What is your passion? Do you have one? Have you ever thought about it? You’ve probably spent more time researching which camera to purchase than you have trying to figure out what you really want to do with yourself. Did you realize that we only have one life? And that each hour, day, month, year… that passes isn’t coming back? Have you ever stopped to really think about it?
Now, tell me. How do you spend your day? Does it have anything to do with your passion? Or are you sitting in front of a computer doing busy work for that weekly paycheck? Think back to last week. You know all of that time you spent sitting at that desk bored out of your mind but just putting your time in so that you would get paid? You will Never get that time back. Never, ever, ever. It’s really sad when you think about it. I mean, really. It’s just about the saddest thing ever. It is the equivalent of a death. You are slowly dying, sitting in that chair, putting your time in for a paycheck. I might need a drink after this post.
I won’t blame you for the time waste in your past, but I will blame you in the future. We raise our children to do as they are told. Listen to the teacher, do well in school… blah, blah, blah. While they were teaching you how to diagram a sentence and touch-type, did they spend one moment helping you to figure out what you are passionate about? I’ll tell you that my schooling did nothing of the sort. I was forced to memorize Shakespear and disect frogs but I was never helped beyond hypothetical question of what I wanted to “be” when I grew up. Do you know why? Because that kind of teaching is hard and I would be willing to bet that a vast majority of the adults responsible for molding my little mind had no idea of their own passions. How can you help someone figure something out that you can’t figure out? Besides, the typical American school curriculum is focused on churning out factory workers. Drone who will put in the hours and do as they are told. They are focused on conformity and raising your hand to ask if you may use the restroom. You were taught to submit to an authority figure. Did it ever occur to you that there is something very not right about the fact that adults have the authority to tell small children that no, they may not go to the restroom?
Any way, back to our original topic of passion. What is yours? It is a very difficult thing to figure out. But there is something even more difficult, facing the end of a wasted day knowing that you will never get it back. Knowing that you could have done something epic. Knowing that you could have done something even a little bit enjoyable. And yet, you wasted it. Sad, isn’t it?

I will lead you into deep waters.  I will not give you a raft but I will teach you how to swim.

Here is your truth for the day.

We claim that we work long hours for our families.  We show our love by staying late at the office to work overtime.

How’s that working out for you?

Did you buy something on your way home to beg forgiveness?  Don’t you think your family would rather have your time than your money?

Minimalism will save your life.  Do you think I mean this figuratively?  Metaphorically?  Symbolically?  No.  I mean it quite literally.  It bears repeating.

Minimalism will save your life.

How do you live right now?  Do you get up Monday morning, hating the world and yourself?  Do you self-medicate each evening as a reward for surviving the last 10 hours?  Is this how you imagined your life to be?  If you were looking in on yourself how would you feel?  Would you be pleased with how things are going?  Would you be giving yourself a high-five?  I thought not.

So let me guess.  You work a job you hate, or maybe just moderately tolerate.  Because you have bills to pay.  Or because you have responsibilities.  Or some other nonsense.  Actually, you work this job to make money to live the life you were told to live.  Sorry, it’s the truth.  You have been trained from a very young age, have you noticed that they always start with the children?  There’s a reason, you must be trained to do as you are told.  Start young, teach them to respect authority, to respect their elders… blah, blah, blah.  To do as you are told.  That’s all it boils down to.

Now how does this concept of minimalism come into play?  You know the basics, only have what you absolutely need.  Now here’s where you start questioning.  How little do you actually need?  This isn’t about deprivation.  It’s about salvation.  The less you need, the less you have to play the game.  The less you have to do as you are told.  Think about that for a minute.

The less you need, the less you have to do as you are told.

The main reason you follow the rules is because you are afraid of loosing something.  What are you afraid of?  Are you afraid of loosing your job?  Of loosing respect?  Of being put out on the street to die of starvation and exposure?  How often does that actually happen?

Are you reading this from home or at work?  If you are at home, look around you.  How many of your belongings do you actually need?  How many do you actually want?  And how many did you buy because you were told to buy it?

For those of you at work, now it’s your turn to look around.  Do you want to be there?  If so, go ahead and find something else to read.  I have nothing to offer you.  For the rest of you, think about why you are truly there.  To trade your life to purchase things.  It’s a little disheartening when you think about it in those terms.  But really, that’s all you are doing.  Some of the things you are purchasing are vitally important.  We all need to eat, we all need some sort of clothing, we all need a safe place to sleep.  Beyond that.  Is it worth it?  Are the things you desperately need money for worth trading your life for?  Yes, I know, all of the English teachers of the world just cringed at that sentence.  Too bad.

As we get back to the concept at hand.  Minimalism will save your life.  The less you need, the less you have to play the game and follow the rules.  Minimalism is not about deprivation.  It is about making choices.  Choose your life.  Choose how you want to spend those precious few years you have to exist.

Will you spend it following rules or making your own?

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