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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

The Consumption Continuum

Consumption is a continuum that covers an expansive range, with monk-like ascetics on one end and ready-for-reality-TV hoarders on the other.

But consumption alone isn’t an inherently bad or evil thing. Actually, it isn’t a thing at all—it’s an action. While minimalists are closer to the ascetics than the hoarders on this continuum, minimalism itself is far more concerned with living intentionally, living elegantly through simplicity, living meaningfully while enjoying the material possessions you own without giving those possessions too much significance.

Thus, the problem isn’t consumption; the problem is we the people. We are the problem. When we give too much meaning to the stuff we buy, when we think it will bring us happiness or contentment, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Happiness doesn’t work that way. Contentment is internal, and it is possible to be content with nothing or with a room full of stuff.

We’d posit to you, however, that it’s much easier to see what’s important when you get the excess stuff out of the way. A sunset is far more beautiful when you remove the blinders.

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