The 10 Best Websites About Minimalism

minimalism

We all could learn a lot more…

FROM LESS!

The constantly busy, hyper-consumerist paradigm clearly hasn’t increased our quality of life. As a society, we’re realizing that the lifestyle of more stuff, bigger houses, full schedules and staying busy is killing ourselves and the planet.

This is why so many people are gravitating towards concepts like minimalism, simplicity and Essentialism.

In honor of my new book Essentialism and The Art of Not Giving a Fuck, I decided to compile a list of resources about minimalism.

Minimalism vs Essentialism

Minimalism and Essentialism are very similar. Both increase quality of life through simplicity.

The only real difference is that minimalism focuses on reduction, while essentialism is more about focusing on what’s really important and letting go of the unessential.

They’re so closely related that they can be used interchangeably in most cases. Minimalism incorporates essentialism and essentialism incorporates minimalism.

Why Minimalism?

Minimalism has been rapidly increasing in popularity.

And for good reason. People are realizing that more doesn’t always equal better. In fact, it’s the opposite in most cases.

We’re all chasing the same things: happiness, fulfillment, love, peace…etc. Yet for so long, we believed the false notion that doing more and having more would get us there. It clearly hasn’t worked.

Now people are finding out that, in most cases, reduction naturally creates those feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

Life isn’t fun when you’re so busy, with innumerable responsibilities and the stress of everything constantly weighing on your mind.

All it takes is a little bit of simplification. Then those feelings of peace and happiness naturally start to re-emerge.

The 10 Best Websites On Minimalism

  1. The Minimalists

  2. Becoming Minimalist

  3. Rob Greenfield

  4. Be More With Less

  5. Mnmlist

  6. No Sidebar

  7. Minimalism Life

  8. New Minimalism

  9. The Art of Simple

  10. The Minimalist Vegan

  11. Bonus: The Minimalism Subreddit

All of those websites are great resources on minimalism, as well as life in general. And the Minimalism Subreddit is a community where people exchange ideas regarding minimalism. If you’re interested in minimalism, see which of these resonates most with you.

Avoid This Trap

Like with any philosophy, people can get dogmatic.

Minimalism is no exception. So here’s a piece of advice: Avoid the trap of doing less for the sake of doing less.

Mindfully, consciously simplify your life. And if something is essential to you, keep it.

That’s why I like using the word Essentialism. It automatically makes you evaluate what is essential to you.

The vast majority of things are trivial. So find what is important to you and focus on that.

My new book, Essentialism And the Art of Not Giving a Fuck, cuts straight through the noise and chaos of life.

It will help you find and focus on what is essential to you. That simple shift in mentality opens the door to the feelings you’ve been chasing your whole life: happiness, peace, love, fulfillment and joy.

You can get your hands on the book here: Essentialism And the Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Thank you.

Stevie P!

Essentialism: The Philosophy That Will Change Your Life

essentialism minimalism simplicity

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee

The key to success, the key to peace of mind, the key to making your dreams come true ultimately boils down to one thing: focusing on the essential.

Simplicity, minimalism and the like may imply that blindly removing is the key. It’s not. Essentialism, however, is about finding what is essential for you and letting go of the unnecessary.

What is “essential” can be different for everyone. For some people, that may be their family, for others it may be music, for some people it may be travel. It all depends on what you want to prioritize in your life.

What are your priorities? What do you want to focus on? What is your purpose? What direction do you want to travel in? In order to make the most out of life, we must ask ourselves those questions and prioritize accordingly.

If you don’t have priorities or purpose, then you will fritter away your days in a muck of endless distractions, yet feeling empty inside. Without focus, the world around you has more than enough distractions to keep you preoccupied, passive, stagnant and depressingly mediocre.

Let go of the unessential and cut out distractions. If you want to write a book, watching tv for 2 hours a day won’t help. If you want to get in shape, prioritize your workouts and healthy meals. If you want to meditate, center your morning routine around it. If you want to be a better parent, spend more quality time with your kids by any means necessary. Find out what is essential to you and let go of the unessential.

This applies to everything in life, from business to relationships and everything in between. A company will be successful if it focuses on its core mission. A relationship will be harmonious if both people place love first. A person will transcend mediocrity when they focus on their purpose.

Make Essentialism an “essential” part of your life, and help bring your dreams to fruition.

Want to learn how to tap into the power of Essentialism? Check out my new book Essentialism And the Art of Not Giving a Fuck!

Much love.

– Stevie P!

PS – You see how short and sweet this article is? That’s Essentialism at work!

