You may be wondering what minimalism and personal development have in common. I can see that. For me, minimalism and personal development go hand in hand, and in this post, I will try to explain why.
Let’s start with a simple question: What is minimalism anyway?
Minimalism is about figuring out what you actually need and want in your life and cutting out everything else. It’s about simplicity. It’s about clearing away crap to make room for beauty. It’s about focusing on what matters most to you. It’s about creating time, space, and resources. It’s about making conscious choices about what you bring into your environment.
A person who is a minimalist will not just put any old thing into their environment whether it’s currently fashionable, cheap- or even free, or sparks momentary interest. They will think carefully about that item, whether it fits in with their current environment, benefits it in some way, and will have a lasting positive effect on it.
A true minimalist will do this within every aspect of their life, whether they are thinking of buying something for their home, adding an activity to their schedule, choosing their meals, or making new friends. Only the best, most appropriate for them, will do.
Ok, that’s minimalism.
What is Personal Development?
Personal development is the art of raising your consciousness. It’s about letting go of old ideas and concepts and making room for new ones. It’s about changing your perspective so you can understand how and why the universe works. It’s about learning to participate in this reality at the highest level possible.
A person who actively pursues personal development will not just accept any old crap that happens in their life at face value. They will contemplate it, ask themselves what they are doing in order to bring this about, and work to correct whatever they have going on within themselves that is preventing them from perceiving the best of reality.
A true personal development student will do this within every aspect of their life. They will contemplate how their work is affecting them and those around them. They will work to master their emotional state so that they can better control how they respond to stimuli. They will choose what they put into their body carefully, making sure to give their physical apparatus the best fuels to function on. They will carefully allocate their free-time and be sure to use it effectively. They will carefully select friends who help to raise their consciousness and avoid people who lower it. Once again, only the best will do.
Ok, that’s personal development.
How do they work together?
Well, some of the similarities are fairly obvious. Both minimalist and personal development students work to cut out unwanted aspects of their lives. Both groups are looking for better, richer experiences and are unwilling to settle for just whatever gets thrown their way.
But I, personally, think it’s more than that. For me, it is essential to develop a more minimalist lifestyle in order to allow personal development work to take place.
Let me explain.
- Personal development work takes focus and concentration. A busy, cluttered, messy environment is distracting- it calls out to you repeatedly; “I really need to wipe that down.”, “I haven’t used that thing in a while, maybe I should.”, “I remember where I got that thing…”, or, my favorite “Ooh, look it’s sparkly!”
When you declutter and clean up your space, minimize it to the point that it is no longer a distraction, it becomes much easier to focus on whatever it is that you are working on.
- Personal development also takes time. The more stuff you have in your life, the more time it takes up. I’m not just talking about physical stuff, but activities, people…tv- it all takes up a portion of your time. That’s why most people are so busy they “just don’t have time” for personal development work.
I’m not saying that you have to go live in a cave with nothing but a bag, focus entirely on personal development and become a hermit in order to do personal development work. I just think that we need to be a lot more selective with how we spend our time.
- Minimalism forces us to become more self-aware. In order to cut out all the crap and attain a minimimalist lifestyle that works for you, you have to be really honest about what actually matters to you right now, in this moment.
This can give you a really clear picture of who you are, what values you hold, and what you might need to change within yourself in order to attain a higher level of consciousness.
- Minimalism helps us become more selective. Once you have gone through the initial work in creating a minimalist lifestyle, the last thing you want to do is allow it to become cluttered again. This means that you have to be very choosy about what you bring in-especially if you decide you will not bring something new in without taking something old out.
My Experience in Minimalism (so far)
For me, going through the process of minimizing my life has been a huge awakening. As I go about decluttering my home, I have spent a lot of time thinking about other areas in my life that need to be either decluttered or straight up discarded. As I stated before in my first post, I have fallen out of touch with myself in the past few years, and the time I have had to think about my life since I have been home has really shown me how much needs to change. I am reassessing my priorities and cutting out all the crap that has been holding me back from building the life I want.
I invite you to do the same.
What do you think? Do minimalism and personal development go together, or are they two completely different things? Let me know in the comments below!