Back in April 2015, I attended the National Association for Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) annual conference in Los Angeles as a fairly new organizer (LIVE WITH LESS was a mere 1.5 years old). I was excited to learn The Minimalists were the keynote speakers, as I’d been reading their blog for a couple of years and was inspired by their philosophy about minimalism.
I loved their presentation then and, after watching the conference recording again the other day, I still love it today! Thought y’all might be inspired as well, so here are my notes.
About The Minimalists:
After working their way up the corporate ladder in their 20s, childhood friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus decided to ditch much of their stuff on a quest to find happiness and contentment. Along the way, they also ditched their high-powered, high-stress jobs. What they discovered about themselves is well-documented on their website, in their books and in their documentary.
Highlights from their keynote presentation, from Joshua Millburn:
- By simplifying life, he regained control of relationships, finances, health, passions and giving to others.
- When purging, he asked himself this question, “does this thing add value to my life?”
- The more action you take, the more you want to take action.
- Asked himself…”why did I give so much meaning to these material objects?”
- “…why did I feel so discontented inside?”
- “…what is truly important in my life?”
- “…who is the person I want to become?”
- “…how will I define my own success?”
- If we don’t answer these questions during the purging process, our life might just fill up with stuff again.
- You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.
- Love people and use things because the opposite never works.
Other important takeaways:
- Having fewer sentimental items allows you to appreciate them more.
- You’re not letting go of memories, just letting go of stuff.
- You have to let go before you can move on.
- How might your life be better if you owned less stuff?
It’s not really about the stuff - it’s about so much more. Having the courage to face the discontent and unhappiness changed the course of their lives by showing them there’s another way to find happiness - it wasn’t by making more money or having more stuff, it was about discovering what was important to them. They chose/choose to live with less.
So, my friends, I've gotta ask: What do you choose?