Everyone's path to minimalism is different. For me, it was the realization that the best things in life are not material 'things'. This is a broad statement as what level of materialism we accept is different for everyone who goes on the pursuit to live more simply. Here are some daily thought patterns that help set you up to find out what level of minimalism speaks to your highest self.
1) Q: Do I need this [item of purchase] to live peacefully right now?
Say you are in a store and you see a pair of shoes that you really like. You're going out to see a band with your friends tonight and you think you have a whole outfit that would go amazingly with these shoes. You already have 15 pairs of shoes and you know at least one pair you already own will look super cute with the outfit too.
In this moment, you stop and ask yourself, "Will I really have more fun tonight with my friends if I buy these shoes? Or will I be having so much fun that I won't even notice my shoes tonight?
Chances are you’ll still have fun in the shoes you already have that are also very cute!
2) Be practical about your basic needs
We all need food, shelter, community, love and fun to live our best lives but too much of anything is wasteful. You need healthy food to keep your body running optimally but you don’t need to go out to a 5 star restaurant to do it. You need a place to live, but you are one person, you don’t need more than a studio apartment.
For example, when thinking of upgrading your current pad, ask yourself, “Will I be more happy long term if I have more space than I already have and utilize without a threat to my daily survival? If the answer is yes, you might need to reframe your perception.
More things do not create happiness; being happy with less is the true gift and will create more happiness long term.
3) Let adventure, love and art energize you
Take it from famous poet John Keats who was penniless monetarily but rich in life experience and love. In a letter to his lover/muse Fanny Brawne, he says “I could be martyr’d for my Religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that”. To Keats, Love meant everything to him. So much so that he dedicated his short life to romantic poetry and wooing Fanny Brawne.
Surround yourself with beauty and you won’t have a need for material pursuits. Go for a nature walk, a canoe ride, take a swim, create art, fall in love. Whatever it is, if it energizes you, let it grow in your life.