Minimalism will not solve all our problems.
Unfortunately, we often believe that the goal of simple living is to own as few things as possible—to declutter our homes, organize our lives, and clear our minds. Once we do this, we’ll each find our own private utopia and bask in the glory of our newfound happiness, right?
Real life doesn’t work this way.
Minimalism is not the end game. Chucking material possessions does not necessarily equate to happiness. You could get rid of all your stuff and still be miserable.
Removing the excess will, however, help you discover what does in fact bring you joy—experiences, people, passions—because it’s much easier to find the path once the debris is cleared.
Simplifying may never usher you to your utopia. Even the simple life has its moments of tedium and drudgery and sadness and pain. But letting go can lead to a better life, one that’s worth more than any shiny object.
You can start small, but it’s worth getting started today.
Read this essay and 150 others in our new book, Essential.