A new kind of consumerism has taking it by storm – Online shopping. It is not new but it is definitely “THE” thing now amid the pandemic.
First of all buying things is not the issue. Unintentionally buying is the problem. In The Minimalist’s new documentary “Less is Now” (released on Nexflix this year), the duo explained why wanting new things unintentionally can take us away from the real things that could actually bring us happiness.
This time, Joshua and Ryan asked us this central question: How might your life be better with less?
Contrary with popular belief, simple is not easy. To live in simplicity in the context of minimalism needs constant intentional thinking, behaviour, and action. To go with the flow is much easier – I see, I buy – now online shopping means I click click click!
Minimalism is not about deprivation of stuff or the race to own as little stuff as humanly possible. Minimalism is about intentional use of the resources you have.
This pandemic gave us an opportunity to re-evaluate our lives, to see what is truly essential. And…what is essential to me, might not be essential to you. You will know what is important to you. This is what minimalism is to you. Minimalism that portrays 10 items of clothes, no bed, no table, one pair of chopsticks, and X number of items at home is the biggest misconception about minimalism.
Now back to consumerism – the reason why we fell into this unending spiral of consuming and accumulating so much stuff in our lives. The foundation of capitalism is growth. It means companies will keep producing stuff for us consumers. Suddenly, we are overwhelmed by an avalanche of product choices.
But do we really have the choice? Nah ah. We actually don’t. Because we live in a world where manipulating consumer’s shopping behaviour through ads, etc. happened everyday, every second. Oh by the way, check out another Nextflix documentary on that – “The Social Dilemma“. So, the strategy is to show you what you don’t have, making you feel inadequate (“I’m not enough”) and prompted the desire to buy it. This is called the deficit advertising.
Buying things is the easier way to “feel” enough. The harder way? Feeling enough through building yourself a community, healthy relationship, life purpose…is the harder way, but definitely more sustainable than owning stuff.
“I will be happy when I own this latest phone”, I will be happy when I finally own this Kitchen Aid”, “I will be happy when…this that”. Buying and owning ONLY the things that I need and love, NOT what others told me I should have – is what I think freedom is. The power is in my hands.
Coming back to the question “How might your life be better with less?”
Minimalism is a shift in mindset. Once you KNOW you are in control, you are conscious of what you want in your life (not the companies), you live every day with deliberate intentions, you can finally SEE and focus on living a meaningful life – a better life.
You can manage your attention. You are no longer distracted by social media. You are no longer in debt because you don’t need to buy things to keep up with the Joneses. You then realised…you already have all that you really need.
I’ve been practising minimalism for the past five years. No regret. I hope this is a “bandwagon” you will jump into. All the best, my friends.
Check my IGTV here on how I declutter and re-prioritize my life. Also check out my other posts on minimalism >>> “Why I’ve decided to be a minimalist“, “Why are we so attached to our things“, and “Which minimalist are you?“
Stay safe. Stay healthy.