7 Ways to Be More Passionate About Life

This is a guest post by Megan Ray Nichols.

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This time of year can bring some dreariness to the soul as you look out the window and see an abundance of one color: grey. Grey streets, grey sky, grey and bare trees. And this may leave you feeling a little grey and dreary yourself.

Consider your neighbor whose sunny disposition transgresses time and season. What is it that makes them have that zeal and zest for life that, right now, you just can’t seem to catch hold of?

Well, it’s different for everyone, but chances are your neighbor may have formed some habits you have not been introduced to quite yet. These habits are what differentiate the doers from the observers.

If you feel like maybe you’ve lost some of your zeal, keep reading for encouragement that will help rekindle your passions. Don’t spend life sitting on the sidelines and watching other people take advantage of life. Use these seven ways to be more passionate about the life you are living:

1. Take a Self-Evaluation
Getting to know yourself is key to understanding what will help you become more passionate about life. By taking a self-evaluation, you’ll begin to understand the areas of your life you value and that give you energy. When you find out what gives you energy, you find your passion. Ask yourself these questions:

• When do I feel most alive? When do I not?
• When do I feel most like myself?
• Who inspires me and why?
• What are my biggest talents?
• What am I most afraid of?
• Where do I spend most of my time, and am I happy with that?
• Where would I like to go, and what would I like to do?
• What do I value?

Writing your answers down can help clarify your thoughts and will give you good records to review when necessary.

2. Make Goals
Once you’ve discovered some of the areas you want to grow in, make goals to get there. Remember to make them SMART, as in specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. If you feel the greatest when you are writing but have insecurities about your abilities or just need some practice, consider taking a class or joining a group of other writers.

3. Simplify Your Lifestyle
To achieve anything, you’ve got to make way for it. This means decluttering your life is essential. Take inventory of the activities you and your family participate in. Include work time and work functions when creating your mental and/or physical list. If there are areas in your life that take away from your prime values, it may be time to cross them off the list or at least not let them have as much influence on your day-to-day schedule.

4. Seek out Opportunities to Use Your Gifts
Practice makes perfect, right? So seek out opportunities to use your gifts and abilities. As you use them more, you’ll become more comfortable with them and the cycle will continue — much to your benefit. And who knows? Depending on your gift, you may be able to make a business out of it, which would be great for your mental health as well as your wallet.

5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
There are going to be times when you fail. That’s part of it, but learning to not take yourself too seriously can help you laugh at the times when you struggle. Most situations are not life and death, so don’t act like they are. Take things in stride, and you’ll find yourself better off for it.

6. Learn When to Say “No”
Even when you start simplifying your life and crossing things off your list that aren’t helping you get to your end goal, people are going to ask you to do or commit to other things. When this happens, get comfortable with politely saying, “No.”

7. Get Past Fear
Sometimes what keeps us from trying anything at all is fear. Fear of failure. Fear that others will make fun of you. Fear that you won’t make any money or you may even lose some. Fear that your friends and family won’t support it. And the list continues.

The best way to overcome fear, though, is to meet it straight on. As Babe Ruth once put it: “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

If you’d like to get some of that dreariness out and rekindle your fire and passion for life, start using these seven ways to do just that. And don’t wait for tomorrow. Do it today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Ray Nichols is passionate about writing and science. She frequently discusses scientific news on her blog, Schooled By Science. On clear nights she likes to gaze at the beauty in the universe with her telescope.

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Simplicity: Your Key to Lasting Happiness

Simplicity

If you’ve been indoctrinated into modern society, you’re conditioned to believe that accumulation equates to happiness.

You go through life accumulating – money, gadgets, relationships, cars, houses, degrees…etc. – thinking that these additions will make you happy (And how’s that working out for everyone?). But actually it’s removal that begets happiness. Once you clear all of the bullshit, there’s nothing left but peace, joy and positive emotions.

Happiness comes from removal, not accumulation. Remove fear, remove doubt, remove expectation and you’ll find that you’re left with happiness. Joy is your natural, essential state. You’ve just piled so much on top that you’ve forgotten the bliss that lies beneath it all.

Meditation is the perfect example of this. Meditation is a “non-doing” in which you slip into the silent space between thoughts. It’s a transcendence of the neurotic thought loops of the mind, bringing you to a state of no-thought. It’s the ultimate removal. And guess what? Everyone feels positive emotions when they meditate (peace, bliss, joy, happiness, serenity…etc).

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”
– Bruce Lee

And living a life of simplicity doesn’t mean being a simple-minded simpleton. It’s really about being intelligent enough to let go of what doesn’t truly serve your best interest.

