If you had the opportunity to being totally happy and completely fulfilled in your life would you take it? What if it required you to give up many of your material items? Would you still be interested if it even required you to give up a very handsome salary? These things are exactly what minimalist Joshua Mills Fairburn did:
[Millburn had watched his mother die and his marriage dissolve in the span of a month. When he looked around at the life he’d built for himself — a six-figure salary, impressive title, and big house full of stuffed closets — he didn’t feel fulfilled. Instead, he felt weighed down by the things he’d accumulated. Working 80 hours a week trapped in a cycle of consumerism had ultimately ruined his relationship and left him with $100,000 of debt.
Then he came across the idea of minimalism, a lifestyle dedicated to clearing the clutter in your life and making room for the things that are truly important to you. Over a period of eight months, Millburn stopped buying things he didn’t need, gave away most of the stuff he had, and downsized to a one-bedroom apartment in Dayton, Ohio.
When his longtime friend and coworker Ryan Nicodemus finally asked, “Why the hell are you so happy lately?” he realized he was onto something. Millburn explained his new lifestyle, and Nicodemus was instantly hooked. Together they launched a website about their journey, TheMinimalists.com, and recently published a book, “Everything That Remains.”
“Once I shed the superfluous things I owned, it led to other parts of my life: my health, relationships, work,” Millburn tells Business Insider. “I had wrapped up my identity in my career and status, but started to realize that it wasn’t in line with my beliefs.”
Since walking away from the corporate world and dedicating himself to his writing, Millburn, now age 32, says he’s paid off all his debt, lost 80 pounds, and moved to a small town in Montana, where he surrounds himself only with things that are functional and bring him joy.]
What are you willing to give up in exchange for a life of happiness?
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