On this episode of the Stronger Revolution, we talk about the topic of Minimalism. During the last episode, co-host Adam brought up the topic of living below your means. I attempted to avoid this topic for a number of reasons. However, I ultimately gave in.
To start, we have to define what we are talking about. Adam referred to the topic as living below your means. I instantly thought of “minimalism.” However, are the topics the same? We decided that, regardless of their actual similarity, we were talking about the same concept. By minimalism, we are talking about avoiding the influence of consumerism as a way to bring fulfillment to our life, and focusing more on what we need.
This then begs the question, how do we know what we “need?” For that, we turn to Mavlov’s Hierarchy of Needs. For ease of explanation, we refer in the podcast to this image:
By referring to this hierarchy, we can start at the bottom and work our way up to make sure our needs are met first, and in the proper order. In other words, you need air, water, food, and shelter before you need to worry about personal security, proper employment, or health.
In our discussion on minimalism, we are using this hierarchy as a way to bring awareness to what we have, what we need, and what we want. This can help us take the emotion out of our desires and fully analyze how the things in our life bring us lasting happiness and fulfillment. Will that new coat really enhance your life? Or, do you simply like it, despite already owning two other coats?
We are by no means saying we should never buy anything we simply “want.” Indulgence in our wants can be a wonderful reward for hard work and a job well done. However, when indulgence overcomes gratefulness, we believe it has gone too far. Therefore, after considering the hierarchy of needs, reflecting on our gratefulness for all we have is a great second step.
In the end, minimalism to us isn’t about paring down your life to only what you need to basically survive. It is more about making sure that our needs are met first. Next, making sure that we are reflecting on what good fortunes we do have, even if very small. This brings gratefulness into our life and helps to avoid over indulgence. Finally, indulging in some “wants” should be enjoyed every so often, but kept to a reasonable amount.
For more information about this topic, and to hear some different examples, check out the episode in its full capacity.