How many Saturdays do you spend running around on errands and picking up little things? How much time do you spend dusting or thinking you should be dusting?
What about all the mental energy that is burned in the back of your mind by the things that need cleaning, buying, organizing and fixing?
The most staggering idea I got from reading The More of Less by Joshua Becker was that if you approach minimalism with any seriousness, you will need a backup plan of what you are going to do with all the freedom you create.
That freedom, not only of time, but from stress and monetarily, makes it a small wonder that everyone hasn’t already embraced minimalism.
My first thought was that some people may actually like getting out of their houses and puttering around the town buying things, and that tidying and cleaning and taking care of things is their way of passing the time.
My second thought was that stuff does play a role in each of our identities, and that maybe minimalism is an identity that is only a fit for some people.
However, through the course of the book Joshua gradually made me understand that these two excuses are exactly what minimalism is about.
Minimalism is actually not about stuff at all. It is about focusing on uncovering, then proceeding to live, the exact life you want. It is not about taking up a specific minimalist lifestyle, but finding your own individual maximal lifestyle.
The More of Less shows you an incremental way to test minimalism, and then have those minimal changes guide you into your own personal style of minimalism.
We may have grown comfortable with a certain lifestyle, but there are elements to each of our lives that could benefit from a little minimalist treatment, and as we find those, Joshua suggests, we will find more.
It is easy to imagine the freedom he describes, but The More of Less is more that just a useful guide to painlessly escaping the unnecessary burden of stuff. It is also a guide to help you find “The More.”
He gives the example of using some of his new free time and money to get a gym membership and take more trips, but he points out that the possibilities are endless. If you don’t believe him, he urges you to start sorting through your closets drawers and carefully packed up boxes and rediscovering some of your lost passions.
The exercise of moving towards less will have the effect of helping you to focus on what has been the most important to you over the course of your life and give you the freedom to pursue those things.
For Joshua, the idea that he didn’t need all that stuff was a life turning point. All of a sudden he was able to dedicate all of his energy to the things he loved, starting with his family and growing as far as to start a nonprofit supporting orphaned children (which The More of Less is helping to fund).
He hopes, and I believe it will happen, that The More of Less, will bring life changing inspiration to everyone who reads it.
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