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The Next Step

Achieving happiness is not always the result of minimalism unless we’re more intentional with it

Stairs
Photography by Rubén García

It’s likely that everyone feels better about themselves after becoming a minimalist and feeling like they’re getting their life on track, I know I did. But this satisfaction can sometimes be temporary. You see, I was sitting in my room one day and I looked around. Everything was clean and neat—there was no clutter and there were no distractions whatsoever. When I sat there I was pretty bored. Being a minimalist wasn’t as I expected it to be. That’s when reality struck me. I always thought that becoming a minimalist would give me happiness. It turns out I was partially wrong. There was something missing.

So you’re a minimalist. That means you have all the focus in the world you need to start doing something useful with your life. What adds to that is that you might also have created more time for yourself, time which you would usually spend on your phone or something else that is not particularly important. The next step is to focus on your goals now that you have the time for it.

What are your values? What do you want to achieve in your life? Perhaps you want to write a book, learn a new language, work out more intensively, or travel further. Learning and doing these things gives us skills or memories that we can keep for life—they add value to our lives—unlike all the clutter we find ourselves buying. What gives us happiness is the process of adding that value to our lives and achieving goals that we set for ourselves. You need to focus on these things, otherwise you will feel stuck. If you wait too long with that, it could lead to dissatisfaction and that is ultimately the opposite of what you want to gain.

To me, minimalism does not give us happiness per se, yet minimalism can be the first step in achieving happiness. It is an important step. It gives me the opportunity to focus on myself. In fact, after I sat there in my room I also realized that I wanted to start writing more. I also became fascinated with languages. Although I had a tentative interest in the past to do or learn these things, I just never got to the point of realizing them—I never prioritized them. That was until I adopted a minimalist lifestyle, which gave me the focus and discipline to put in a greater effort to live a more fulfilling life.

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