The Considered Man’s Guide to Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life with Less

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The Considered Man’s Guide to Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life with Less

Minimalism has been gaining popularity in recent years as people search for ways to simplify their lives and focus on what truly matters.

While you could be forgiven for thinking so (I did), it’s not just about decluttering your physical space, but also about simplifying your thoughts, emotions, and relationships.

It’s a way of living that can help any man (or woman!) live with more purpose and less clutter in all aspects of his life.

I have always been interested in finding ways to simplify my life and focus on what truly matters. It’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced world we live in, constantly bombarded by information and distractions. It’s no wonder we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and stressed, always chasing the next big thing or trying to keep up with the latest trends.

That’s when I discovered minimalism. At first, I thought it was just a trend; another fleeting idea in fashion and design. Then I realized that it has been practiced in some shape or form by many inspirational figures throughout history from Steve Jobs to Marcus Aurelius. I realized it isn’t simply about decluttering my physical space or only wearing one color; it’s much more than that.

Minimalism is a way of life that involves simplifying every aspect of your life, from your thoughts and emotions to your relationships and possessions. Living a more considered life is always going to be a journey but there’s no doubt that adopting a more minimalist mindset has allowed me to live a happier less distracted life.

If you are also looking to reduce anxiety and live a more purposeful life, here are 10 tips.

01 Define your values and priorities

The first step to living a meaningful life with less is to define your values and priorities. What matters most to you? Is it your relationships, your career, your health, and your personal growth? Once you have a clear understanding of your values and priorities, you can start to focus on the things that really matter and let go of the rest.

When I first started my minimalist journey, I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I had accumulated over the years. I realized that I had been spending my time and money on things that didn’t align with my values and priorities.

Through introspection and self-reflection, I was able to identify what truly mattered to me: my relationships with loved ones, my personal growth and development, and my mental and physical health. With this newfound clarity, I was able to let go of possessions and commitments that were draining my time, energy, and resources.

By simplifying my life and focusing on my values and priorities, I have been able to cultivate deeper connections with my loved ones, pursue my passions, and prioritize my well-being. I have found that living with less has allowed me to appreciate the things that truly matter and has brought more joy and fulfillment into my life.

If you’re not sure about how to define your priorities, I found that journaling, which I mentioned in a previous post, is a great way to get some perspective on your priorities.

Further reading suggestion: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.

02 Declutter your physical space

Minimalism often starts with decluttering your physical space. Go through your belongings and ask yourself if they serve a purpose or bring you joy. If not, consider donating or selling them. By letting go of things that no longer serve you, you can create a more peaceful and organized living space.

Decluttering my physical space has been an important aspect of my journey toward minimalism. I used to have a lot of clothes that I never wore, and they would take up space in my closet and drawers. By going through my clothes and donating the ones I no longer wore, I was able to simplify my wardrobe and make getting dressed in the morning much easier.

I also went through my kitchen and got rid of old gadgets and utensils that I never used. This not only freed up space but also made it easier to find the things that I actually needed when cooking or baking.

Additionally, I found that decluttering my workspace helped me to be more productive. I got rid of papers and items that I no longer needed, which allowed me to focus on the tasks at hand without feeling overwhelmed by clutter.

I didn’t know this at the time, but the benefits that I experienced have actually been backed up by studies that show that the space around us can influence our productivity and happiness.

03 Simplify your wardrobe

One area where many men can benefit from minimalism is their wardrobe. Instead of having a closet full of clothes you never wear, focus on building a capsule wardrobe of high-quality, versatile pieces. This not only simplifies your morning routine but also reduces decision fatigue and saves you money in the long run.

I used to have a closet full of clothes, yet I only wore a fraction of them. It was overwhelming to decide what to wear every morning, and I found myself spending more money on clothes I didn’t need.

I decided to simplify my wardrobe by investing in high-quality, versatile pieces that I could mix and match. Now, I have a capsule wardrobe of items that I love and wear frequently, and it has saved me both time and money.

If you are a regular reader of our style posts, you may have noticed that we always suggest looking for high-quality, versatile pieces.

While I haven’t gone as far as, nor would I necessarily recommend wearing the same thing every day, here are some very successful people that have embraced a simple wardrobe.

04 Embrace digital minimalism

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information and notifications. Digital minimalism involves taking control of your technology and using it intentionally. Turn off notifications for apps you don’t need, limit your time on social media, and use apps and tools that help you be more productive.

I’ve realized how much time I waste on social media and other digital distractions. For example, I used to spend hours scrolling through my Facebook feed, watching YouTube videos, and browsing online stores, without even realizing how much time was passing by. This not only left me feeling unproductive but also distracted me from more important things, like spending time with family and friends or pursuing my passions.

To embrace digital minimalism, I started by turning off notifications for most of my apps and limiting my social media use. I also deleted apps that I no longer needed or that were taking up too much of my time. Instead, I use apps like Forest and RescueTime, which help me stay focused and track my productivity.

By adopting digital minimalism, I’ve been able to free up more time and mental space for the things that really matter in my life, such as spending quality time with loved ones, pursuing my hobbies, and working toward my goals.

Further reading suggestion: Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

05 Cultivate meaningful relationships (and rid yourself of toxic ones)

Minimalism isn’t just about simplifying your physical space; it’s also about simplifying your relationships. Focus on cultivating meaningful connections with the people who matter most to you. Spend quality time with loved ones, prioritize communication, and let go of toxic relationships that no longer serve you.

I have learned that cultivating meaningful relationships is an essential part of living a fulfilling life. For example, I used to spend a lot of time scrolling through social media, which made me feel like I was keeping up with my friends and their lives. However, I realized that this was actually taking away from the time I could be spending with them in person or having meaningful conversations. I made an effort to limit my time on social media and instead focus on making plans with friends and family.

Additionally, I have found that letting go of toxic relationships has been an important part of simplifying my life. There were people in my life who were constantly negative or draining, and I realized that I didn’t need that kind of energy in my life. By prioritizing healthy relationships and letting go of toxic ones, I have been able to surround myself with people who support and inspire me.

06 Practice mindfulness and gratitude

Finally, practicing mindfulness and gratitude can help you live a more meaningful life with less. Take time each day to be present in the moment, meditate, or simply breathe deeply. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by focusing on what you have rather than what you lack.

As an entrepreneur, practicing mindfulness and gratitude has been crucial to my well-being. I’ve found that taking time to slow down and appreciate the present moment helps me stay focused and productive throughout the day, while also reducing stress and anxiety.

By practicing gratitude, I’ve learned to appreciate the small things in life, which in an environment of uncertainty (which we are all in by the way), has really helped me to stay calm and centered.

Final Words

In conclusion, adopting a minimalist lifestyle can help you live a more meaningful and intentional life as a considered man.

By defining your values and priorities, decluttering your physical space, simplifying your wardrobe and technology, cultivating meaningful relationships, and practicing mindfulness and gratitude, you can create a life that is truly aligned with your values and purpose.

Remember, minimalism isn’t about depriving yourself of things; it’s about focusing on what truly matters and letting go of the rest. If you have any more tips for embracing minimalism to live a happier, more-focused life, we’d love to hear them in the comments.

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