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Living the Dream

How minimalism changed my perspective, my routine, and my dream

Green plant stem
Photography by Hudai Gayiran

I am 31 years old. I don't have kids and I'm not married, but I've grown in my job for eight years now, and I would say that I am successful. I love to travel and explore, and recently, I reached a milestone: traveling to 20 countries. But how has minimalism impacted my life?

Minimalism is where I find peace. In my mid-twenties, I was focused on proving to myself and others that I was living the dream—that I wore fancy clothes, had business meetings all day from my office in a high-rise building, and lived in a luxurious apartment furnished with the best brands and a closet the size of my childhood bedroom. I came pretty close to achieving that entire dream, and I was proud.

There is nothing particularly wrong with that dream. However, even with a nice apartment and nice things, I still had a lot of anxiety. When work became stressful, I would go home and feel miserable in my space. I didn't care to socialize with friends, I stopped eating well, and I lost interest in most things. I became depressed. When I finally made the decision to get rid of 90% of my possessions and live a more intentional life, my mental health improved immensely.

Financially, the rewards of leading a minimalist lifestyle are obvious. With intentional spending, there's automatic saving. When I feel that I need to buy a new item for myself, it's much more rewarding because I have been intentional about it. I take pride in my things and I use them often. Minimalism also helped me to better focus on my job and save money while still being able to travel.

My daily routine has changed so that I can be more intentional with my time and space:

Limiting my social media use, clearing inboxes wherever I could, and keeping my living space neat, organized, and clutter-free helped me to eliminate mental clutter as well as the physical. I also began to eat healthier and be more mindful of what I was consuming. I started to prioritize sleep and self-care.

Many young professionals go through the same chapter. The more we share our own experiences, the more we will encourage and inspire others to live more simply and intentionally.

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