Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life

Author: Victoria Cohen

This September, our team met for our company’s professional development book club to discuss “Minimalism” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I was particularly excited for this read, as I had incorporated aspects of the minimalist philosophy into my own life over the past years, and have seen firsthand its impact on reducing stress, increasing focus, and being present in the moment. Our workforce manager, Amber Satola, has also seen the positive effects of minimalism on her own life and uses a “one in, one out” rule when she purchases a new piece of clothing for her closet. This practice creates open space for new pieces to be appreciated, while previous items are donated to bring more value to a new owner. Amber even got to meet the authors during their Less is Now Podcast Tour in 2017. 


Pictured left to right: Joshua, Amber, and Ryan


In true minimalist fashion, I broke the book down into three key takeaways for living a more simple, meaningful life. 

1. Be mindful of what you consume, and who you spend time with

Our health is the most vital aspect of our lives. This includes not only our physical health, but also our emotional and social health and well-being. Focus not on how you look, but on how you feel. Treat your health like it is your most precious possession because it is. Our personal relationships also have a profound effect on our emotional and social wellbeing. We all need people to share our experiences with and to thrive in our personal and professional lives. Evaluate your relationships to see if they are healthy, supportive, and contribute to your life in positive, meaningful ways. Remember that relationships are dynamic. You can choose to step away from invaluable relationships or focus your efforts into creating better relationships.


Three ways to create better relationships

1. Find great new relationships

2. Transform current relationships

3. Change who you are


2. Let go of your anchors

In order to live a happier, more meaningful life, you must first determine what is holding you back. Make a list of all your anchors – the things preventing you from growing and living the life that excites you. This could be clutter taking up space in your home, outstanding debts, negative relationships, or anything that requires a lot of your own mental or physical resources with little to no value in return. Once you remove your anchors, you will start to claim back not only your time,  but the freedom to live a life that is truly aligned to your values.

3. You are not your job (or your paycheck)

Despite earning high paychecks and more prestigious job titles over the years, Joshua and Ryan found themselves unfulfilled with our society’s status quo of success. What they thought would make them happy… didn’t. We all need money to meet our responsibilities, and pay our bills, but there’s a way to do so without losing yourself over a paycheck or a prestigious job title that you may not even want. Sure, we won’t all become travel bloggers, or food critics, but what we can do is spend more time cultivating our passions, experiencing things with the people we love, and enjoying our day-to-day lives. 

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