How to live a happy life? This question has been pondered by the billions of people that came before us and very likely will be the root of human existential concern going forward. If you live in a Western society, like America, you might think that happiness is defined by the objects around you. It can be your house, your Xbox, your iPhone, your car, or the millions of products you can buy in a local supermarket for your eating pleasures. All around us are things we want or at least we are told we should want them, courtesy of the ubiquitous advertising that blankets our every waking step.
But what if you just stopped wanting things? You might find yourself living a life that’s much richer in experiences and closer to happiness. How to get there? Try minimalism.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus found the minimalist lifestyle after giving up their six-figure jobs as corporate executives. They moved to Montana and lived for a while in a cabin in the woods like Henry David Thoreau.
It’s not that they are completely against ownership of things – rather they feel the issue is the meaning we give to these things. Often in our society, things occupy too important a place. After giving up 90% of what he owned, Joshua felt like “Everything in my life became my favorite thing.”