist, living a values based life with intentionality

I recently watched Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things and it really resonated with me. Since I just wrote about my philosophy of change, I thought it’d be interesting to follow along as I actually implement a change in my life.

Minimalism is living a values based life, but with more intention. I’d say I already do a pretty good job of aligning my life with my values. Which is to say that the daily decisions I make follow with the values that I hold.

#Minimalism is living a values based life, but with more intention. Click To Tweet

Of course I could always be better. I sometimes spend too much time watching mindless entertainment on Netflix. Or don’t spend as much time connecting with my kids, as I’d like. But for the most part I’d give myself a solid B+ in matching my life activities with my values.

The problem is I’m not all that intentional with making my life embody my current set of values. So while my daily activities match my values, my living space does not.

Shifting Values Equals More Stuff

As is true of most people my values have shifted over time. While I’ve never valued consumption, I’ve also never valued minimalism. This has resulted in amassing a great deal of stuff over the past 20 years.

Throughout my 20’s I prioritized the acquisition of knowledge. And what better way to acquire knowledge than to buy an obscene amount of books (most of which remained unread).

While I haven’t completely abandoned my love of learning, I have come to the realization that knowledge is more about what I put into my brain rather than what I possess. Yet, despite this shift in my values, I have continued to possess, move, and store thousands of books. Unable to let go of something I once deemed important.

Knowledge is about what I put into my brain rather than the number of #books I own. #Minimalism Click To Tweet

I’ve fooled myself into believing that I may eventually read them or at least some of them, but the reality is that I know I won’t read more than 95% of them…ever. I lived in a just in case mindset, unwilling to part ways with my books, “just in case” I wanted to reread that textbook from Freshman year composition.(Although now that you’ve read some of my work, you’re probably thinking it couldn’t have hurt to brush up.)

Aligning my Life with my Values

So, when I came across the documentary on minimalism it resonated with me. It helped me realize that my current life is not representative of my current values. My wardrobe is a perfect example of this.

I’d estimate that I likely wear less than 50 articles of clothing throughout the year (this includes both warm weather items and cold weather items). Yet, I possess literally hundreds of clothing items. The clothes that I do wear represents maybe 20% of my entire wardrobe. I don’t need the other 80% nor will I likely ever wear it, yet I continue to keep it.

With this new insight I recognize that a change is in order. However, for me change is a slow process. I know that I won’t get rid of all of this excess in my life overnight. However, continuing to expose myself to the philosophy of minimalism will lead to change. I’ll listen to the podcasts. Read the essays and books. View the YouTube videos. Over time I’ll slowly transform my mind and then my life into that of a minimalist (at least my version of it).

Over time, I'll slowly transform my mind and then my life into that of a #minimalist #Minimalism Click To Tweet

After writing about my philosophy of change, I think this post is the perfect opportunity to put that philosophy into practice. So it will be the first in a series I plan on writing about my journey into minimalism.

The specific direction and duration of this series is still unknown, but I think there is some value into documenting my experiences as I continue to expose myself to this idea. To create a paper trail of how my life changes as a result of opening my mind up to a new way of thinking about the world around me.

I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me.

I’d love to hear from you: Are you familiar with minimalism? Does it resonate with you or seem too limiting? If you are a minimalist, what tips do you have for me as I get started? Comment below:

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8 Comments

    1. Thanks for reading Matt! I’m looking forward to living a simpler life. There is already so many distractions in the world, why complicate things and bring those distractions home with you. I appreciate you checking in!

  1. Try moderatism…it’s a term I coined but is somewhere in between the American Consumptive life and minimalism. I find it is a balance of trying not to buy useless items, accumulate them, and spend hours in front of the tv while also watching some shows, enjoying some items, etc. In the middle. You get the idea.

    Anyway, great post!

    1. I like Moderatism! Sounds like something I can get behind and will be an easier sell to my wife 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, I appreciate you reading!

      1. Sounds like a “gateway drug” to minimalism.

        Man…I just needed to relax. Had a rough day at work. Bought a six pack and drank four. I’ll save the rest for the weekend.

        Six months later: I THREW AWAY ALL OF MY THINGS. But on the bright side, I still have those two beers sitting in the fridge from six months ago. They’re emergency beers.

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