When you talk of being a minimalist people think that you are talking of a life of denial. Not so. Not at all. Think of people like Swami Vivekanand or Mahatma Gandhi – both of them spoke of concentration. Concentration is easier when you have less to think about.
Take the same 2 examples – no great worry about clothes, eating out, worldly possessions were down to a minimum. This meant they could concentrate on bigger things in life. Mahatma Gandhi also spoke about “choosing your problems” – YOU choose which was the MORE important problem to tackle. On a day when you had a headache if you broke your leg, you AUTOMATICALLY forgot your headache..and started worrying about the leg.
So when you try being a minimalist you try to reduce the clutter. Having lesser things to worry, lesser relationships to work on, lesser things to do, lesser possessions to care about, – YOU REALLY CONCENTRATE on what you have. This suddenly means you have time for coffee with a friend, a story for the kid sitting on your lap, a visit to a friend’s widowed mother, ….and yes suddenly you go and get a life, do you not?
Actually paring down releases a lot of energy, and most of us lack energy, NOT TIME. As we age we do sleep less, so time availability is not as much an issue as energy is. So if you concentrate all your needs into lesser things, your energy level is higher. When you slow down your life (deliberately) and this is intended to give more importance to relationships, you start finding time for the more IMPORTANT things instead of the more URGENT THINGS.
When Vivekananda said “Concentrate” he obviously meant BE IN THE PRESENT – do not spend time brooding about what happened in the past or worrying about the future.
JUST BE IN THE PRESENT. That is your gift.
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