‘Making room for life’s most important things’: relationships, passions, and our purpose, is what Joshua Fields and Ryan Nicodemus have been travelling to 50 cities around the globe, preaching for their ‘Less is Now’ tour. By some crazy miracle, despite my poor bank account balance, I was able to get my hands on a ticket to their shows in Melbourne last Sunday.
It was a surreal moment, seeing these two ordinary Americans on Netflix 9 months ago, inevitably inspiring this Greenstone project of mine, and then in the same room as me inspiring me even more, along with as hundreds of others. ‘Adding value to other’s lives’ is their passion, purpose and product.
One woman asked Josh and Ryan a question about her career and health, trying to find a balance between the two whilst trying to please her boss. The answer began with the simple truth… that neither of The Minimalists have known a happy lawyer. Knowing that the lawyer profession generates quite a lot of income, the stereotype of a lawyer may be an individual snugly fit in consumerist lifestyle. The option and desire to buy things to represent social status easily accessible for those in highly regarded profession in the Western world. The consumer habits facilitated by the affluence that may result from working in this type of very highly paid profession can easily be contradictory to the minimalist lifestyle. Listening this question/answer sparked more of my understanding of passion and purpose.
Joshua dropped the phrase in a later question, that “We’re too comfortable to fail” (which seems well suited as a blog title). It may be easy to aspire to careers that are seen by society as ‘prestigious’ and ‘regarded’, especially in the mindset of buying things to help us reach our full potential of happiness. Stepping outside traditional ideals, and challenging oneself to find happiness in another way can be difficult, and looked down upon. However, once a personal purpose is found, happiness is discovered. The lawyer asking the question was bluntly given the advice to ‘run the hell out of her profession’, and instead find her own passion… not something that excites, but something that may represent her purpose, and therefore her passion.
I have found Minimalism to be the act of moving into the alternative, but simple method of finding true happiness in life. In fact, looking at the bigger picture, almost all parts of our lives can relate to minimalism: our jobs, loved ones, what we choose to wear, even the act of questioning the way we do things -- doesn’t that say something about the way we’ve been conditioned to live in today’s society?
Whilst people have their eye on the ‘consumerist dream’, our world continues to overshoot, and inches closer to complete environmental destruction. What I have learned over these past 7 months?... It’s all about personal choice and how we switch on our conscience. Because consumption isn’t the problem, compulsory consumption is.
We must learn to “Love people, use things, because the opposite never works”