[minimalism] False metrics


Obviously, it’s easy to talk (maybe write in this case). But rather hard to walk the talk. Especially when it comes to statement that we hold to challenge the majority.

When I talk about minimalism (it’s been awhile since I talk about this), I can feel that there’s something that tickle me inside. Part of me, wanted to say out loud to my face that I’m not a real minimalist.

If you happen to know me since college, you may notice that most of my cloths that I own now are new. Meaning that those are the things that I buy for the past 3 years.

On the contrary of “buy less”, I opt for more and more clothing to replace my old wardrobe. Although I wouldn’t categorize it as excessive, there’s still a sense of guilt that I’m doing the whole minimalism things wrong.

Looking at my new wardrobe, although I could safely say that most of them brings me real joy, I also wonder why do I feel guilty spending money on things that I love? Of course, there are lots of people that still think that minimalism is all about “restrictions”. But I do believe that it should be about purposeful living with things that brings real joy in one’s life.

And I think I’ve found the answer to my own question now. Just like it’s too shallow to use numbers of PRs to measure open source contribution, it’s also not fair for us to measure our life in numbers. We might use a false metrics all this time. It’s not the quantity. We might need to dig deeper to measure how true was the joy that we experience? No matter you’re a minimalist, or not.

It’s so easy to fall in the trap and conclude that minimalists should worship less of everything. But maybe that’s not the point in the first place. Less of everything is just the easy first step into purposeful living so that we can recognize what brings us real meaning in this life. Less of things brings us a new perspective to see what’s really important.

I’ve been keeping my hair intact from any cut (except for bangs) for the past 2 years and this is the longest one I’ve ever have. Although many says that long hair doesn’t reflect minimalist, I would still keep it because it actually brings me joy. This year, I buy (and read) more books than any other year in my life and I couldn’t be more happy about that because reading brings me joy.

On the contrary, I sold my camera because I come to realize that I hate to bring lots of things when I’m travelling. And I do feel enough with a pair of shoe since I’m not wearing it often except when I travels.

We’re all different: what we need is different for each of us. - The minimalists

And ugh, I actually hate the term minimalist. I wonder that’s just another term to combat consumerism. And hey, it’s not the point of minimalism anyway. We are not against consumption. But we do against excessivity. That’s why we strive to be more mindful and deliberate on our purchases.

“But you do have enough cloth and you need to stop!” I would argue. And that’s why I challenge myself not to buy anymore cloth in the meantime until the end of the year. Indeed, I’m going back to the basic paradigm of restriction here. But I’m confident that I can use this sabbatical shopping period to reflect and to sharpen my lense in order to have a better understanding of my life.