Let Freedom Ring with Minimalism

This series has four parts and the last question was actually featured last week; What is the downside to minimalism?

Because I’m a sucker for a happy ending, I switched things around at the last minute.

In 15 short responses below, the word freedom is used more than 15 times. According to this expert panel, freedom is the #1 reason to start living with less. Read on to see how minimalism is resulting in freedom and other great benefits.

Advice From the Experts – Part Four

What is the biggest benefit you have experienced by living a minimalist lifestyle?

Freedom — freedom from debt, from clutter, and from the rat race. Each time I eliminate something extraneous from my life — be it an unused item, unnecessary purchase, or unfulfilling task — I feel an incredible sense of liberation. Francine Jay of Miss Minimalist

Freedom. It feels great to have the freedom to choose how to make money, freedom to live where I choose to live, freedom from debt, freedom from worrying about the expectations of society, freedom from unnecessary obligations. Plus, the less stuff I have, the lighter I feel. Not only that, but freedom from consumerism is liberating. It’s very liberating to say “I don’t need this big paying corporate job that just really enables me to buy more stuff.” Ryan from The Minimalists

Physical, fiscal, and psychological space–and the like-minded friends I’ve made. Meg Wolfe of Minimalist Woman

I am 99.9999% stress free. The less I have physically and mentally on my plate, the more energy and appreciation I have for the life I want. David Damron of Life Excursion

Freedom. Freedom from the burden of too much stuff, freedom because I’ve simplified my schedule, freedom because I travel light and do what I feel like doing this moment. Freedom from debt and having to buy too much and having to work too much to pay for all of that. Leo Babauta of mnmlist.com

The opportunity to pursue my passions. My deepest heart passions have always centered around faith, family, and friends. Unfortunately, the possessions in my life were consuming such a high percentage of my time, energy, and finances, I had little left over my true, lasting passions. A minimalist lifestyle has allowed me to pursue the things in life that I care about the most. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist

Consciousness and time. I am more conscious of how I spend my time these days. I spend more time with the important people in my life, but I still make time for myself. Because I’m conscious of what’s going on around me—and of what’s going on inside me—I live my life more deliberately. I used to spend hours distracted by my job and gadgets and the trappings of superfluous stuff, but now I’m conscious of how I spend my time, I’m conscious of what’s important. Joshua from The Minimalists

The peace coming from knowing I have absolute freedom to move anywhere any time is without a doubt the best benefit I have experienced. Nothing holds me down anymore, and it makes my adventures that much better. Dusti Arab of Minimalist Adventures

I don’t need as much money as most people to survive because I don’t buy much. I’ve learned to be happy with what I have and to cherish the way I spend my time. That means not slaving away at a job that could provide me a more steady income, but working on my passions everyday Sam Spurlin of The Simpler Life

Definitely more freedom, financially and psychologically.Laura of minimoblog.it

It has brought me an incredible peace of mind. I know where I want to go in life and am heading in that direction because there are no distractions. It’s very powerful. Christiaan of Mind the Beginner

Better connections with my loved ones. I’m living in the hour and minute now and not multitasking or iPhone-ing away a date night with my husband or play time with my son. Rachel Jonat of Minimalist Mom

There’s a sense of freedom in everything I do. Move somewhere new? I can (and am!). Take a weekend trip? Easy. Spend my money on something? Gladly, since I know it’s something I need that will benefit me in some way. Matthew Madeiro of Three New Leaves

My health. Since I’ve transitioned into simplicity my stress is way down and my anxiety is pretty much non-existent due to less clutter and debt. And since we’re a 1 car family now I ride my bike everywhere so that rocks even more in the health department. Eric LaForest of Elevated Simplicity

More time and space for my passions. Robyn Devine of Minimalist Knitter

As I wrap up this Advice from the Experts series, I want to thank these amazing people, living their life with courage and desire for sharing the most important parts of their journey. Your experience will be different from mine and from theirs, but without a doubt, you will share these benefits. What benefit to look forward to the most, or what have you already noticed?

photo credit

New to Be More With Less? Read more about what to expect, and this post with links to important posts and reader favorites.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I’m not exactly a minimalist, but I subscribe to many of the principles. And I’d have to agree with what most of the experts say. Specifically, for me, it’s about the freedom to be able to take any opportunity that comes my way.

    I like to say that if someone calls me up today and says “Hey, want to come live in Paris for a month? I have a place you can stay” – I want to be able to say YES!

  2. says

    I have loved this series Courtney! What a great group to inspire the rest of us on!
    I am still in the beginning stages of minimalizing the stuff in my life, although I have already cleared out a lot of my outside commitments (my J-O-B) being one of them! Now I am working to reduce the stuff and the debt, and the need for as much income so that my husband can also gain some freedom from a job he detests!
    Happy Wednesday!
    Bernice
    Assess your life for stress</p

    • Courtney Carver says

      Bernice, It sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Step by step, you will get there. Way to go on all the progress so far.

  3. says

    Thanks to you for sharing this great idea and these insights!
    I must say all together they give an amazing idea of freedom AND power.
    Maybe we really can change the world, can’t we? :)

  4. says

    Minimalism has empowered me to change my mindset from one of scarcity to one of enough. This has shifted my perspective on everything. I no longer can’t have a flat screen tv because I’m broke, and angry about it. Now I choose not to watch tv and waste my money and time. I feel like I have choices again. I have some control over my life and aren’t just at the whims of a job, commitments or financial constraints.

