I Could Never Give Up

You might surprise yourself by what you can give up

Words by Leo Babauta

I’ve found that when I talk about simplifying or minimalism in general, people are generally positive… but when you get down to specifics, they’re not always so enthusiastic.

When I talk about giving up unnecessary shopping or clothes or shoes, many people balk. When I talk about giving up a car, or getting a smaller home, or not drinking sugary coffee drinks, or giving up junk food… I always hear a lot of people who say, “I’d love to be a minimalist, but I could never give up my ____.” (You can fill in the blank.)

I thought the same thing, many times, when I’d hear about other people making changes. “I could never give that up,” I thought to myself.

I was wrong.

I said I could never give up my hamburgers or fried chicken, but now I’m a vegetarian.

I said I could never give up my cable TV, but I’ve been without it for 6 or 7 years now.

I said I could never give up my cigarettes, but I’ve been tobacco-free for nearly 5 years.

I said I could never give up my sweets, and now I only have a few bites now and then.

I said I could never give up my car, but I barely drive now and am going car-free next month.

I said I could never give up packaged foods, but now I almost only eat real food, unpackaged.

I said I could never give up my coffee, but I recently have.

I said I could never give up my running shoes, but now I run barefoot.

I said I could never get down to a handful of clothes, but I have.

I said I could never give up TV altogether, but I am.

If you think you could never do something… stop saying it. You just might surprise yourself.

Leo Babauta

Zen Habits is a blog written by Leo Babauta about implementing zen habits in daily life. It offers suggestions for how to live and also includes frequent references to how Leo Babauta has implemented these habits. He covers topics such as simplifying, living frugally, parenting, happiness, motivation, eliminating debt, saving, eating healthily and successfully implementing good habits.


Our Book, Inside Minimalism Vol.1

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