- AND EVERYTHING BUT THE UNNECESSARY -
By Ayden Stoefen
There's much more to the minimalistic lifestyle then the sole reduction of consuming material goods.
Over the past few years I've traveled the globe living and working with underdeveloped communities, to then return to a first-world country for the ease and comforts that they are known for; only to find a much more stressed and rancor environment within them. This had me thinking did these so called "underdeveloped" communities know something we didn't?
work: Bigger is not always better
Working your way up the corporate ladder to pay off the debts of a college degree may seem like the right thing to do after graduation, especially when you see the masses doing the same. A lot has changed in the past few decades with newer technologies and the ease of worldly connection the options are limitless when compared to past generations. The definition of a job has expanded dramatically and nowadays is much better uniform for freelancers and entrepreneurs. This allows for more focus on your personal passions than getting a job with the highest paying wages. Working in a career that pays less may not always be a bad option when you're passionate about what you do, reduces your level of stress and allows the freedom to work where and when you'd like.
expenses: "It's not how much you make, It's what you do with it"
Generation to generation we've grown to idolize ownership of materialistic things that tend to complicate our lives and relationships more then ameliorate them. One of the largest surprises I found when traveling to these "underdeveloped" communities was the only thing they were lacking in was stress and ego. Once a community becomes industrialized, people tend to stop focusing on genuine relationships and quality of life and more on the quickest way to earn a bit more cash. This will then pay for more materialistic things to show off to your peers and bring short term bursts of enjoyment, to then quicker then expected make it to your storage bin and end up as another thing to worry about. This is a never ending cycle that most people within the states tend to struggle with.
experience: Change is tough
When the only real measurable outcome is what will be lacking in a new scenario, people tend to put their ambitions on hold, play it safe and stick with the circumstances they've already created or were given. This not only holds majority of society back, but then teaches the generations to come to do the same. Failure should be celebrated, and comfort should be avoided in your early twenties. A priority should be held above self education and getting to know who you are much more then a career choice. Once this is established a pay check becomes merely a by-product of everything you do and much less a life sentence. Once one puts ego aside and gives themselves the freedom to do exactly what they want they will experience a much more fulfilling lifestyle.