How Being Minimal In A Material World Is Possible

by Olivia Bouchard

The Problem

We live in a world heavily populated with adverts. They’re everywhere. Products and brands are being sold to us all our lives. On the sides of buses, on our TVs and all over our social media. The constant stream of images is unavoidable. But does this mean we should be buying into everything we see? 

It seems to me that the nature of advertisement has changed over the past few years. It’s not so much about selling us products, but more about selling us a lifestyle. It’s the idea of how our lives might be bettered by a company’s product that drives us to press spend.

It’s so easy in the competitive climate of social media to become obsessed with having the latest or most fashionable thing. We’re all guilty of it, but when will enough be enough? Will there ever be a point where we’ve acquired enough ‘stuff’ to feel like we’ve made it? Or will we just keep buying into the idea that the more things we have, the happier we will be? 

The solution

It looks like the endless cycle of buying, wanting more, and buying again will never end. This is what drew me towards the idea of minimalism. The driving force behind the decision to get rid of things was the amount of clutter I had lying around the house. I looked around and all I could see were things that I either hadn’t used in years or couldn’t remember why I’d bought in the first place. So I packed everything up, donated what I could and threw the rest away. 

Since then, I have truly felt an improvement in my mental attitude and life in general. Deciding to avoid the temptation of it all has made me feel more fulfilled and have a stronger sense of clarity. I’m still constantly bombarded by adverts. However, now, I ask myself if I really need whatever it is being sold to me. If the answer is no, or even maybe, then I don’t get it. For me, a de-cluttered home equals a de-cluttered mind. 

Of course, everyone is different. We all have individual ways of finding happiness. My argument is, simply, that if a minimal lifestyle is right for you, then having one is more than possible. Even in our materialist world.

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