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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Creations Over Consumer Goods

Creations Over Consumer Goods

A pound of experiences weighs much more than a pound of stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I still buy things. I’m a minimalist, not a Luddite. But most of the things I purchase aren’t things in the traditional sense.

During my lost days of yesteryear—my lotus-eating twenties—I spent much of my hard-earned moolah on material possessions: luxury cars, a massive house, expensive furniture, every new gadget available, and expensive clothes and shoes and watches and collectables and you-name-it. However, none of these things fulfilled me.

The things I buy today, though, are experience-laden creations, not material possessions. Instead of spending money on consumer goods (e.g., a Rolex), I prefer to purchase experiential goods: music, books, movies, musical instruments, etc. While these purchases might come packaged in physical packaging, that’s not what I’m paying for; the vehicle itself is irrelevant. Rather, I’m paying to experience each creation.

Much more so than material possessions, creations enhance my everyday experiences. My favorite activities today include playing guitar as a break from writing, walking while listening to music or audiobooks, and reading new books (often using my phone’s Kindle app, which allows me to devour books in five-minute intervals—while standing in the checkout line, relaxing on park benches, or stoically waiting in my dentist’s waiting room).

I find value in experiencing these things, not in the things themselves. You see, a Rolex will never buy you more time. Experience-based goods, on the other hand, possess the potential to add value to your life and thus to help you grow.

So buy that fancy new wristwatch if you must. I’ll be over here experiencing life—growing—not concerned with the time.