Minimalism will not solve all your problems.
Unfortunately, we often believe that the goal of simple living is to own as few possessions as possible—to declutter our homes, organize our lives, and clear our minds. Once we do this, we’ll each find our own private utopia and bask in the glory of our newfound happiness, right?
Not exactly. Real life doesn’t work this way.
Minimalism is not the end game; it is not the result. Chucking your material possessions does not necessarily equal happiness. You could get rid of all your stuff and still be miserable.
Getting rid of the excess in your life will, however, help you discover what does in fact make you happy. (Hint: it’s not your possessions; most of your possessions are actually in the way of your happiness.) And it’s much easier to find the path toward happiness once you’ve cleared the debris.
Minimalism will never lead you to your utopia. Life will always have its moments of tedium and drudgery and sadness and pain. But minimalism can lead you to a better life, one that’s more exciting and fulfilling and satisfying and rewarding—a more meaningful life.
You can start small, but it’s worth getting started today.
Read this essay and 150 others in our new book, Essential.