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October 9, 2015 Less stuff and more of everything else

The first thing that struck me on The Minimalists’ website was the absence of something. What was it? No ads. It makes sense; all that white space represented their rejection of fetishising junk.

While it seems a sensible choice in keeping with their message, choosing not to have ads means losing out on $120,000 per year. When Google contacted them to let them know how much money they stood to earn if they put ads on their website, they made the tough decision to say no to that six-figure income, and now rely on donations and book sales to continue spreading their message to the four million readers of their blog.

The Minimalists are Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, life-long friends who were both high-flying corporate-types until personal crises threw them out of that world, and they had to rebuild from the basics. (I also can’t stop thinking about the fact that they have reverse hair).

Their TED Talk has been massively popular, and they’re also releasing a documentary next year, the tagline of which is, “A documentary about the important things”.

 

This ties-in to the concept that recurs throughout their blog; minimalism isn’t about ‘living with less’, it’s not about an absence, it’s not about deprivation and a fascist level of self-discipline. It’s about having your priorities in order and giving yourself the life you want to live; living with less is often a side-effect of that.

The definition of ‘enough’ is different for everyone and minimalism means finding your level of ‘enough’ and not letting social pressures and the daily barrage of advertisements tell you otherwise. As they say on their website, “Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself; thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life”.

How to do it? A good starting point is their 21 Day Journey into Minimalism, which is one of the best pages on the website, giving a chronological and narrated account of what you’re likely to grow through in your journey towards, “a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life”.

Kate Cole
is a journalist, content producer, and graduate of the University of Sydney