It’s not quite the word you’d expect to see on a blog about simplifying.
But I think that it’s a core concept of what I’m trying to do here. I started to simplify when I noticed a lack of space, a lack of time, a lack of joy both in my possessions and in my lifestyle.
I needed more.
Do we always need more?
Of course not. It’s extremely important to know what to seek more of and what to avoid.
Seeking more quality, rewarding relationships is great, but seeking more acquaintances or “contacts” isn’t always best. Although if you love to network, then that’s perfect.
Adding more kitchen appliances for the sake of having a world-class kitchen isn’t productive, but adding more because you are pursuing your passion for cooking is a good start.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: more for the sake of more is what gets us into trouble. Intentionally choosing more (usually not physical, but sometimes it can be) is the sweet spot.
More vs. minimal
It’s time that we stop thinking of more and minimal as mutually exclusive.
Seeking more in a meaningful, intentional way is a recipe for an abundant life. The aim of minimalism and simple living is to get more of the good stuff: the stuff that isn’t necessarily stuff at all.
It’s a simple opportunity cost: less of one thing means more of another, and vice versa.
So what do you want more of?
Quick practice: making a More List
Here’s a quick way to get your mind moving in the right direction. Grab a piece of paper and jot down ten things you want more of.
There are no bad ideas or wrong answers here – you might want more free time or more exercise, but it’s also okay too see things like more shoes or more ice cream. Just make sure that your list is an honest portrayal of what you want more of.
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.
Next, consider each item. Why do you want more of each one? I always find that being honest with myself about my motive helps put things into perspective. You might cross off a few here if you realize your motives don’t match your current values.
Finally, break the list down even further.
What do you need less of in order to get more of each item? The obvious answer for most physical things or experiences is money. Is it worth it?
You’ll also see things that cost space, time, or energy. I’m not saying that spending these things is a bad idea, just be sure weigh the costs and benefits and work out what’s best for you.
I’ve been thinking about this idea – of minimalism being about more – lately, and I was happy to hear that others who share my sentiment.
Brooke McAlary interviewed James Wallman on her Slow Home Podcast, and they discussed this issue of minimalism’s “branding problem” among other things. Minimalism is so commonly perceived in the negative light of denial and subtracting things from our lives that it can be unappealing and exhausting.
It doesn’t have to be!
So here’s my challenge to you: find what you want more of and start working towards it. Think about that process of having less of something in order to get more of what you want.
That’s how you define your minimalism.