minimalist living mindfulness

“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”

I love reading about minimalist interior design, I really do. It’s one of my guilty pleasures.

I look at pictures of minimalist apartments, and work spaces, and decluttering. I watch interior design shows. And when I read about and watch this stuff on TV, inevitably I want to try it. I’m only human.

You’ve done this too, probably. You might read a review of some new software that will help you create, or a new fashion style or some cool shoes or beautiful furniture or the newest iPad, or the latest iPhone app. Or maybe you’re a minimalist and read someone’s barefoot running article, or how they’re living out of a backpack, and want to try that.

It’s a trap.

We’re endlessly looking at how others do things, for inspiration and ideas, and that’s okay, but we end up wanting to try those things too. That sounds harmless until you realize that you’ll buy almost anything because someone wrote about it and made it sound amazing. You’ll live a life of an endless series of purchases because of what other people are doing. And it never ends.

Even if you don’t buy stuff, you’ll change your life endlessly, based on what others are doing. You’ll give up your couch, you’ll stop buying Ikea furniture, then give up your cell phone, then give up your computer, then start doing yoga, then become a Zen monk, then create a tech startup. Those things are amazing, sure … but when does it ever end?

When do we ever feel content with the life we’re living?

If you look to the lives of others, you’ll always find yourself lacking.

Comparisons are always unfair. We typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others.

You can control one life— your own. When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.

Look instead at what you have, and be grateful.

You have achieved things in your life. Your own little successes and you have people who love you and need you.

We need to focus more on being be content. We have to learn how live deliberately, with purpose and we have to learn how to be happy in life.

When you achieve this, your life of striving for perfection, for the future, will become a life of balance, of the moment, of inner peace.

My minimalist lifestyle:

“I have everything I need right now”

The freedom found when you stop comparing your life to other is entirely worth the effort.

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“Live Simply”


6 thoughts on “Stop Comparing Your Life

  1. Embrace today! Trust me we have way more than we need. I like to think of when I was a kid. How happy I was. To have clothes, food, and someone to play with. I have a picture of me on my trike that brings me back to true happiness everytime I look at it. Pull out pictures of you as a child and see the pure joy. We didn’t have much growing up…..

  2. I like the main message, stop comparing, but I disagree that looking to others for inspiration, or viewing lovely home on design blogs, causes us to buy or try everything we read about. I’m just very anti all or nothing rules. I think you can enjoy what you own and enjoy our guilty browsing pleasures too. Sure you may eventually want to try some things, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. Afterall there are a lot of green and minimalist tips I wouldn’t have tried without seeing inspiration from others first.

    1. Oh I get where you are coming from. I certainly love to browse and if something beautiful inspires me I may buy it. My point was to not just rush out and buy something right away just because someone says so.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

      1. “My point was to not just rush out and buy something right away just because someone says so.”

        Agreed. I like to think I’m fairly immune to advertising, but I’m sure it’s not 100%.

  3. would you have any suggestions on how to handle situations where other people are doing the comparing for you, and being very vocal? I work in a high-tech job and I definitely get ribbed about the fact that I don’t jump to get the newest gadget like everybody else. Problem is, I actually need to understand the latest gadgets in order to be able to design systems for them. It feels like a “want” to me, but a “need” to them. what do you do when your boss thinks something is a need and you don’t? Help!

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