On my flight from Chicago to Miami, I accidentally spilled Ginger Ale on my Macbook Pro and in an attempt to save it, I decided to put the computer away and started reading their book.
At the end of my travel day, I’d not only read the book, but I had taken notes on points I wanted to work on. My first minimalist exercise came as early as my laptop dying and it took me a couple of days to replace it during a complicated financial moment.
My First Minimalism Exercises
As a Developer, if you don’t have a laptop you can not work and that presents a huge obstacle for your business. Finding a way to get work done without a laptop was a creative challenge and one that I took head on.
My second exercise was getting rid of everything I did not need from clothes, gadgets, and many other devices which served no purpose. We donated and recycled all the things we did not immediately need. We put things in plastic bins and we start recycling and donating about every six months or when someone asks us for children’s clothes and toys.
My One Year as a Minimalist
Fast forward a year later and in the second Misfit conference I got to hear, speak, and chat with Joshua and Ryan. It was great to thank them for the guide they created and tell them how I changed certain aspects of my life by simplifying it with less clutter.
It was an even better treat that I also got their latest book on minimalism titled, Everything that Remains.
Following the tradition of reading Joshua and Ryan’s book after leaving the Misfit Conference, minus the laptop fiasco, I sat down and read the book.
As I read more of the back story of Joshua and Ryan’s journey, I realized I could relate with them in many ways. One point that was similar to my life experience, was leaving a life where I had more financial security but I was giving away my most precious asset, my time.
Funny enough that one of Joshua’s minimalist experiments was tied to him losing his laptop because he spilled liquid over it and how he was able to manage without a laptop for over a month.
Those Three Words That Create Clutter
The main takeaway from this book ties in with a conversation I had with Joshua after his speech at the Misfit Conference and it was about how I overpacked going to the conference especially since it was my first family trip.
Joshua mentioned how we use the three words, “Just In Case,” to justify overpacking or pretty much keeping stuff we really don’t need.
Practical Style of Writing
What I love about reading Joshua and Ryan’s book are the practical tips that you can execute and apply immediately.
To battle the “just in case” excuse to keep things, Joshua gives us the advice of using his 20/20 rule. If he can replace any item in under $20 and under 20 minutes from his current location, he does not keep the item. Let’s say you’re keeping an extra 5 usb cables just in case you need them and you are walking distance from a store that can sell you one for $10, you get rid of the 5 cables.
Continue Seeking a more Meaningful Life
After finishing my second book on minimalism, I recommend it to anyone who is seeking to get more meaning out of life. In the next few weeks I will put into practice a few lessons I learned on minimalism thanks to Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists.
Two Books I have Read from Joshua and Ryan