  5. says

    I totally relate to the description of Freedom – but my word to sum it up would be ‘choice’. Because of my simple life (I still shy away from the term minimalism) I get to chose what I do, with whom and when. This covers all aspects of my life from paid work, voluntary work, social life and home life. I have freedom from obligation – it truly is liberating.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Jo – that makes so much sense. When you are overwhelmed, you make decisions based on reaction and fear instead of true choice.

  6. says

    I have really enjoyed this series and it brings a smile to my face that you extended the series to end on an uplifting note. I am thrilled for all of these “experts” success and I am experiencing some of the same in my life, in glimpses. I love subtraction en route to multiplication!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Kristy, I couldn’t end the series with “The Downside…”

      I just couldn’t do it! ;)

  7. Barb says

    I have enjoyed discovering other writers through this series. I don’t know that I’ll ever call myself a minimalist, but I ehjoy the simpler lifestyle. I live in the land of enough and it brings amazing serenity.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Barb, The Land of Enough is a great place to be. The last post in my “Land of Enough” series is actually this Friday. Stay tuned!

  8. says

    Freedom in life is exactly what I want.

    Freedom from stress, from clutter, from having no time to enjoy life, from trying to fit it, from fear, from not doing what I want to do, and from looking back and wondering where did all the time go.

    The journey into simplicity certainly brings breakthrough in many areas that hold us back.

  9. says

    I think being a minimalist would be perfect. I do keep trying but every two years i have a child (i have 4) come back from university stay for a while, then leave, leaving a few bits a pieces just in case they might need it later. At the moment i still live in the big family house but come september my youngest daughter will go off to university and i have warned my other children who wander in and out that my house will be half the size and my stuff a quarter of what it is right now. I do keep clearing out a draw or a cupboard and not quite putting everything back, until they buy or leave something else :)

  10. AM says

    These responses sound much like transference from several undiagnosed psychological symptoms, if one feels the need to move from city to city than it is most likely not one’s geographical location that is at fault. These responses leave out the possibility of one’s employment bringing satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment that is garnered from that employment. From what I gather the several jobs that have been quit by the posters where most likely dead-end jobs to begin with, which points to poor life choices that lead up to the job as the reason for the lack of satisfaction and not the acquisition of durable goods purchased with wages earned from such employment. I completely agree with personal financial responsibility, but as an educated adult I find the conclusion that riding my bike in the rain to the grocery store and coming home to an empty studio apartment as pure deflection from the psychological condition and life choices that caused the stress and dissatisfaction to begin with.

    • says

      Howdy, AM!

      You know, as an LCSW, I have learned several things:

      1) All of us can be labeled one thing or another, even the most educated and healthiest in the bunch.
      2) Anything is possible.
      3) Happiness is in the heart of the happy.

      If I come “home” in my little car, and choose to ride my bike in the rain, and then come home to YOU glowingly and laughingly wet, grabbing you and dancing around on our bare wooden floor without care for tripping over objects, would that be so bad? :)
      I can always dry my clothes, my blood is pumping better from the exercise, and I still have a car so I can have a home wherever I may roam.

      I’m a very recent actual nomad, but wanderlust has always been in my blood. I do however, acknowledge that there ARE those who are very happy living in one place, working the same job for quite some time.

      These are the same people though, who say to me longingly…”I wish I could…you can do this…you’re young and don’t have kids…I could never…I have too many bills to pay..”

      Why would they wistfully want my freedom to GO if there were no twinge of envy?

  11. says

    AM, that’s an interesting point of view. It is, however, only one point of view and while it may be a relative truth for you, it is not an absolute truth that applies to everyone. I live a nomadic lifestyle because it is a richer and deeper life for me. I used to be a high school science teacher that helped start a charter school and before that I was a chemical engineer—both fulfilling jobs in their own right. But they were not permanently fulfilling for me and by denying my own “right path” I was not the best person I could be for my kids, my family, my friends—anyone.

    I’ve spent many, many hours examining why I move and for a time I questioned what was wrong with me. In the end, I realized there was nothing wrong with me, it was simply who I am. We are not all the same inside and we all slowly find our own way, usually with a lot of so-called false starts along the way.

    I love that there are people like you who are not only happy with their non-nomadic lifestyle, but can proudly let others know about it.

  12. says

    As I started to practice minimalism, I’ve reduced my week work time from 5 days to 1 only day long. Just because I’ve decluttered and eliminated distractions, wich reduced my continuous work time from 40 to 8 hours a week. Now I have time to plan my life better, be with my family and evolve my minimalist routines.

  13. George Stinson says

    It should be noted that Steve Jobs is a minimalist. He has no job dissatisfaction and only one worry. Health.
    Thanks for giving us a place to vent.

  14. says

    Minimalism is something different to everyone, but I believe the same core values and experiences remain the same.

    Great series Courtney, thank you for bringing it to us.

  15. says

    This article really hit home for me today. For years I’ve worked to simplify my life, Even though I’ve talked the talk, I haven’t been walking the walk. I guess I’ve been holding onto the idea that stuff will make me happy. I really had an aha moment – that giving up stuff isn’t about giving at all – it’s about gaining my freedom! Thanks.

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