Delight – a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment
We all aspire to describe our lives like this, yet for most of us, there’s something more required to reach that bliss. More money, better job, extra stuff, new friends. It can seem the harder we push, the more it never ends.
We can all get a little lost sometimes. Maybe we’re bored of where we live, tired of our office job, or just stuck in one of life’s trenches. Often the solutions are simple, but we make it difficult for ourselves by overcomplicating things. I’m going to introduce three principles we can all adopt, no matter our circumstance, to help bring that little bit more delight into our lives.
Becoming less materialistic in life can open so many more doors than we might think. The fewer possessions we have to think or care about, the greater attention we can put on the important things. Those moments that bring us the biggest smile; friends, family, hobbies, work, fitness. Whatever it might be, it deserves our full focus, without the distraction of ‘stuff’ getting in the way.
Below are just some of the many examples where minimalism can enhance our experience of life:
- Work – Imagine you get that call you’ve been waiting for, the dream job abroad, or anywhere for that matter. Imagine how much easier, cheaper and less stressful it would be to drop it all and go, because your life is so easy to pack.
- Money – You know that irritating box on your pay slip; ‘total pay to date’! If we think honestly about how much of that goes on things we maybe didn’t really need. Then think how much more of that pay we could have to spend on doing more of what we love.
- Space – This seems an obvious one, own less stuff, have more space, but the benefits stretch further than the living room. Our physical surroundings influence our behaviour, everything in our home carries a memory, so pick carefully, and leave space to focus on the future, eliminate the unnecessary.
Eliminate the unnecessary.
Our next principle builds on the concept of minimalism, by shifting our pursuit of happiness, status and meaning from material things, to experiences. Studies have shown the positive feelings we get both in anticipation of, and after partaking in an experience, last longer than if it was for the purchase and use of a material possession.
There are many ways we can turn things we might purchase, into experiences we pursue:
- Buying designer clothes -> visiting a fashion show
- Buying a bigger TV -> going to the cinema
- Buying video games and consoles -> go paintballing / go-karting / to a football match
- Buying the latest headphones -> go to a concert
- Buying kitchenware -> go on a cooking course
After all, we don’t reminisce about things we bought, but about things we did. Just think about how fast time flies, and the potential opportunities that can pass us by. We should try something new as often as we can, plan things we know will make us smile, and reflect on each year with at least a memory-a-month.
We don’t reminisce about things we
bought, but about things we did.
This third principle may appear misplaced, but is about more than just recycling rates and climate change. It’s about being a good citizen, caring for the environment around us, and others within it. In a world as agitated as the media likes to portray, knowing we are doing our bit for society, the planet, and the future, is a peaceful pleasure.
The era of the mindful millennial is approaching, with environmental issues finally pushing their way into the limelight. We have the chance to be part of a generation that leaves the world in a healthier state than when we entered it. Being part of something greater than ourselves like this can infuse us with passion and purpose to apply to the rest of our lives. In the end, society grows when we plant trees, whose shade we know we’ll never sit in.
Society grows when we plant trees,
whose shade we know we’ll never sit in.
Series one has already introduced us to the concept of experientialism, and its potential as a culture-shifting movement amongst millennials. We have looked in various ways at the power of less through minimalism, in all aspects of life. Sometimes focussing on lifestyle choices like these can become obsessive, so it’s important to balance it by looking at the bigger picture, at how we can contribute progressively to the world, this is where combining environmentalism to the first two concepts, supports building a balanced life, to be a better MEE.
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Delight – Small is beautiful