What is a Minimalist
There is a wide range of differing opinions on what minimalism actually is. Certain texts focus on the various restrictions placed on a minimalist lifestyle, whereas other sources point out the aesthetic qualities of a minimalist lifestyle. While both of these aspects are a part of minimalism, they do not define the paradigm as a whole.
Minimalism is a form of intentionality
A simple way of putting minimalism is defining its most important aspect. Minimalism is the intention and philosophy of living with absolutely the essentials. It goes beyond the aesthetics brought about by such choices and focuses on optimizing the functionality of every object or product owned. Practitioners of minimalism only retain the objects that they value the most and get rid of any items that are considered to be an excess. Minimalism is thus a way of life that allows one to cultivate this intentionality of minimizing unwanted objects from one’s life.
Minimalism is also a design concept that places importance on subtle and streamlined design elements. The idea is to convey the concept with little lines and images as possible. This form of minimalist designs has an emphasis on the absolute necessities for completing the design. There are minimalist movie posters, minimalist furniture and interior decorations and minimalist paintings and products.
Other aspects of Minimalism
Minimalism provides its practitioners with freedom from the various chains of modern society. This freedom is experienced in the form of detachment from irrelevant objects and social constructs along with freedom from the modern consumerist lifestyle. Some of the key aspects of the various kinds of freedom provided by minimalism are mentioned below.
- Freedom from Possession- The minimalist lifestyle takes its practitioners away from the exploding culture of consumerism and possession of excess. The modern culture falsely professes the idea that, the only way of being happy in the modern times is to amass as many products and objects as possible. The idea is that this leads to a simpler and more comfortable life. Nothing could be farther away from the truth. The more a person amasses needles possessions, the more dependent they become on their needlessly complicated lifestyle. Minimalism offers unlimited freedom and space for personal growth, relationships and new life experiences.
- Freedom from modern-day duplicity- modern day life is duplicitous even if the modern citizen doesn't want it to be so. Everyone has a different persona with their families, co-workers, close friends and neighbors. Minimalism eliminates this need for different facades and encourages a simple, down-to-earth persona. The main philosophy behind this lifestyle is "simple living and high thinking". While most people choose to get confused with different facades and personas, the practitioners of minimalism live a happy and simple life free from any of these modern day confusions.
- Minimalism is internalization- Minimalism is not just a style aesthetics or a way of designing products. It is a way of life that requires its practitioners to think about the various aspects and internalize the teachings of a minimalist lifestyle. It is all about reducing wastes and unwanted objects from life. This not only includes physical objects but excessive or burdening social obligations, unimportant relationships and materialistic perspectives towards life.
Minimalism is all about removing clutter, making more time for individual interests and passions, growing as an individual, focusing more on people rather than material possessions and about experiencing real freedom in life. By incorporating the various ideas of minimalism into the daily activities, one can begin to experience an instant change of lifestyle and perspective. The freedom offered by minimalism is like no other. It doesn't place emphasis on consciously creating free time; rather, free time is a by-product of a more optimized and efficient lifestyle.