*

MINIMALISM

A minimalist lifestyle is the process of distinguishing what is essential in your life and having the courage to eliminate the rest. When you remove the unnecessary, you free up your time and capacity to focus on the things that truly matter in your life.

With so many distractions around us (like when you want to have a scoop of chocolate ice cream, but you are distracted by the vanilla or the strawberry scoop. Hahah! Joking :p), we often find it challenging to create time and space to enjoy the simple things in life like spending time with our loved ones, exercising, getting creative, cooking, or just doing nothing. We’re too busy being overwhelmed by physical, digital, and mental clutter, leading to increased anxiety and an overall sense of dissatisfaction.

“Minimalism is an antidote to that state of overload”

Now I will explain certain aspects which will make you understand the concept of Minimalism in a better way:

  1. BUY WHAT YOU NEED AND NOT WHAT YOU WANT:

We exist in a society that generates false value on owning more stuff and having no time to use them much. The constant pursuit of bigger and better is an endless cycle. There will always be a nicer car to buy, a bigger phone, a larger home etc.

For example: I wanted to buy a nice medium sized tote bag which I can carry around easily. I have been very intrigued with the famous tote bag from Christian Dior. Seeing all the famous bloggers and influencers styling that bag at different occasions made me want to buy it. When I saw the price of it, it costs around Rs. 2,00,000. SURPRISED? Haha! I had the same reaction. But then I thought why do I want to buy this particular bag?

So basically, I need a bag which will fulfill the purpose of carrying my things around on an everyday basis. Buying an expensive branded bag will be categorized as “something that I want”. A need is something that is needed to survive. A want is something that an individual desires but would be able to live without.

Once in a while, it is absolutely fine to fulfill “what you want”, but as soon as you make it a habit, it is very difficult to break that cycle. It may seem like an overwhelming challenge at first, but as you untangle the life you built around owning more things, you’ll find the stress disappearing and the world starting to slow down. Those choices you make will begin to build a muscle that will fundamentally change the way you live your life.

2. DIMINISHING MARGINAL UTILITY:

I am sure all of us are aware with the concept of Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility in economics. The law of diminishing marginal utility says that the marginal utility from each additional unit declines as consumption increases. In other words, as a consumer takes more units of a good, the extra utility or satisfaction that he derives from an extra unit of the good goes on falling.

For example: Let us assume you love to try different makeup products that are available in the market. Specifically red lipsticks. You buy your first red lipstick from Maybelline. The excitement to wear that lipstick and click pictures will be very high in the beginning.

After three months, one of your friend recommends another red lipstick from the brand MAC. You purchase a red lipstick from MAC and the excitement level is somewhat similar, but a little lesser to the first one. As you start liking the MAC lipstick, the Maybelline one is sitting somewhere in the vanity, unused.

After about a month, you see an advertisement on Instagram about a newly launched red lipstick from the brand KIKO Milano. The ad drives you to buy a red lipstick from this brand as well, and again, the excitement to use this lipstick is lesser because you have been using red lipsticks from the past few months. This cycle continues until you have around 20 red lipsticks from different brands in your vanity.

This is where the concept of Diminishing Marginal Utility comes into play. As you buy more and more red lipsticks, the satisfaction or excitement that you derive keeps getting lesser and lesser with every purchase. Minimalism in this situation means you can fulfill your desire to use the red lipstick from not more than 1-2 different brands. The shade of red from each brand will be more or less similar. The brand name is the reason because of which you are inclined towards purchasing the same colour from various brands.

3. 5 WHYS TECHNIQUE:

The 5 Whys tool is the straightforward process of asking why? in an inquisitive fashion to get to the root cause of a specific situation. Each response to a “why?” question creates the basis of the next question, leading to five iterations needed to resolve a situation.

This technique helps you dive into and discover how smaller issues have an underlying cause-and-effect correlation to a root cause.

