“Being a minimalist means that you value yourself more than material things.” —Brian Gardner
We often think of minimalism as shedding away our external possessions and living with only the essentials. Certainly, this is very much part of it.
But I am learning the journey is not just external, it is also internal. To experience true abundance from minimalism, it must start within.
Just as some people accumulate things to create a false identity or pursue a mythical state of happiness, eliminating yourself of possessions without coming from a place of inward truth is short-sighted. They are disconnected.
Living an abundant life derives from traveling a journey of intentional self growth. It’s functioning through your true self to live a simple life. It’s getting good at being simple. Self simplicity becomes the clarity in which you find meaning. It’s the removal of the unnecessary. It’s the discovery of what you value most.
We are able to get by on a retirement budget of about $33,000 per year including a paid off house. We could rent our house in the US and net $800-900 per month which might be enough to allow us to rent a decent furnished house or apartment in Mexico. Almost all of our costs would drop, but we would have to use part of our $5,300 vacation budget for visits back to the US. Food, transportation, and entertainment costs would drop. Electronics and appliances tend to cost the same or more down here, so we might see an increase in these expense categories. Overall, I imagine we could live a slightly more luxurious lifestyle on a little less money.
But should we move 2,000 miles away just to save a little money? That’s the tough part of the equation. I don’t think it’s necessarily better or worse in Mexico assuming you have adequate funds to live on. Just different in some aspects. There’s a vibe here that’s hard to explain. The parks seem to attract more people having fun. There’s always a festival or parade or protest going down. Running errands can be a cultural and language adventure.
1. YOU’RE STUCK IN A DEBT TRAP
“When you’re poor, it’s easy to get stuck in a debt trap because you’re desperate,” said Kristin Wong of Brokepedia. “Whether it’s a payday loan, debt settlement scam, or even just using a credit card for an emergency, it’s easy to make rash decisions when you’re stressed, and these decisions usually keep people broke.”
2. YOU’RE IGNORING BIG DEBTS
When you’re broke, stacks of bills and overdue notices are a huge source of anxiety and dread. But avoiding those problems and failing to manage your debts only makes them worse, according to Robert Farrington, founder of The College Investor.
“A lot of young adults are burdened by student loans and other debt, yet they don’t realize there are a lot of options out there for them,” Farrington said. “For example, for student loans, there are tons of programs that can help with lower payments and even forgiveness. But you have to take positive action and seek out these programs.”
Matt and his wife are 1 Percenters, but like Mike, don’t ever seem to be satisfied. A couple years ago, they spent $700,000 remodeling the kitchen in their Illinois place. Yes, $700,000 for a *&^%ing kitchen remodel. Shortly after that, they traded in their million dollar ski condo for one that was a bit closer closer to the main gondola. Why walk 500 feet when you can be just 100 feet away?
At the present time, Matt and his wife are fighting about their lake house (house #3 if you’re counting). They have a stunning home on 100′ of prime frontage on a private lake in Wisconsin. Even though the home is just a weekend getaway for Matt and his wife, it tips the scales at over 3000 square feet and is in immaculate condition. Matt’s wife wants to demolish it and build something over 6000 square feet. Must be nice to have that kind of money. However, there are plenty of folks who have a lot more money than Matt.
Larry Page (Google co-founder) and Larry Ellison (Oracle founder) are both pouring loads of money into research to expand their lifespans. Now we have the answer of what to give to the man who has everything. Immortality! Can’t pick that up at Walmart. I’m sorry Larry and Larry, you can buy almost anything, but you can’t buy time.
Do you have an itch for more adventure in your life?
Do you want to get out and explore more, but don’t have the time or money to undertake a major, globe-trotting expedition?
Maybe this longing has made you feel frustrated and stuck.
If that sounds like you, allow me to suggest embracing the microadventure.
The term “microadventure” was coined by Alastair Humphreys, a true Adventurer with a capital A. Humphreys has bicycled around the world, walked across India, and rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. And he noticed that whenever he spoke of these travels, listeners would get a look of awe and envy in their eyes and wistfully express how they wished they could take similarly grand adventures. This admission was invariably followed by a list of excuses for why such expeditions were not in the cards — the would-be adventurers lived in suburbs and cities, had jobs and kids, and didn’t have enough money, vacation time, etc.
In March 2014 I was spending the month in Antigua, Guatemala, where they will kill you for your shoes. Or maybe not.
One day I returned to my hotel to find a motorcycle parked in the lobby sporting an Australian license plate. A quick inquiry to my landlady, who was by this time also my friend, and I was pounding on the poor fellow’s door. Regular readers know I have a motorbike and so I wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass.
That evening I dragged him out to dinner at Sobremesa owned and operated by my then new pal Alex. In addition to being a restauranteur, Alex is an artist and I’ve featured his work in my posts here, here and here. He is also a novelist with several books to his credit, but that’s another story.
Turns out Dave was just about a year and a half into a 3-year round the world motorcycle ride. Over a fabulous meal he shared a few of his stories and, when things slowed down, Alex joined us and over drinks we closed up the joint.
you are one of those sincere people who read all manner of training articles and get motivated from one thing to the other (program, system, product, tool, guru, etc.) and, yet, surprisingly fail to progress much in any of them, then this article is for you.
So what is it that’s getting in the way? Consider the 10 possibilities below.
1. NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
2. BREATHING PROBLEMS
10. Formulate Your To-Do List with Three Things: Must, Should, and Want
To stay productive and sane, start your to-do list with three entries: something you must do (an immediate important task), something you should do (something that contributes to your long-term goals), and something you genuinely want to do. This provides a good balance between your short-term and long-term goals and includes something that makes you happy.
9. Keep an Electronic and a Paper To-Do List to Prioritize Your Task
Everyone’s trying to go paperless, but hear me out: a second paper to-do list can complement your digital one. The digital one can be your massive brain dump of every task you have to do, while the paper one can serve as your daily list to keep you focused and less overwhelmed.
More often than not, the investigations that my company carried out were only possible because of the carelessness of the subjects they were investigating. While investigating potential insurance fraud is a relatively on-the-level business, these same people were just as vulnerable to stalkers, scammers, or themselves. Everything from accidentally texting sensitive photos of yourself to the wrong person to getting your phone stolen at a bar can, at least in part, be prevented with the basic protections so many of us refuse to take. You don’t need to be paranoid to protect yourself. You just need to cover the basics that are so frequently neglected.
Being a minimalist means you value yourself more than material things. It means making decisions based on what you need instead of getting everything you want. It does not mean the things that you buy are cheap. It means they are something that you need, regardless of how much they cost.
A person can decide how much of a minimalist lifestyle they want to lead. They can do it in stages as well. Most people begin by going through their home and getting rid of things they no longer need. Over time, they are able to pare their life down to a much more minimalist style.
The Benefits of a Minimalist Life
If you told a person that they had to give up everything and only get by with the bare necessities of life they would probably ask why. They would wonder why not take advantage of the inventions and the luxuries that are available.