Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thoughts About the Minimalism 2015 Documentary



I personally like the minimalist style, as it looks clean and simple, which is why I took an interest in learning more about minimalism. I recently got to watch the documentary on Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things by The Minimalists. It contains many different interviews showcasing their perspectives in why they chose to pursue the minimalist lifestyle.

I'd like to share my thoughts and some takeaways I got from watching this documentary. I personally think that a documentary is successful and meaningful if it provokes thought and makes you ask yourself the right questions.



Thoughts About the Minimalism 2015 Documentary

Do I really need this?

Often we buy things because we want it or we think we need it. Advertisements give us the false impression of how life should be lived, and that is how they market the certain product they are trying to sell. We are told that we need those things by 'society', because this is the world we live in. More than the need, we find ourselves succumbing to the want to be accepted.

What matters after all is not what people think of us by the things we own. It is by our character. I guess the more important question to ask is, how will this need help me and others?

Does this add value to my life?

Whenever I hear the word 'minimal' or 'minimalist' I would immediately associate it with the word: less. While that is true, the documentary shares with us that it is also more. It is more of the important things that we tend for granted in our daily lives, such as our relationships with people, time spent with loved ones, quiet time to pause and reflect, engagement in actual meaningful activities, and the like.

We also have the mentality that we always want to be rewarded. Whenever we are rewarded or when we reward ourselves, it creates a kind of temporary high. After having such a feeling, we keep wanting more. Thus we become dependent on the next thing we own.

Minimalism is also not only limited to material things, it is also concerns our lifestyle. Contentment cannot be attained through the stuff that we own alone. All these things are easily replaceable. It can break, it can wear out, and it can easily go out of style. We should be more mindful about what truly adds value in and what gives more impact in our lives.

Does this contribute to attaining my goals in life?

Surely our goals in life are not merely to attain more material things. I'm not talking about the "I have to get a house, a car, a huge wardrobe by age __.". While I think it is natural to want things, I am talking about the goals you have in terms of how you want to live your life. Life is a never-ending learning process and we continue to learn through different situations that we go through. In the end, the goal is to grow; to grow and mature, to learn from our mistakes, and to better enrich our experiences. 

And whenever there are chances for us to grow and learn, we give back to the people around us. We share about our experiences. More than the material things that we think can make our lives better, it is actually shared moments with people that matters and what we will carry with us as we go through life. 

One thought that comes to mind sometimes is about how we need cellphones. It is true that we need cellphones because it keeps us in touch with our loved ones and also with the world through social media. But then what happens is that we tend to want more of what we currently have. Whenever the latest cellphone models comes out, we want to buy it. We want to fit in. If we don't have the latest model, we feel isolated and left out because we think those who have it are enjoying life more than we do. This is when dissatisfaction in life settles in. 

I used cellphones as an example because I bought a new one just a few months ago. But then it was because my cellphone fell in the river while hiking... so yes I definitely needed a new one. As I was looking through possible units and brands for a new phone, I was yet again reminded of how it would all work. They would produce phones which have certain specs, but then you find another phone in which the specs are better but then it costs a lot more. Of course you would want that other phone with the better specs, so you try to find ways to get it. Sometimes people go beyond and don't mind being in debt just so they can get that thing that they like so much. Basically, there will never be a perfect phone. They will always want to 'innovate'. Because once the 'perfect phone' comes out, there will be no sense in producing more phones with 'better' specs. 

But then in the end, what must come to mind is what is the purpose? Why am I buying this? Will this help me in becoming more connected with others, or will it further emphasize disconnect?
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In the end, I believe there is no way out of the loop of consumerism. We cannot avoid it because we live in the world, and we need to adapt. But we do have a choice with out lifestyle and with how much with consume. There should always be a limit, and we must become more mindful of our decisions. We have choice to invest in the more important things, too. We never know what these important things are until we lose them. Let's not allow materialism, the things of this earth to distract us.  
"Love people and use things, because the opposite never works. - Joshua Fields Millburn"

This documentary reminded me about living intentionally and purposefully. It allowed me to have a heart check. It made me think once again of my values.

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever. - 1 John 2:15-17

Thank you for dropping by, dear reader!

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