Minimalism affects all aspects of life.
Minimalism is a term used to describe an approach to life whereby ‘less is more’ and maximalism refers to ‘more is more’. Now that the definitions are out of the way, let’s consider the way Mudita interprets minimalism.
We chose the name Mudita because we can describe it as pleasure that comes from the unselfish joy of witnessing the well-being of others. We’re happy when you’re happy.
As minimalism is said to make people feel better (or happy), we have also adopted this philosophy as a company. “Research confirms a positive correlation between [a] minimalist lifestyle and personal health. Stressful living environments are conducive to poor mental and physical health. Therefore, a simplistic lifestyle, minimalism, offers a more internally-peaceful life free from external chaos.”
When you adopt a minimalist approach to life (and work), it can take some time to adjust. It’s particularly difficult if you’re someone who would consider themselves the opposite of a minimalist, a maximalist perhaps? Mudita decided to create Pure and describe it as ‘Mudita Pure: Your Minimalist Phone’. How is owning yet another device going to help you might ask? Well, it’s about taking those initial steps to helping yourself and others spend less time online and more time offline. It also means spending more time looking after the devices you have rather than looking for new ones.
Your offline presence.
Most of us know we have too many possessions and that there are those in the world with too few. Changing your mindset a little when it comes to the things you want and the things you need can help you change your life for the better. It makes moving or even travelling easier too!
“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” (The Minimalists)
Mudita are lucky to have a design team who coordinate the way we create products in a minimal way, you can read more about the design story of Pure on our website. They work with three core principles, products should be:
As neutral and simple as possible.
Not attention grabbing.
Not interfering with life, with daily tasks and behaviours.
These three core design principles can be applied to the way you live. You can surround yourself with simple, practical things that last for a long time, such as those sold at Buy Only Once. When we buy ourselves something, anything, it is a gift, from ourselves.
If it’s something you really need and you’ll definitely use, that’s a great gift. If it’s something you want but then a year later you still haven’t used it, opened it, etc. then perhaps it’s time to regift it.
According to some minimalists, you should aim to live with or with less than 100 things. This does seem quite extreme, so here are some easier offline minimalism ideas to get you going:
Start by writing yourself a set of rules. What does being a minimalist mean to you? Do you want to organize your life or only your home? Minimalism is personal.
Try to keep your devices for as long as possible, it’s not that important to be on trend or to buy something so that you can show it off on social media.
Try not to over buy. Although it’s good to have backups of products you use all the time such as toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste etc.) or groceries in general, it can sometimes make you feel as though you have too many things.
Invest in storage space, make sure everything has its own place in your home. That way you’re always more likely to put things back where they belong.
Hide cables and plugs to make your space feel tidier and more minimal, you can buy cable tidy covers for this purpose.
Have a few simple objects that you like on display and put away the rest.
If you buy something you don’t need, such as a new top, give away one that you don’t wear anymore or haven’t worn for at least a year or so.
Use less plastic, recycle, upcycle and reuse more than you already do.
Buy handmade and homemade items, buy and eat local produce, donate food you don’t want or need to homeless shelters or food banks etc.
Evaluate everything you own, all of your material possessions. Recycle, donate, give away or sell anything you don’t use. ‘Use it or lose it’.
There are a lot of ways you can become more minimal and most of them benefit the environment. Sometimes there might be underlying issues which make it harder for some people to become minimalists, such as some forms of OCD.
However, if your online or offline ‘hoarding’ is making your life harder, try to figure out the void you’re trying to fill. Look a little deeper into why you can’t part with certain possessions etc. Hopefully, you’ll figure it out.
Starting with small changes such as simply downloading less apps or organizing the ones you have on your device will help you make bigger changes later on. If you can delete an app you haven’t used for a year, you can give away the shoes you haven’t worn in five years!
Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
Your online presence.
The world of experience has so many opportunities for you to flourish, rather than withering away in the world of superficiality and materialism we’re often exposed to online. Kim Kardashian has a walk-in fridge and you haven’t got any bread. It’s better not to care about what’s happening online in the lives of strangers. Although it is an interesting insight into ‘how the other half live’, it doesn’t really improve your life. Try to focus on what’s going on with you. What do you want to do? Who do you want to spend time with?
There is a difference between digital minimalism and minimalism. It may be worth starting your minimalist journey with digital minimalism as it might be a little bit easier. By reducing your digital distractions, you’ll have more time to incorporate minimalism into your other areas of life.
Do you have folders on your computer full of similar images of the same thing (100 pictures of your pet or your face from different angles)? When was the last time you sorted through your downloads folder? When did you last delete any old tweets or Facebook posts that no longer reflect your opinions? Perhaps there are emails you need to reply to?
We don’t want to repeat ourselves and we wrote a great guide on the ways you can declutter your digital workplace so we recommend that if you’d like to embrace digital minimalism. It should help you feel more organized online and when you’re ready, try minimalism offline.
There are also several other blog posts you may find interesting such as:The Necessity of Time Unplugged, Interview: The Rise of the Digital Minimalists and First Five Steps to Becoming a Digital Minimalist.
Remember, less is more.
‘Less is more’, ‘everything in moderation’, phrases like this are useful but they can be hard to implement. The ‘always working more than nine to five, five days a week, sometimes weekends, no sleep, fast food life’ is not healthy.
As a new kind of tech company, we “exist to benefit the future of humankind. A future where people live more conscious and fulfilled lives. Where ethics and doing the right thing is more important than money. Where knowledge about how to live mentally and physically healthy lives is widely known and incorporated in everyday life.” (Mudita Manifesto)
If you don’t have time to cook, keep fresh fruit in your kitchen or buy some. If you’re ill, be ill. If you’re on holiday, be on holiday. If you can’t concentrate, take a break. Don’t feel guilty for not working, don’t feel bad that you need to take a break. Life in the present moment, more consciously, slow down and look after yourself.
We hope that after reading this, you will understand how Mudita interprets minimalism.
Is there anything you’d like to add, have we missed anything? If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with us or writing a guest post for us, send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org!
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