Picture: Osman Kalim his ‘Baumhaus’ at Berlin.
During my burn-out I made a life-changing realization: everything I owned didn’t bring purpose, meaning, fulfillment… The more I owned, the more I kept on buying. I found out that the pressure of society for having a perfect life including nice house, good job and working as hard as my boss wanted me to do, took away my freedom. I found out that living with less money gave me so much joy.
I realized I didn’t need this stuff to feel happy. I needed time. The time to plan my own day, to live without pressure in a way where I – as a sensitive person- could use my own strengths to fulfill my needs.
This journey towards minimalism has been more life-changing than I expected. The possessions that we have in live defines us more than we realize. In our socialisation, we learned that we needed to work hard so we could have a great career and that we needed a lot of money for our needs. I discovered that we don’t need money to life. We need freedom and guess what: you can’t buy freedom. You can only buy a break (a holiday). You need to find freedom in your daily routine to ‘set yourself free’.
What did I learned after a few years of minimalism?
1. Owning less reduces stress
It seems like the more we have, the more we need. Owning less reduces stress. You don’t feel the urge of buying and missing out anymore. Cause, in the end, you will have enough for the basic needs in life: a place to sleep, something to eat and something to wear.
2. Routines are not always useful
‘Hi Kim, Do you want to go shopping? Sure!’ Every time I did, I bought something that I didn’t need. I always loved to buy clothing. I just love fashion and expressing myself true the way I look. I decided not to go one a shopping hunt but a supermarket adventure shouldn’t be a problem. I was wrong. Every time I entered the store my head was exploding.
‘Am I sure that I don’t need anything? What if I come home and found out that there aren’t any fruits left? What if I wouldn’t have food for breakfast? What if…?
Well, then you will just eat something else. And guess what: the supermarket is just a 5 minutes walk away… It’s not that I’m in the jungle or something. Stay focused and don’t accept any excuse. You don’t need stuff to be happy. I’m sure that you will have enough food in your fridge or cabins. Be the boss of your mind, don’t be distracted by fancy deals.
3. Minimalism doesn’t mean: living without joy
A lot of people think that I don’t own anything or can’t even buy a thing that I like in stores. Well guess what: living minimal doesn’t mean that you can’t buy anything. Minimalism is less about the things you remove and more about the things you add. Since I live more minimal, I traveled more, worked less and found a perfect (little) house at my favorite city.
A nice extra benefit of living more minimal is that you will save a lot of money. Hello, new travel adventures!
Don’t forget: own your stuff, don’t let it own you!