My life was book worthy when I was in my early 20ies. I was going out to clubs a few times per week. I was meeting new people constantly. I was shopping for new clothes every month. My life was like one never-ending party. I was going out at lunch and I was getting back home after midnight. Sometimes, I never even got back home the same day – you know what I mean 🙂 In a way, this type of living was amazing and fun, but it wasn’t getting me anywhere. I was broke and I wasn’t truly happy. Going out was a way to escape my problems. That’s why I did it so often.
At some point, I understood what I was doing wrong: I was spending all my money on clothes and clubs. I was scared of facing my problems.
I didn’t had a car, a place to live, nor any savings. I was living with my parents and I was hoping that something magical will happen and I will eventually land a job that will earn me a lot of money. Eventually, the latter happened but it wasn’t magic. It was due to a lot of hard work and persistence. After I realized all of my problems and issues, I slowly began to distance myself from my previous lifestyle and I was deliberately changing my beliefs:
Previous goals: Be cool. Dress according to the latest fashion. Have a lot of clothes. Respond to any type of request positively. Own a cool car. Have a goal to buy even cooler car and a huge house. Be in open relationships. Smoke. Don’t give a damn about what you eat. Spend money.
Current goals: Have enough clothes that are cool but aren’t necessary according to the latest fashion standards. Say “No” to things that you don’t want to do. Have a car if you need one. Please my one and only girl. Eat healthy food. Exercise every day. Do meaningful work that helps others. Save money.
You can easily spot the contrast of the two lists above and make one conclusion: my current lifestyle is boring. I mean, people who know me for my whole life can easily see the difference. Do I care? Not much. But this post isn’t about me. It’s about minimalism and about is this considered as something boring.
Is minimalism boring?
A lot of people consider being a minimalist as being a boring person: you do the same things every morning; you ware the same clothes; you don’t buy fancy things; you eat the same meals; you talk to the same people; you drive the same car for nearly 10 years, if you even have a car; you live in a small space where you have nothing but the essentials; you’re mindful about your spendings. The only thing you do that is probably interesting to the masses is the places you visit. Everything else seems like one boring, filled with the same processes and routines, daily grind.
I don’t know why people consider minimalism mainly with traveling. When you see someone who talks about owning less, you immediately consider him/her as a full-time traveler. Even though there are indeed people who basically travel for a living, like Colin Wright, minimalism is more than packing your 30 items and going to the airport. It’s about making room for what matters and focus on the things that are important to you.
So, back to our original question: Is minimalism boring?
Obviously, if we live an intentional life and we travel constantly, we’ll live quite adventurous – according to our society. Whenever we check our phones, Facebook wall, Instagram page, we see people going to places and we immediately feel like our lives are boring. For most of the people, traveling has become the equivalent of a successful life: if you can afford to go to different places regularly, you are considered successful. So, if we look minimalism at this perspective it will mean that being a minimalist is actually fun and desirable thing.
But is it? I don’t think that a lot of people consider living with less with being fun.
Let’s dig deeper:
Why people consider minimalism like something boring in the first place?
When I first stumbled upon the website created by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (theminimalists.com) I saw the grey design, the black t-shirts and I thought that these guys are boring. They write good, but I didn’t understand why they wear the same clothes every day. They didn’t share photos wearing new suites or driving sports cars – boring.
This was back when I was thinking that you should drive a sports car and your purpose in life should be earning millions of dollars. I was a complete fool. During the years my perspective changed, thus the list of things I wanted shrinked to a list of few. So I now like, adore, listen to these guys and I kind of accept what they preach. I no longer think that these guys are boring but I’m sure other people do. Why’s that?
Well, the society can’t accept people who are different. The society adores people who are wealthy. People who appear in the news and in the papers. People who everybody talks about. Such that wear designer clothes, appear naked in social media and are considered bad boys. If we can describe the above in only a few words, it will be the following: living a rapper lifestyle. Rappers are considered famous only if they make it rain, switch lanes, and have at least a kilogram of gold on their neck. The closer you are to this lifestyle, the more followers you’ll have, therefore you will supposedly be happy, and of course, you will be considered as a successful person.
