Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own -Joshua Becker

After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up and Digital Minimalism I thought to dig into the world of Minimalism. So I decided to read The More of Less after seeing some of the youtube videos of Joshua Becker. The book is all about how Joshua Becker had his one moment of epiphany when he realized that owning less stuff will simplify his life. The book explains the concept of minimalism, removed some of my misconceptions and some important and practical suggestions and tips.

The lessons I learnt from this book are:

MINIMALISM: the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.

Will Rogers once said, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” 

  • Misconception 1: Minimalism Is About Giving Up Everything. Misconception 2: Minimalism Is About Organizing Your Stuff
  • Finding the life we want isn’t about giving up everything. Nor is it about holding on to everything and just trying to organize it better. Instead, it’s about reducing the number of our possessions to a level that sets us free.

Mark Twain has been credited as saying, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” And I might add a third: the day you throw off any distraction and decide to pursue your purpose fully.

  • If you were born between 1928 and 1945, you are a part of the Silent Generation.
  • If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you are a part of the Baby Boomer Generation.
  • If you were born between 1965 and 1980, you are a part of Generation X.
  • If you were born between 1981 and 2000, you are a part of the Millennial Generation.
  • Success and excess are not the same.
  • As much as possible, with each new physical space you tackle, create three piles:
    1. Things to keep 2. Things to relocate within the home 3. Things to remove
  • Finally, sort your “things to remove” pile into four subcategory piles: donate, sell, recycle, and throw away.
  • Experts in the tech world make a distinction between technical obsolescence and functional obsolescence.
    Technical obsolescence occurs as soon as your device is surpassed in its features by another device of its type.
    Functional obsolescence, on the other hand, occurs only when your device no longer works like it’s supposed to. That happens, for instance, when the software it runs ceases to work properly and is no longer supported by the manufacturer.
  • In those moments when you want to quit, draw upon the essential life discipline of perseverance.
  • Because you will never reach your fullest potential until you learn to push through the frustration, no matter how difficult your circumstances may be.
  • If you can live happily without it for twenty-nine days, very likely you can live happily without it forever.
  • “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” 
  • Boundaries are powerful things for all of us, but they are especially powerful for young children, who tend to think in concrete terms. Boundaries will help them recognize the finite nature of money, space, and time. Boundaries will help them know what to do and what to expect.

Practical suggestions for good Life:
1. Cultivate space in your daily routine.
Find space in your morning to sit quietly before starting your day. Take time for lunch. Make use of opportunities for breaks at work in between projects. Invest in solitude, prayer, or meditation. Begin right away to cultivate little moments of space and margin in your otherwise busy day. 2. Reduce distractions.
These days, with a click of a mouse or swipe of a thumb, we are instantly transported into a world that will gladly absorb all our curiosity.
3. Find freedom in the word no.
Seneca wrote, “Everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is busied with many things.”  Recognize the inherent value in the word no. Learning to say no to less important commitments opens your life to pursue the most important.
4. Appreciate and schedule rest.
One of the reasons many of us keep busy schedules is that we fail to recognize the value of rest. But rest is beneficial to our bodies, our minds, and our souls. Set aside one day per week for rest and family. Schedule it on your calendar and then guard it at all costs.

I like what Gary Thomas, the author of Every Body Matters, says: we need to “stop treating our bodies like ornaments — with all the misguided motivations often displayed by those who build their bodies out of pride and ambition — and start treating our bodies like instruments, vessels set apart to serve the God who fashioned them.” 

  • You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything.

The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” 

  • All of us crave to live lives of significance — lives that make a difference in the world around us.
  • Each of us is born with an ingrained desire to live for something greater than ourselves.
  • We already have it! Each of us is already an influencer of others. In true minimalist style, we already have everything we need to make a difference in the life of someone else.

Overall the book is an easy read and I finished it very quickly. If you want to join the bandwagon of minimalist then read this book or watch Joshua Becker’s youtube videos (these are good).