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Some Misconceptions About Minimalism

“Minimalism itself is not about the minimum number of things, but the optimum number of things necessary for my life. No more and no less than I need.” - Karol Gajda
Here are some misconceptions about minimalism:

1. One should only own 100 personal items or less.
2. One should only have a wardrobe of 33 items.
3. One shouldn’t have a car and cable TV.
4. One should be lazy, selfish, and stingy.
5. One should be single and independent.
6. One should be a vegetarian/vegan.

Here are my thoughts:

1. Own 100 personal items or less? “100” is just a random number. Choose any number you want. The lesson here is being mindful of necessity. The first time I tried it, I was left with 74 items. I guess it was all I need that time.

2. Have a wardrobe of 33 items? Same as #1. What and how many do you need? Me? I only need 25 items.

3. Live without a car and cable TV? Having a car doesn’t mean living with excess. We have one. We need it. For cable television, we chose not to have one. We’d like to filter what our family would watch. We like to fill our subconscious with positive and healthy thoughts, and we’re likely to succeed without cable TV.

4. Are lazy, selfish, and stingy? Lazy? I have a 9-hour a day online sports writing job and an 8-hour per week church ministry. Selfish? I don’t spend much on unimportant things, but proactively do on real needs for others. Stingy? My stuff are not cheap, all are of high-quality and all are my favorites. Yet I still consider myself a minimalist.

5. Be single and independent? I have a wife and two growing kids. It’s tougher, but it's possible.

6. Be a vegetarian/vegan? I eat meat albeit moderately.

Minimalism is about eliminating the unnecessary things in your life to focus on the necessary.

It’s throwing away anything that is harmful to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

It’s about your essentials and is different from person to person.

It’s discovering, bringing out, and living with what’s important to you.

So, please, don’t be overwhelmed by the term “minimalism.” Don’t overanalyze and get defensive.

Minimalism is possible for anyone, at anytime, in any circumstance.

All you need to do is choose to be.