“The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.”
― Robert M. Pirsig
Last week, I discussed about how to begin with Minimalism. It starts with de-cluttering your thoughts and knowing your own self. To know. To accept. Then to let go or to react.
If you’ve haven’t read it yet, do so. I am waiting. *Tick Tick*
Done? Awesome. Now, since the day, I have published that particular post, people have asked me that, “I have realized that I require change. I accept all those things. But what next? What do I do to actually embark upon the journey of Minimalism?”
That’s an awesomely valid question.
Because as it happens that often, we’re confused about what to do next once we know that we wish to embark upon a journey. That’s fair.
In this journey of Minimalism, you categorize next.
To categorize. Needs and Wants.
So as it always happens on That Indian Minimalist- sit on a chair, make a cup of coffee, relax and give me 8 minutes. Let me guide you through the next. What I require in return is that you just don’t read it and feel inspired but actually do. Do. Take action. Change your lives. Do me that favor.
What are needs?
Needs. The essential. Clothing, food, water, shelter. Needs. But funnily, today we need much more than the essentials. We say, I need this and I need that. So, what do you need? A car, a x-box or a chocolate fudge? What?
Just list it down.
All your needs. Remember, as soon as, you make something (or someone) into a need. You’re dependent on it (or them). Remember.
So what do you need to live a life? To what thing (or person) you’re ready to give that status of needing? Do you think about it consciously? Ever? Think. Now is the time.
What are wants?
Wants. Something (Or someone) you want. What do you want? A house, a car? A bigger house or a bigger car? A meaningful life perhaps? Or a hamburger? What is it that you want? Remember- wants are crucial. Both short term and long term.They play a significant role in making you happy. But also remember- if you over-indulge in them, you’ll be anxious and quite opposite of happy.
List them down.
All your wants. Each and every single of them. Realize your wants decide your state of mind. Happy or sad? Content or anxious? And how much do you want exactly? And what do you want exactly? And why do you want it exactly? Realize. Honestly and brutally.
Categorize. In needs and wants. What do you need?
Do you remember when last time a want became a need?
You converted a want into a need. You increased your dependency over. Now you believe that you cannot live without. Few years ago, you wanted a smartphone. Now, you need it. Few years ago, you wanted the internet. Now, you need it. Few years ago, you wanted a bigger house and bigger car. Now, you need them.
Do you really need it? Or have you given into the want? Or societal perceptions? Or status? Or just to fill the void of unhappiness? Or perhaps you believe getting more stuff or needing more things will keep you happy.
Remember that time, don’t you?
Do you really need the things that you believe you need?
Do you really need what you believe you need? Do you? Only you can decide. Need is a heavy term. Did you think before giving something (or someone) that status. Are you happy with your needs? Do you feel fulfilled? Are you sure those are your needs and not wants? Are you?
Think. You might need- you might not. But consciously, think. I ask you to. Need is a dependent term. Think consciously of who or what you give that status to.
Do you remember when you gave into a want?
We all have been here. We all. Remember the last time, you couldn’t resist giving into something? You had that itching, that itching of guilt. But the temptation was stronger. Much stronger.
Later, you gave yourself reasoning. But in your conscience, you knew, you gave in. You fell weak. Such decisions accumulate over time and they suck your happiness. Because, you know the want is not good for you. You’re aware. But you still gave in. You did.
Do you remember when you converted countless likes into a want and then the need?
We all like things. That car, that house, that dress, that stereo, that pen, that pencil. We like it. But, we don’t buy them. Or indulge in them. Because, we realize that they don’t add much value in the life.
We say to ourselves, “I like that dress, a lot. But I don’t need clothes at this time.”
But many times, we do indulge. We do. We make simple likes- first our want and then our needs. This transformation, unless, completely worth the value will eat you up.
Stop making liking into wants and then further into needs. Why will you do that? Resist the temptations. Resist them. For good.
Needs and wants- both are crucial. You obviously need things and you’ll want things as well. They both are essential to live a content and happy life. But the problem starts when you start to need more, start to want more and make every want your need.
Probably, you must be thinking by now. Isn’t it too difficult?
But it is not a magic lamp, that will instantly make you happy. Or content. Or make your life meaningful.
This is a flower in a beautiful garden. It takes time. After efforts from the gardener, in terms of water, fertilizers and weeding and little help from the universe- it blossoms. And its fragrance lingers everywhere. Not only, it is beautiful itself but if you go near it, it will make you happy with its fragrance and beauty.
You’ll feel happy eventually. You’ll feel content. You’ll grow. And soon like the flower, you’ll start to blossom. And you too will start making people around you feel special and happy.
Minimalism is a tough journey.
It is simple.
But most things that are simple to look at are tough to implement. So is it.
But it is worth it. Everything. And nothing worth having ever comes easy.
What do you feel about needs and wants?
Let me know via comments.
*Part of the series, “The Minimalist Thursdays”- Check out the previous entry here.