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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.


Why are you guys doing this tour thingy throughout 2011 and 2012?

Why? is an important question. Yet we often forget to question why we’re doing something, and instead we just do it in perpetuity: We keep buying excess stuff. We keep working at the same jobs we hate. We keep accumulating debt. We keep the same friends. We keep buying new cars every few years. We keep eating junk. We keep avoiding the gym. We stay in hurtful relationships.

And we do these things without considering the purpose—without asking why?

With respect to our 33-city meetup tour, some people have thought it was to promote our new book, Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life, which is a good assumption because we are very proud of that book, and we do want to promote it. And face it, “going on a book tour” sounds kind of cool, doesn’t it? But truth be told, paying to travel across North America isn’t a practical way of promoting a book, especially when many of the people who attend our meetups have already bought the book.

So, if we’re not doing this meetup tour to promote something, then why might we be doing it? We had to ask ourselves this question before embarking on the journey.

Like many things in our lives there isn’t one specific answer. Rather, there are likely a few answers—several reasons—that pushed us into our car and inspired us to travel the country:

Face-to-face interaction. We interact with less than one percent of our readers online, and we almost never get the opportunity to interact with them face-to-face. Thus, this trip has allowed us to see and hear and feel what resonates with people. It’s almost impossible to do this online.

Adding value. We get to add value to people’s lives along the way. We’ve hugged hundreds of people on this tour, heard their stories, discovered what touches them, and we’ve listened a lot. We discovered that sometimes the first step in adding value is simply showing up.

Growth. We want to learn and grow. We’ve learned a ton during these meetups. The old adage about the teacher learning more than her students has certainly proved true during our journey.

Ability. We’re doing this tour because we can. We always thought it would be cool to do a road trip at age 18, but we never got the chance to because we were working so much. So why not do it at age 30?

Desire. Most important, we’re doing this because we want to, which is often the only reason you need.

What are the reasons you’re doing what you’re doing with your life? Is there a purpose behind your actions?