Have less, live more. But are we living more? 

  

A preoccupation of living a minimalist life is reducing the stuff you own so you can focus on the things that matter – having less stuff in order to live more.

 

This process of reducing is easy in the big scheme of things and it’s satisfying that you get an instant gratification from decluttering. 
But in the decluttering and reducing, it’s easy to forget the bigger aim. 

 

I’m guilty of this; using all my effort to make sure I don’t bring in or take on extra items or things that will take up my time and stop me from living more.
However, it’s also important to focus on furthering the life that you want to live now the stuff is out the way. 
I’m asking myself how well I’ve done in creating a bigger life out of less stuff. 

 

It’s a scary question: am I living a bigger life?

 

At first it was hard to answer and I couldn’t see a big difference but when I stopped to look at it properly I could see the things I have added to my life as opposed to what I’d stripped away.

 

And It shows in the little things, for me one of them is very simple – books. I used to read a lot when I went travelling and loved it, then I got back and work and other things got in the way and it’s been years since I’ve read something cover to cover. 
Now I have found that I look forward to reading as I can devote real time to it as opposed to fitting it in, and using our local library as opposed to buying them is even better!

 

Another one for me is being able to spend more time with friends. I now find it easier to prioritise this as a result of stripping back my life and coupled with freeing up money from stuff I can make the most of this time with them without worrying about my finances, which was definitely something that blocked this in the past.

 

When it comes to the bigger life I guess one of the biggest is to follow a dream and make the changes to your life to do the things you really enjoy.

 

This is something that I now feel comfortable to say I am working towards; after 14 years I’m going back to university (part-time) to do another degree. Scary stuff and something I genuinely wouldn’t have contemplated following through in the past as I could always find something in my life that I could use as an excuse to stop me.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, focusing on the here and now, and the easy wins instead of an end result that we know will be harder to achieve. 
Day-to-day you may not be able to spot the incremental changes in your life but it’s important to step back from time to time and take stock of how far you have come to inspire and encourage you for the future, remembering that having less means living a fuller life.

 

With nothing in the way I have realised something bigger – I can make the future I want for myself.
F

 

15 thoughts on “Have less, live more. But are we living more? 

  1. Important post. Simplifying but not adding things of joy doesn’t make sense. I’m glad you are finding those opportunities to add more of the things you love into your day. I hope to get there.

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  2. This is a great benchmark. I am on this journey but can already see some differences, better quality of life, but this is an inspiration to make me carry on with the have less do more mantra x

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  3. Seriously, this blog is like a mirror. This is pretty much the thought process I had last year, and I’m about to start university (also part time) next week for much of the same reasoning… knowing that with all the changes minimalism has enabled me to actually articulate the direction my heart wants to go and still fulfil the few literal (literally) responsibilities I have. What an exciting year ahead!

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      1. Sounds good, I’m studying Interior Architecture. I’m looking forward to developing my skills and learning how to apply it to the real world. Also sure you’d agree it’s a great feeling to be following through on a long held ambition. Best of luck Naomi! F

        Like

  4. Great insight! I too found that I actually have time to pursue my passion: Art through metalworking. This is a huge change from the medical field, but I finally am able to listen to my own inner voice and live a life of authenticity. Shocked the hell out of my extended family 😉

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  5. Hiya Michelle,

    After reading your articles “Want to work less and have more time? Then buy less stuff” and “Why I’m buying nothing for a year – no clothes, no holidays, no coffee …” at The Guardian, I googled my way to this webpage! I think the issues you are highlighting are very important, and it was so refreshing to read your articles!

    I’m studying broadcast journalism at University of Winchester, and I would really like to talk to you about your articles and the project you are doing, and also pitch an idea I have. Would it be possible to meet up in the nearest future? If so, please get in touch with me via the email I’ve provided in my details.

    Liked by 1 person

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