The Things You Own

“The things you own end up owning you.”

Tyler Durden had it right.  In a culture that emphasizes accumulation, it’s easy to bury yourself in debt and stuff you don’t really want.  Recently, due in large part to Dave Bruno and his 100 Thing Challenge, my wife and I have been paring down our possessions.  While I’m not ready to join the ranks of those who have 100 things or less (I have too many hobbies.  More on that later.), it has been freeing and fun to start down the road to minimalism.

Most people I talk to want freedom.  It just seems that we’ve been trained to go about gaining freedom in the wrong way.  We think that having a lot will free us up because now we have a gadget for everything.  Herein lies the problem, more does not always equal better.  It rarely equals freer.  As I approach the 100 thing upper limit for my list of personal possessions, I find myself feeling less and less burdened by the need to acquire.

There are several other benefits to a minimalist lifestyle that I will explore in future posts.  Some of which are not worrying about cleaning up the house for drop in guests, being able to find whatever you need when you need it, and enjoying a sense of calm and peace at home.

The idea of minimalism is not new and it obviously did not start with me.  I have been encouraged over and over by reading the thoughts of people who have walked the path before me.  The Roman Emperor-Philosopher Marcus Aurelius said,

“Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.”

I urge you to take that to heart and start looking for practical ways that you can trim the fat in your life.  It has been very rewarding for me.

(Thanks for reading!  This starts a series of at least 8 posts that I have brilliantly titled Minimalist Mondays. If you found any of this interesting or you have suggestions or thoughts of your own on the topic, feel free to jump into the comments section below.)


About Brandon Simpson

Teacher & Curioso
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3 Responses to The Things You Own

  1. A says:

    Your friends and family will think you’re crazy, but there is nothing more rewarding than moving towards the 100 things mark. I achieved a fake 100 things, where I have 100 types of specific things (4 hats=1 thing, 3 knives=1 thing) and my total items add up to 240. Even achieving this goal has been unbelievably freeing and satisfying! It’s now down to the nitty gritty, and knocking on from here will be challenging and fun. I can’t wait to see what is important and utilitarian enough for me to make my final 100!

    Thanks for the thoughts Brandon! It’s good to hear from someone in the same challenge as yourself.

  2. mark says:

    Onto another topic, sweet post: really enjoyed it. Made me think ab all the useless “stuff” I have accumulated. For instance sports illustrated mags…I paid for them, shouldn’t I keep em? Maybe go through and take the articles I really liked and create my own super collection of articles and donate the remains to somewhere or even just recycle. Seems wasteful to some extent but seriously what am I gonna do with 500 si mags sitting in boxes cluttering up my space for my 6 year. Old pair of shoes.

  3. Pingback: A few benefits of minimalism | The Large Thought Collider

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