Minimalism: Prioritizing What Matters

April 27, 2017

Considering we live in a glorious state with 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s hard not to get swept up in what it means to truly live your best life (or as we say, LYBL) in Colorado.

Those 300 days spur the need to experience that sunshine and as a result, invest financially into making your adventures happen. An essential part? Well, it often starts with the necessary gear. Interested in getting your booty to a bunny hill to conquer the slopes? Even if you can convince your roommate to let you borrow her sick onesie (we like these), if you don’t own your own skis, boots, poles, and helmet, you’ll likely shell out $100 or so to rent those goodies—and then there’s the cost of the lift ticket on top of that (which can be almost $200 at some of the larger resorts). Want to grab a beer (or two) on the mountain? That’s easily $15. And that’s all for just ONE activity. We start to cringe when we think about what that means for each.

Or you can go the other extreme, and invest in literally nothing. Nada. Zilch. This practice is usually referred to as minimalism. At its core, minimalism pushes for a focus on the things in life that aren’t actually, well, things. It strives to bring light to the fact that we often assign unnecessary meaning to our stuff (raise your hand if you’re guilty of naming your car, for instance). We prioritize our physical possessions, like our cars, over our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth…even our greater desire to contribute to causes larger than ourselves to make the world a better place.  

The Minimalists are one duo bringing mainstream awareness to the minimalist movement. Their basic premise or philosophical way of life is a focus on fewer material possessions across the board. On their blog they go on to explain that “…Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilty Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around.”

Part of what could prevent our generation from finding this freedom is explained by Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why: “…Because the millennial generation has been raised on instant gratification, on-demand everything, and always-connected social media, they don’t even realize that the primary means of getting what they wanted in the past was to get really good at something—even if that something was simply being patient.”

To put it bluntly, we’re so used to being able to order our favorite artist’s new vinyl on Amazon Prime the day it comes out, we’re not patient enough to see it in person and first ensure that it’s worth the investment. This is quite possibly the reason we have so much STUFF. And further, this is quite possibly the reason there’s such an interest in the minimalist lifestyle.

As part of coming to an internal understanding of what we want and need to live more fulfilling lives is the importance of establishing priorities. At its core, minimalism strives to teach us to focus on what truly matters and abandon the rest. In that way, it’s about reassessing your priorities so you can strip away the excess stuff — the possessions, ideas, relationships, activities — that don’t bring value to your life, and instead fill your life up with those possessions/ideas/relationships/activities that DO.

Would you ever take on a minimalistic approach to life? Why or why not?