In the beginning of the twentieth century intellectuals were trying to reduce life to its lowest conditions. Those were the kind of experiments, which were made to feel what it is like to live without comfort and modern activities. Now this is not an experiment anymore, it is a lifestyle.
A minimalist is a person, who fulfills only their basic needs, with the help of the most minimal amount of expenses. It does not mean that they are unhappy and suffering. Minimalists live so not to harm themselves in any way, such behavior is a result of different reasons.
First of all, the decision to be a minimalist comes from the analysis of modern society. When you walk down the street or want to buy groceries, you may easily understand what are the reasons that make someone become a minimalist. For example, you may find many people wandering around the supermarket looking for some food, but at the same time they look as if they are wandering in a forest. They talk and smile. The supermarket with a good selection of products is something like a place for leisure for modern people. Moreover, if you take a walk through the city, especially through its central streets, you will definitely meet others who are bored until they get a cup of coffee or any other street food. Every bench during the summer is occupied by couples who eat ice cream, smoke or drink beer. You will be rather lucky if you catch someone just doing nothing, except sweet talking.
Minimalists see that with every year, the world becomes more and more obsessed with money and activities which money can be spent on. It is noticeable if you enter any new conceptual cafe or restaurant. The owners may sometimes still care about food, but much more they are preoccupied with finding a concept and creating an atmosphere. It is called the client’s experience. They tell you stories, invite you to take part in their imaginary game. Everything is done with the same goal. They fight against boredom.
People are bored if they do not have anything to chew, to watch, to drink or to play with. They are bored if their smartphone is off or when there is no Wi-fi. They are bored when the waiter is not bringing them food right away. They are bored when they have ended their walk in the supermarket, but still have to wait on the cashier desk. They even get bored if they do not have the possibility to speak and should listen to someone else.
That and many more options are the symptoms of a consumer-oriented society. This type of behavior and worldview is what minimalists are fighting with. One day they understood how stupid it is to reduce life only to material things and pleasures. They started to think how to escape from this kind of life. That is when they begin to reopen early modern concepts of reducing consumerism.
There are different kinds of minimalistic life. For example, you may stop working or just find an easy, not time-consuming and not a very well-paid job. That is how you will definitely be able to cut your expenses. Moreover, this kind of work will give you more free time for yourself and you will be able to spend it rationally with a goal of self-development. You may also quit your job as a lawyer or economist and finally start teaching yoga or cooking pastries. Such behavior marks your independence from the market economics, which creates this consumption phenomenon.
Anyway, you do not have to cut your incomes definitely, in order to spend less. If you have a well-paid job and you like to do it then you are free to stay and work as much as you like. The thing is that you will now buy stuff using your own mind and not the mind of the advertising teams. You will visit supermarkets only when there is a need. You will stop spending money on clothes if you see that you already have enough of it.
Nevertheless, there is still one problem, which sometimes keeps people from becoming minimalists. This is their social circle. Imagine you take a walk with a friend. It is cold and he asks you to sit with him in a cafe. You walk in and you smell the awesome aroma of freshly baked croissants with different fillings. Then your friend even orders one and starts to eat it, as if he is the main character of an advertisement. You resist the temptation to spend so much money just on bread with cream and strawberries, but your friend starts to insist. He looks like a devil who tries to tempt you. You see the show-window of the cafe full with different cakes and desserts, which invite you to taste them. You begin to hesitate whether it is right to eat only oatmeal, eggs and milk. You want to try new tastes, to share this moment with a friend. You imagine how the world will start to shine brighter after the first bite. You make a decision to try.
Pretty much the same situation may happen if you meet a company of friends in a bar. You will see them drunk and happy and may start to want to join them in this hedonistic happiness. However, the day after you probably will regret doing so. The thing is that our social connection are more influential than advertising or anything else. That is why if you really want to be a minimalist and feel fine with less, then you should find someone with the same view on this matter.
In the end, you should always remember that we are all just humans who make mistakes. Let yourself make a mistake sometime and feel free to change your life whenever you want. If minimalists were perfect than they would not be people at all.