Why minimalism is a state of mind

In 2011, I started embracing minimalism after I discovered Leo Babauta’s zen habits blog.

Why minimalism is a state of mind
Photo by Etienne Girardet / Unsplash

It was in 2011 that I started embracing minimalism, after I discovered Leo Babauta’s zen habits blog and his books, as well as the works of other minimalists.

I'm happy being a minimalist, but my brand of minimalism might not be the same as someone else's. Some might want to own less. Some might want to own more. To each his own.

I'm proud, however, that it was only in 2020 that I finally got my own laptop. And that my MacBook Air actually belonged to my daughter, who's had it since middle school. I inherited it when we got her a new laptop for her freshman year in UP Diliman. I named it Lisa Macnoban, after my bias Lisa Manoban of BLACKPINK.

The first book on minimalism I read was Babauta’s "The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life". Bear in mind that I was a pack rat for most of my life, as well as someone who would buy stuff out of sheer boredom. But this book really resonated with me and made me realize why I was never content.

"A minimalist eschews the mindset of more, of acquiring and consuming and shopping, of bigger is better, of the burden of stuff.
"A minimalist instead embraces the beauty of less, the aesthetic of spareness, a life of contentedness in what we need and what makes us truly happy.
"A minimalist realizes that acquiring stuff doesn’t make us happy. That earning more and having more are meaningless. That filling your life with busy-ness and freneticism isn’t desirable, but something to be avoided."

No, it wasn’t like I changed overnight. In fact, for many years I just described myself as an aspiring minimalist, but I finally decided to call myself a minimalist and live up to the name each day.

Because while it was a slow process, something definitely changed in me when I read that book, and started visiting zen habits.

I started decluttering, sure, but more importantly, I found myself buying fewer stuff.

I also started following other minimalists, including — natch — The Minimalists. I even watched their documentary on Netflix.

Along the way, I have learned the difference between decluttering and minimalism.

"The important thing isn’t how you do it, what you keep, or the number of things you ultimately wind up with. The important thing is allowing that shift in perspective—fighting against the cultural message that the things you own represent your success, that you must be busy in order to be productive, that who you are and what you have will never be enough — and recognizing that the most important things in life were never things."

I hope you'll also find the kind of minimalism that works for you.