For example: Lets take my example of buying an iPhone. I had an iPhone 7 before. In 2019 I bought iPhone 11. The questions I asked myself were:

  • Why do I need to buy iPhone 11? Because the battery health in my existing phone is degrading and I need to upgrade to a better version.
  • Why can’t I repair my existing phone with a new battery in a lesser price? Even if I replace the battery, it will work fine for a few months, but ultimately, I will have to upgrade the phone because replacing the battery will hamper the overall performance of the phone.
  • Why am I purchasing specifically the Apple iPhone when I can go for cheaper phones with good brand value and features like Samsung? Am I in any way trying to buy this phone to show off on social media? Apple iPhone fulfills my requirements and consist of all the features that are not that evolved in the other phones. For example, the camera quality, Airplay, facetime etc. And no, I am not purchasing this phone to show it off on my social media because ultimately this phone caters to all my necessities and falls into my budget.
  • Why should I buy 128 gb like earlier, when I can now upgrade to 256gb by paying Rs. 18000 more which is in my budget? Because 128gb is sufficient for me to use. Paying Rs 18000 extra will not be beneficial for me.
  • Why should I buy this particular version? I can wait for iPhone 12 to launch and see if it has upgraded features? Apple launches a new version of iPhone every year. Waiting for the new version till next year makes no point when I need the new phone at present.

Unveiling the intent: By applying 5 WHY method, you will come to know the exact reason for your spending. Knowing the exact reason will make you more aware and conscious of your spending. 

4. MISER VS MINDFUL:

Just because a person chose to stick to a budget doesn’t mean they are a cheapskate. There’s a subtle difference between being a miser and being mindful, and you can know about it from the following example. A mindful person would skip the drink order and opt for appetizer to save money. But he would calculate tax properly and pay a good tip to the waiter unless the service is really very bad. On the other hand, a person labeled as a miser would deliberately forget to pay a tip. He would eat very less on his own money and but would have a ravishing meal at others expense.

Some people replace the word “minimalist” with “miser”, but when you understand the deep meaning of minimal lifestyle you get the essence of minimal living.

Knowing your beliefs and aligning your life around them is what the minimalist mindset entails. It is a long-term and long-lasting mindset. Not only in terms of your relationship with tangible possessions and clutter, but also in terms of any external or internal stressors that persist throughout your life. Being conscious of this and moulding your thoughts to reflect your ideals can assist you in making good judgments in any situation.

I hope you enjoyed reading this one!

Love, KG

11 Comments

  1. Vineeta Gupta
    2 April 2022

    The message that Minimalism is not about having less..it is actually about making room for more of what matters is a very important life lesson which you have so articulately explained

    Reply
  2. Rashika Swarup
    2 April 2022

    Very well written ❤❤ I feel so happy after reading your blogs ❤ keep it up ❤

    Reply
  3. Divya
    1 April 2022

    You always inspire me so much❤️

    Reply
  4. Shivani
    1 April 2022

    You always have good humor in your blogs. So much fun and easy to read!😊

    Reply
  5. Umang
    1 April 2022

    Haha the memes u put are the best part of the blog 🔥😂😂
    An amazing blog as always 🥳❤️

    Reply
  6. Chahat
    1 April 2022

    I love your blogs but I love the memes you put even more😂❤️

    Reply
  7. Jhanvi
    1 April 2022

    Kalyani di, you explained it so very well🔥

    Reply
  8. Dhruv
    1 April 2022

    The android vs iphone meme was so cool😂 you are the best writer Kalyani!

    Reply
  9. Harshita Goel
    1 April 2022

    Wow di, you have explained so nicely. I got to learn from this a lot❤️✨

    Reply
  10. Archana
    1 April 2022

    The red lipstick concept was so on point 🥺❤️

    Reply
  11. Ateedeep Singh
    1 April 2022

    Again a super interesting topic with well explained and nicely explaining of marginal utility :p
    But i must say the quality of your blogs are really good and i love to read it❤️

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *