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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 3 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY Show, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Minimalist Interview: Karol Gajda

Karol Gajda

About Karol

We recently connected with fellow Midwest blogger, Karol Gajda (pronounced Karl Guy-dah). Karol writes at Ridiculously Extraordinary and we had the opportunity to interview him today.

Karol’s ebook The Luxury of Less is re-launching for $2.99. He originally released this ebook in October, but only made it available for three days. During those three days, he sold nearly 2,000 copies. It’s available again for those of you who missed it.

Minimalist Interview with Karol Gajda

What is your greatest passion, and how has minimalism helped you pursue this passion?

Like a lot of people, I have varied interests. I love writing, I love playing guitar, and I love traveling. Minimalism hasn’t necessarily helped with the first two —anybody can write and anybody can play guitar —but it definitely helps with the third. While most people go on one-to-two week vacations loaded with suitcases and annoyances, I’ve been living out of a 32L backpack since September 1, 2009, almost never needing to check a bag. In the beginning I was doing more intense travel. I’d stay in a city for only a few days and then move on. Now I pick a city, rent an apartment for a month or two (or more), and stay a while to get a better pulse of what’s going on.

Here’s the thing about minimalism: it doesn’t fit into a box. For some people it’s living with less than 100 things (although it seems nobody with a “things list” has taken simple math, hehe) and for some it’s owning hundreds of things (I love Joshua’s list, because it’s honest and mathematically sound). And depending on profession/hobbies/life (kids, for example), there’s no reason a self-described minimalist can’t own thousands of things. The number isn’t important. What’s important is having exactly what you need and not more. If you look at someone like Brook from brook there, she’s a clothing designer/artist. There’s a lot of stuff she needs to make that happen, but as far as I know, she describes herself as a minimalist. That’s perfect and awesome and exactly the kind of role model aspiring minimalists need.

What is your mission in life, and how does minimalism help you achieve this mission?

A: My public mission is to help 100 people achieve what I call Ridiculously Extraordinary Freedom, which is freedom defined by the individual. But my personal, private mission in life is simple: I want to be happy, healthy, and free.

Minimalism, getting rid of all the physical and mental junk in my life, has immeasurably helped with happiness. I like to say that every day is the best day of my life. Today was better than yesterday was better than the day before, and so on. This was not the case when I had a BMW and tons of junk, which many people would consider the “American Dream.”

It has had a profound affect on health as well. I eat a very simple vegan diet consisting of mostly veggies, beans, rice, and fruit. I can honestly say I’ve never felt better than I do now.

And minimalism definitely helps with being free. I can do what I want, go wherever I want, and I can do it at the drop of a dime since my belongings fit in a backpack.