Minimalism vs Maximalism

The term "Minimalism" has been floating around for a while now and slowly growing in popularity. Lately most of the millenials and GenZ, including myself have begun to embrace it.

But, what is Minimalism?


Here's how Merriam Webster describes it-

a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.

Although it mentions only music, literature and design, this concept can be applied even to our lifestyles.

Living a minimal lifestyle means buying and owning only those things that have a practical use case in your life, and not living a materialistic life where you buy whatever you see.

For example, you need a two wheeler to travel around the city but you don't really need a big car because you live in a small city and don't really travel out much. As a minimalist you just own a scooter, even though you have the funds to own and maintain a car.

Another example is, you could buy a big bungalow and fill it with furnitures and stuff you don't need just because you can, but you go the minimalistic route of renting an apartment and having as less furniture as possible.

Nicholas Burroughs described it best when he said,

“Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something.”

Who is Nicholas you might ask. Heck, even I do not know who he is but I found this popular quote on minimalism on the internet.

So, how did the minimalistic bug bite me?

I used to be a heavy consumer of material stuff, gadgets, vehicles- always went for the highest end of any product even though I didn't really require it.

One day I observed a wealthy friend of mine in the way he was managing his resources. Even though he had FU money(you know what that means) he would spend it judiciously only on what he needed. That habit enabled him to amass and grow such a wealth.

The lesson I took away was that what I had been doing was just an unnecessary wastage of resources.

It's like always driving a vehicle at maximum rpm even though you don't really need to go that fast- you would only be wasting a lotta fuel and damaging the engine at the same time.

After this point, I started reducing the stuff in my life that I wasn't using by either giving it away or selling it off.

I also stopped buying unnecessary stuff.

This has been greatly beneficial for my mental health. Because the stuff that you own takes up certain mental space even though you may not be directly aware of it.

As the popular dialogue from the movie "Fight Club" goes,

The things you own end up owning you.

Getting rid of stuff clears the clutter in your mind.

Try it once- get rid of all the things that you do not have any use for or the things you have not used for in more than 6 months.

Then come back here and write a comment on what changes do you feel in your head.