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Finding Meaning In The Minimal

You try to retrace the footprints of your memory back to the previous endeavor you had just been engaged in; alas, nothing arises. Frustrated, you get up and walk to the fridge.

23 days ago

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Finding Meaning In The Minimal

Finding Meaning In The Minimal

How Joshua Fields Millburn (AKA J-Millz) And Ryan Nicodemus (AKA Nico-deem-us-worthy-of-your-time-because-I-know-time-is-a-very-limited-entity-and-the-entire-point-of-this-podcast-is-to-promote-decluttering-your-life-and-not-adding-new-stimuli-to-it-but-alas-I-digress) Can Help You Satisfy Your Soul By Scrapping All That “Stuff” You Think You Need But Really Don’t (jeez...for a couple of minimalists, this is quite a hefty subheading)

Peep the scene, partner:

You’re at home, watching a rather enthralling episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in which Ice-T demonstrates some truly first-class detective work. Just as Ice-T commands his colleagues to “book him” (referring to a suspect in a pederasty case), you activate your smartphone and begin to sift through your music library, in search of the song “Cop Killer” by Body Count, Ice-T’s late-century foray into hardcore punk. Unable to locate it within the confines of your cellular device, you walk on over to your record collection in search of this long lost gem. En route, you are met with a vast array of baseball cards, banana peels, baloney slices, banjo picks, silver dollars, discarded DVDs, mercury-tinted lids, dirt-covered socks with holes the size of watch faces, watch faces, watch straps, and watches. You briefly ponder the oft-arising thought that maybe, just maybe, you should tidy the place up a bit. After several moments of deliberation, you resign yourself to a resounding “Nah” - a conclusion you have convinced yourself you have reached due to the fact that you might actually end up selling those baseball cards for a sizable amount of money someday. Someday.

Someday...

Suddenly, the phone rings.

You abandon your task and walk back to the couch, decorated with Dorito dust, and answer the call. It’s your “friend” from the office, Mike, who has just called to inform you that a fellow coworker by the name of Sandra has just broken up with her longtime boyfriend Brutus and is now, as Mike so eloquently put it, “totally yours, bro!”

You thank Mike for the information, and, promptly, hang up the phone. You try to retrace the footprints of your memory back to the previous endeavor you had just been engaged in; alas, nothing arises. Frustrated, you get up and walk to the fridge. As you open the door, a glass bottle of honey mustard falls to the hardwood floor and shatters into more pieces than your childhood dreams did once you settled for that nine-to-five.

You begin to cry. “Why, oh, why?” you bemoan, “when did it all go wrong?”

I’ll tell you when: the moment you began to associate the accumulation of material objects with happiness. You forgot all about what Lennon said - happiness is a warm gun.

Wait, no...not that song.

“Hey Bulldog!”?

No...not that Lennon, come to think of it (yes, I am about to make this exact joke - albeit in a much less vulgar manner - but just bear with me, as it is about to lead into the crux of this article).

V.I. Lenin! Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov! Indeed, it was he who famously proposed that one should always inquire as to who stands to benefit from any particular action, lest one be taken advantage of by those with malicious intent. Those people, in this scenario, are the pushers of junk. I’m not just talking about dope, either; I’m talking about mindless television, processed snacks, gossip, social media applications, and so on. Hell, even your own mind can be a junk peddler - it is the one, after all, who loads you up with all of these rabid thoughts and inclinations to satisfy all of your sensory desires.

So who can you trust, then, if you can’t even trust your own mind? The answer is simple: The Minimalists!

The Minimalists

Who are the minimalists? They are Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus - blog operators, podcast hosts, authors, documentarians, and all-around solid dudes. I mean, after being featured on such respected platforms as NPR, giving talks at such esteemed institutions as the Harvard Business School, constructing an elementary school in Laos (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!), what else do you really need me to say in order to justify that last descriptor?

Originally hailing from Dayton, OH, these boys have since relocated to a cabin in Philipsburg, Montana, where they conducted a four-month writing experiment (to great success). Currently, they reside in beautiful Missoula, Montana.

This could be you...but you playin’, boy.

Nevertheless, if you do decide that you are, in fact, ready to scale down and join the #minimalistrevolution, take a look at some of these houses below:

probably calling his brother, or mother - someone or another - to tell them what a sweet house he just scored before mounting his schooner and setting sail for Saskatoon (or San Rafael...wherever he happens to be)


“I’m so happy with my new house...come here and give me a hug, darling Nikki!”

Wait, maybe we shouldn’t call her darling Nikki, since the lyrics to that song are not particularly appropriate for someone her age - but, you know, progressive parenting and all. Besides, it’s Prince. Very few exceptions to parental advisory exist, and Prince is most definitely one.

“That house...I want it!”

perfect for insects and small rodents!


Daniel Sanderson

Published 23 days ago