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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.

I Could Never Do That!

We lie to ourselves to justify our actions.

The most offensive lie I told myself was that I could never do something—That sounds great, but I could never do it!—thus making it impossible in my mind.

Similarly, many people lie to themselves to justify their decision to not embark on their own minimalist journey: I could never be a minimalist because [fill in the blank].

But even after I became a minimalist, I told myself this lie. I said…

I could never stop buying stuff. Then, for a year, I stopped buying material goods.

I could never quit my corporate job. Then, over time, I left that job after twelve years.

I could never get rid of most of my clothes. Then, over time, I donated 90% of my clothes to Goodwill.

I could never give up my daily routine. Then, over time, I replaced my routine with habits I love.

I could never get rid of the home Internet or television or unused furniture. But then, over time, I did: I got rid of all these things—and much more.

Getting rid of the excess in my life has allowed me to focus on what’s important: people, experiences, this moment.

The truth is there are very few things I could never do. The same goes for you: minimalism is a continuum. My version is different from Ryan’s, which’ll be different from yours. And that’s okay—minimalism isn’t meant to be one-size-fits-all.

So when you tell yourself I could never be a minimalist because [fill in the blank], what is your blank, and how could you erase it?

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