What is most important to you?
This question is at the core of an intentional minimalist lifestyle because when we truly let this question spread throughout every part of our lives, few things are left to stay.
Look to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The above question is satisfied for every person by the bare minimums in this structure. Food, water, shelter, rest and security (minimum financial requirements incorporated) are built into the bottom two tiers.
The third tier includes our innate desire to be a part of community and be valued. This goes hand in hand with the fourth tier, esteem, that encapsulates our need to feel accomplished or good enough.
Minimalism (similar to stoicism) mends our struggles with the fifth tier, self-acceptance, in being okay with your potential achieved.
In theminimalists book, an exploration and subsequent action from the question, “what is most important to oneself”, leaves us with everything that remains. And everything that remains is enough (food, shelter, love, purpose). Minimalism is a lens- a question that seeks to guide you to the self-acceptance of who you are, unburdened and not defined by the stuff you possess. Seth Godin reminds us that you should not live in a deficit and “measure yourself against someone (there’s always someone) who has more (there’s always more) than you do.”
– As a college student, devoting time to study groups, gives back knowledge and time. Invest in the people in your closest rings.
– Look at your closet. Pick three items right now to move to a designated “give away” pile or box. Before doing anything else, locate the nearest shelter or food and clothing bank with open hours to bring your pile to after a week of downsizing this way. Invite your neighbor to join you. You will make connections and give back tangible amounts.
– Set a calendar reminder weekly to call a family member or old friend with whom you have fallen out of touch.
In the Bible, the book of Luke says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
With the realization and admittance that the first four tiers are met to a satiable amount, you can begin to give back through your availability, disentangled finances and unbound love and creativity for people.