“I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. ”
― Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity & Lying
In the phenomenal book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, the first agreement is “Be impeccable with your word.” Speak with integrity, say only what you mean, avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or gossip about others and use the power of the Word in the direction of truth and love.

Being straightforward and truthful with your word harmonizes your emotions, thoughts, words and actions. That’s why it feels good. Because everything is in alignment.

Morality aside, lying just makes things too complicated and tedious. For me, having to build and maintain a complex web of lies is much more difficult and emotionally taxing than being brutally honest (even when it’s not politically correct).

Think about the relationships you have where you’re the most honest. Though your ego may take a few slaps to the face, those relationships are far more fulfilling than those which you wear a mask. Life is far simpler, genuine and enjoyable when honesty prevails.

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
― Isaac Newton

Simplicity & “Stuff”
The accumulation of “stuff” is a huge problem plaguing so many people. Buying things to make you happy is a quick fix that quickly fades. And soon enough, you’ll need another hit of it. Buying things can really be like a drug addiction.

This also leads to the accumulation of stuff, which can bog you down and hinder your freedom on multiple levels. With less stuff, there’s less to clean, less to upkeep and less to distract you from your natural state of happiness.

One of the first posts I’ve ever written here is on this topic: Possessions vs Experiences: Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

Simplicity & Desires
The vast majority of the desires you have are the result of societal programming. If you strip all of the conditioning away, all we really desire are simple things like love, happiness and personal growth. When you simplify your desires, you remove the self-created walls between yourself and happiness.

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
– Epictetus

Simplicity & Busyness
Work smarter, not harder. Focus only on what you really need (or want) to get done, instead of dozens of asinine tasks. This will allow you to prioritize and accomplish the most important tasks while being less stressed throughout the process.

“Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
– Tim Ferriss

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
– Peter Drucker

Read my post on busyness here: 15 Ways to Cure the “Busy Syndrome”

Simplicity & Your Body
Create lasting health and happiness by simplifying diet and exercise. You’ll enjoy it more and it’ll become a natural part of your lifestyle.

With diet, it might look something like this: Just eat real food (JERF), eat when you’re hungry and have fun splurging every once in a while.

Regarding exercise, I’ve personally made the most progress using simple, basic routines. Just consistently improving at the most fundamental exercises has worked wonders for me.

Simplicity & Your Mind
Think of the mind like a computer. If you have too many programs running at once, the computer will slow down or even crash.

Focus only on what’s really important, and focus on one thing at a time.

Having a regular meditation practice will greatly help you in clearing all of the unnecessary programs running in your mind.

Simplicity & Presence
Simplicity brings you more into the here and now (all that really exists). The simpler life is, the more conducive it is to cultivating a state of present moment awareness.

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and
not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms
of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

– Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

Read more: There Are No Problems in the Present Moment

Simplicity & Minimalism
Minimalism is a form of simplicity. Once you clear all of your baggage (physical, mental, emotional…etc.), you have less burdens, less weighing you down and less obstructions to your happiness.

“Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.”
– Linda Breen Pierce

Read more: The Joy of Minimalism: Traveling the World with Only Carry-On Luggage

Simplicity & Quality Over Quantity
Quality over quantity is a common phrase, but how many people really put it into practice? It applies to everything, especially relationships. If you build a few good quality relationships, instead of just trying to please everyone, it’s far more fulfilling and rewarding.

Simplicity & Money
Prioritize your happiness, instead of making decisions solely based on money. Budgeting and worrying about every penny you spend is a miserable existence. Feel abundant, and abundance will permeate your life. If you have an abundance mentality, you will, by the laws of the universe, attract more abundance.

Here’s a personal example: I was just in Goa, India and the town I was in (Arambol) only had one working ATM. It was a long walk away, always had a long line and had a limit to how many rupees you could withdraw. Basically, going to the ATM was about as fun as being the wicked witch of the west and caught in a tsunami. So what I did was I would go to money exchange places, which were closer and much, much easier. They charged a 3% exchange fee, but the convenience was so worth it.

Another aspect of this is simplifying the bills you pay. Evaluate what you’re paying on a monthly basis and figure out what you really need (or want). Get rid of the unnecessary. Also, automate your bill payments, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to pay them (less programs running on the mind-computer).

Simplicity & Distilling Information
The skill of distilling information is being able to simplify and concisely assimilate information. This allows for more clarity on whatever you’re learning about, prevents you from succumbing to information overload and puts you in a position to effectively implement the information.

If you can’t simply explain a subject to a young child, you don’t truly understand it.