This type of lifestyle always pursues more. Wants more stuff to breathe. So, that’s why people who chase the almighty dollar can’t really understand and connect with people who want the opposite of their interests: less clothes, less jewelry; less cars; less physical space.
Minimal people are rarely active on social media and rarely talk about themselves. Since they don’t talk about constantly buying things, and they don’t own a bunch of stuff that they can brag about, they are considered boring by most of the people. What most of the people do, and talk about in their spare time is where they will travel to, what they will buy, what will be their new possession. Since most of the minimalists don’t adore these things, they are considered boring and unworthy to follow.
What minimalist do?
So, since they don’t strive for obtaining new stuff every new month and you can rarely find them wandering in the local shopping center, you’re probably asking yourself: What are actually these people doing?
It’s a fair question.
Of course, the answer is different depending on the subject. It might be traveling, as mentioned earlier. It might be cooking. It might be making movies. It might be creating stuff that is helping humanity. It might be everything. But the thing that groups these individuals is the following: such people are eager to create.
Their life might look boring on the outside, but it’s incredibly sophisticated and diverse on the inside. It’s like looking at an iceberg or this picture:
On the surface, there is little you can see or understand about this guy but the mind is constantly working. Inventing. Thinking about ways to improve the product they offer. Working towards improving his craft and life in general.
A person who is a minimalist will search for ways to trim down the things he is owning and the tasks he is doing. This is done with the intention to find even more time for the things he loves.
People who are minimalist have fewer things to worry about and fewer roadblocks:
The lack of time they overcome by being intentional about the tasks they execute.
Living a simple life is about finding yourself and optimizing your relationship with everything around you so that you will have more time doing what’s important.
Is being a minimalism boring?
Minimalism is for people who are well aware of themselves and know close to 100% what they want from life. It’s considered boring for a lot of people because being satisfied and fulfilled in your life in most of the cases is related to doing the same things over and over again.
Let’s take for example the job we do: We spend approximately one-third of our days working, so if we’re not pleased with what we do we’ll be dissatisfied and depressed for one-third of a single day. Since we’re sleeping another third and we don’t remember what happens during that time, mathematically, this will mean that we’re overall annoyed with our lives.
If you want to be truly successful in your life this will most probably mean doing one single task for a long period of time. Truly successful people find what they want to do and do it constantly, therefore they achieve success. The later is due to these two things:
When working with passion you’re doing great work.
When you’re working what you love you won’t stop doing it, thus you eventually reach a point when you’re the best in the business and you get a lot of clients.
Unfortunately, reaching this state of mind is hard and it requires discipline. You continuously have to curate your desires and interests and leave them to a list of a few.
So, are minimal people boring?
Well, aren’t we all? 🙂
Our society is so brainwashed by all the ads and social media posts that our mind is left with the impression that we should have fun 24/7. That’s why people spend hours a day scrolling through social media; Watching videos; Buying new things online or offline; and more. Things which give us short-term pleasure.
People don’t want to wait 3 days for their new t-shirt to arrive, that’s why they pay more for premium shipping. People don’t want to save money till they have enough for a new car, that’s why they end up owning thousands of dollars to the bank. People do want to be liked by everyone, that’s why they waste their lives active on social media, trying to please everyone.
If that’s the life you want – without any real meaning and direction – be my guest.
But if you want to be best at what you do. Have a few friends but real friends. Own few things but only the things you really need. Then, you won’t probably end up on the front page of the fashion magazine, but the important thing is that you won’t care.
If you want to be ultimately happy with your life, you’ll be probably a bit boring person. Yes.
Embrace it. Be as boring as you can be but in a good and exciting way! 🙂