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The Minimalists
The Minimalists are Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and New York Times–bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Alongside their podcast cohost, T.K. Coleman, this simple-living trio helps millions of people eliminate clutter and live meaningfully with less. Learn More.

You Are Not Impressing Me

Our Please Like Me culture has transformed into something hideous. We’ve been enveloped by an epidemic of pointless, attention-grabbing solipsism. Look around—the world is attempting to impress you.

We needn’t impress anyone, and yet we all try. Relentlessly we try, doing the strangest things to get the attention and, ultimately, the approval of others.

Oh, you purchased a brand new Lexus? You’re a published author? Your job title is X and you earn six-figures?

So what!

Take it from two guys who had it all: we had to get everything we ever wanted to realize that everything we ever wanted wasn’t what we wanted at all. It was empty, meaningless, depressing.

Your material possessions, your social status, and even your so-called accomplishments don’t impress anyone. They certainly don’t impress us. You impress us—not the things around you. We are impressed by your commitment to change, by your ability to grow, by your desire to contribute beyond yourself. Everything else is just a social construct, devoid of meaning.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with owning possessions, accomplishing goals, or earning money—just don’t think those things impress anyone. They don’t. At least not in a meaningful way.

Read this essay and 150 others in our new book, Essential.