You can build this skill of distilling information by succinctly summarizing things on a regular basis. This could be through writing, verbal explanations or even giving presentations on certain topics.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
– Confucius

Find bliss in simplicity.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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95% of the Health and Fitness Advice You Need in Under 100 Words

The health and fitness industries have been made out to be wayyyyy more complicated than they need to be.

“To earn a fortune in the diet and exercise industries, there is a dictum: complicate to profit” -Tim Ferriss

I’ve devoted literally thousands of hours studying and applying health and fitness information over the last 6 years. I’m ridiculously passionate about both health and fitness. And I would have a career in either one of these, but there’s just this one thing? When you sort through all of the bullshit, it’s all really, really simple. Almost too simple, but it’s been made complicated.

HERE’S 95% OF THE HEALTH AND FITNESS KNOWLEDGE YOU NEED IN LESS THAN 100 WORDS:

Want to be healthier in every aspect? Eat real food —> (“If man made it, don’t eat it.” -Jack LaLanne)

Want to lose body fat? Eat a little less real food.

Want to gain muscle? Eat more real food and lift weights.

Want to lose fat and still be muscular? Eat real food and lift weights.

Want to increase your endurance? Run.

Want to get stronger? Lift heavier weights than you did last week.

It’s really as simple as that.

And want all of these to be lasting, lifelong changes? DO IT CONSISTENTLY AND KEEP IMPROVING.

That’s pretty much all you need to know. That final 5% consists of minutiae, very, very goal-specific things (ex/ rehabbing after a knee injury), or extreme cases (and extreme cases are usually unnatural, if you think about it). For example, a professional bodybuilder is going to have to use more complicated techniques to get down to 3% bodyfat while carrying around 300lbs of muscle. This is an extreme case.

The problems people have with reaching their goals stem from 2 things.

Paralysis by analysis- People will sit on the internet and read every so-called expert’s opinion on every subject. This will leave you confused. And you will just search for more answers instead of actually taking action.

Instant gratification mentality, resulting in lack of consistency- People think everything is instantaneous. And instead of consistently doing something (as described above), they want instant gratification. It didn’t take you 4 weeks to get fat, so it’s not going to take 4 weeks to get a 6-pack. Work at something consistently, track your progress, and you’ll notice subtle changes indicating that you’re moving in the right direction. Consistency with any program is 1,000 times better than inconsistency with the “perfect” program. Life is a journey, not a destination. Learn to love the process of self-improvement. Would you start playing a video game at the final boss? It’s all about the journey. Stay consistent and enjoy it.

And with the advice given above, use common sense. Don’t go outside and start eating rocks (they’re natural right?). Use proper form when lifting weights (It’s all natural movement patterns anyway. But most people are just so imbalanced physically due to poor lifestyle choices). Don’t go to the gym for the first time and try to yank 500lbs off the ground. Use common sense. Get familiar with your intuition, ya dig?

Stay thirsty my friends.

-Stevie P

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post: Inward Control

This is a guest post by Jason Martuscello.

From an evolutionary perspective, we have seen magnificent growth in science and technological advancements as well as increases in pools of information and knowledge. As a result, the choices we make everyday have exponentially increased. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Halo 4, iPad mini, Call of Duty, iPhone 5, fluorescent colored shoes, 50 Shades of Grey – are just a few examples of choices that we may encounter that keep us on the cusp of this evolving society. We are all consumers and are required to make choices everyday that add complexity to our everyday lives. Should I buy? Should I read? Should I listen? Should I remember?

We are constantly battling a tension of forces of human progression and adaptation versus conforming and adapting to society. In other words, should I buy/adopt the newest, latest, and greatest? Are we in control of decisions or are we just pawns getting played in a game chess? We all toil with this dilemma to some extent but the ones whom prevail in these situations demonstrate a sense of inward control. To better understand lets consider the alternative, ones who lack a sense of inward control, allow the complexities of life run rampant. For example, they may easily succumb to peer pressures, influences, information and are (sub)consciously controlled by the external environment.

In one sense, controlling complexity can be considered a balancing of information, influences, memories, and experiences. Left uncontrolled, our minds become bombarded with unregulated sensory input, which can contribute to increased stress, emotional trauma, anxiety, misery, conflict, and negativity. Inward control puts you in the position of power and you become the gatekeeper allowing simplicity, peace, and happiness. Inward control begins with a free, open and clear mind and provides the foundation for simplicity in life.

If you’d like to get in touch with Jason, you can e-mail him at jmartuscello@mail.usf.edu