“I find it empowering to know that everything I need to live and be happy, I can carry on my own back, with my own two feet. It gives me a sense of freedom, mobility. I find much happiness living simply with few things.” — Marty Stano.
In one week I’ll be in Berlin, starting my 6-month adventure across Europe. As I start to organise my belongings and more importantly, my thoughts, in preparation for this trip, I am reminded of one of my favourite TED talks. (I am currently putting together a playlist of my favourites—stay tuned!) This TED talk was one of the many that inspired me to dive into the rabbit hole of minimalism back in November 2014.
Marty Stano explains how minimalism can be applied to more than just material possessions, including health and diet, our work, and even our thoughts. The results of a minimalist lifestyle may surprise you: more time, more energy, more money, more freedom, and ultimately, more happiness.
Minimalism to me means having everything I own fit into one bag, because like Marty, I like the freedom that comes with it. Minimalism isn’t an all or nothing idea, however. You can still live in a house with furniture, own a car, work a 9-5 job, and/or have multiple children as a minimalist if those things make you happy. You don’t necessarily need to live out of a backpack and travel the world (though I highly recommend it!). Minimalism just means less is more. The aim of minimalism is to get rid of the things in life that we don’t truly need in order to find more of the things that bring us happiness.
I’m a minimalist in all aspects of my life, including my mind. As Marty points out, our thoughts are much more important than anything we own. I make a conscious effort every day and in every situation to be positive. Negative thoughts, feelings of doubt and disappointment, jealousy, worrying about things that are out of my control…these only distract me from how I want to live my life.
I wake up every day completely content and filled with gratitude. I am happy regardless of how much money I have or where I live in the world. I’m happy because I choose to be happy every day.
What do you truly need in life to be happy?