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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 2 million readers. As featured on: CBS, BBC, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

10 Life-Changing Links

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We Love You

It’s true. We get emails, tweets, and comments every day, and we appreciate them all. Most of the messages are “thank you” messages. A few are mean/hateful/ignorant messages. Some messages disagree with us in a respectful way.

Many of the messages ask us for advice. We always respond to those. Our responses often include links to specific essays on other sites that we believe will help clarify our advice.

10 Life Changing Links

Below is a list of our five favorite minimalist essays from other sites and our five favorite non-minimalist essays. These were all life changing for us. They resonated with us on a deeper level that touched our nerve-endings in a special way.

Minimalist Links

1. Paring Down (on mnmlist). We link to this short essay more than any other. Paring down is a key principle within minimalism, and it reminds us that the journey is never complete. We think about—and take action towards—paring down every day.

2. Discovering Simplicity [Audio by Joshua Becker] (on Becoming Minimalist). We share this audio with tons of people via email. If you want to hear a superbly articulate introduction to minimalism—complete with a great story about the Becker family’s journey into minimalism—then listen to this. This audio is the perfect thing to share with people who ask “what the heck is minimalism?”

3. Questioning the Couch (on Miss Minimalist). It’s funny what words stick with a person over the years. As odd as it might sound on the surface, a short essay about Miss Minimalist’s couch was one of those things that stuck with us. The couch thing seemed ridiculous to us at first, until we read the entire essay. You see—as leaders of people for over a decade—we often tell people to ask better questions if they wanted better answers. “Questioning the Couch,” at its fundament, was about much more than its ostensible subject (viz. it was about questioning the stuff in your life, and that was the first time we started to do so with any real purpose).

4. All 72 Things I Own (on Exile Lifestyle). Colin Wright, who is a good friend of ours now, is the man who introduced us to minimalism. This post showed us a different kind of focus on life, a focus that wasn’t about stuff but about living a more meaningful life. Even though we don’t aspire to have less than 100 things, Colin showed us it was possible to do so and inspired us to take our journey into minimalism. He also posted his subsequent 51 Things and 55 Things articles on his site.

5. A Day in the Life of a Minimalist (on Zen Habits). This was Joshua Fields Millburn’s first essay on Zen Habits, and it still remains one of our most popular works on the web. The essay is a panoramic view of the “typical” day of a minimalist.

BONUS: 38 Lessons I’ve Learned in My 38 Years (on Zen Habits). This one is fairly new but it’s chalked full of heartfelt advice from Leo Babauta. Well worth reading.

Non-minimalist Links

Warning: some of these links include profanity, which we aren’t bothered by, but if you are, then you might not want to read on.

1. Stop Being a Fucking Pussy (on In Over Your Head). This was one of those “ah ha!” moments for both of us. It’s an incredibly powerful essay by Julien Smith. It will make you reconsider a lot of things. Julien is a tremendous author, speaker, and inspirational guy. He’s cool as shit too.

2. My Last Day (on Location 180). Sean Ogle does a great job explaining the feelings and emotions he experienced when he left his day job.

3. The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck (on In Over Your Head). This is another essay from Julien Smith. It’s fairly new, but it’s spectacular. A must read for everyone. Trust us, it’s remarkable.

4. Becoming Who I Am (on Uberless). You may not know of Rick Rivera or his site, but this one is worth sharing. It’s Rick’s story of questioning himself and his life as he gets older. It’s magnificently honest and heartfelt and introspective. Do yourself a favor and read it. Note: this essay could have been listed under the minimalist category (Uberless is in fact a minimalist site), but we saw it as more of a new kind of coming-of-age story than a story about minimalism.

5. 2,000 Subscribers in Three Months: One Blogger’s Story of Rapid Growth (on Think Traffic). Note: This one is more for people with websites, but it’s an inspiring read either way. When Corbett Barr featured Tyler Tervooren on Think Traffic, we were inspired by his story of rapid growth (we’ve since taken a similar path as Tyler). This was also the first time we were introduced Tyler’s cool site, Advanced Riskology. This shows that hard work pays off.