In the beginning I was lost. But I made it look like I knew the way.
That was a few years ago—back when I had the job, the paycheck, and all the stuff, all of which formed my personal identity, an identity I clung to with a reptilian clutch. But I wasn’t happy. And buying more stuff didn’t fill the emptiness I felt inside.
I tried, thinking if I bought more stuff, I’d be happy.
But I wasn’t.
I wasn’t content because I wasn’t living a meaningful life: I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t focused on my relationships. I wasn’t pursuing my passions. I wasn’t growing. And I wasn’t contributing to others as much as I wanted.
Then I stumbled across minimalism via Colin Wright, Joshua Becker, and Leo Babauta, right after my mother died. I learned a lot from letting go of her sentimental items. It was difficult, but letting go made me question all the other stuff in my life as well—all the anchors weighing me down and keeping me from being happy.
Eventually, I embraced minimalism. As I got rid of my stuff, I replaced it with important things, focusing on the five most important areas in life: health, relationships, pursuing my passions, growth, and contribution—making subtle changes every day.
Minimalism was the tool I used to clear away the meaningless stuff so I could focus on the important things and live a meaningful life. Ryan and I wrote about this journey extensively in our first book, Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.
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