I recently watched the documentary called Minimalism on Netflix. I originally by-passed the Netflix suggestion of Minimalism and would go for “White Helmets,” “Peaky Blinders” and “Happy Valley” sort of series but people kept on telling me that it’s a must! So, one day, Nicholas was out and I decided to watch this documentary that everyone had been going on about. I absolutely love documentaries, especially when you walk away with something that challenges you. And wow – after watching this documentary – I was challenged.
So, as usual, Nicholas got home after work and I bombarded him with the my “this happened to me today and wow my mind is blown” approach. I was never able to convince him but hopefully, what I tell you below can encourage you to watch this brilliant documentary.
The Documentary Explained:
It begins with the concept that, “So much of our life is a fog of habitual behaviour,” which is expanded into the advertising industry, fashion and societies’ mindset as a whole. The common thread throughout the documentary is questioning the root of happiness – where do we find our joy? Is it in people, things or personal successes?
What many people are currently doing is:
- Filling their void with stuff;
- Spending money faster than their earning it;
- Buying their way to happiness;
- Living pay check to pay check;
- Forgetting what’s truly important in life and living by habit and not by purpose.
Today, there is a longing for more, to do more, be more and achieve more than previous generations, your parents or friends. We still feel restless – is this due to being soulfully empty? Or is it the world we surround ourselves with? I love the way this documentary doesn’t bombard you with “get rid of everything and live off nothing in order to be happy,” but instead they say, “Keep your book collection, keep your iPad, just ensure that everything you buy and have has a purpose in your life and is valued.” Minimalism – every possession has a purpose. So, now I need to ask, do these things around you truly add value to your life? How often do you really use those things you surround yourself with? This has truly challenged me because sometimes I realize how little I use certain items and how much I could of saved in money and space.
Then we have advertising. Why do we keep on buying stuff that clutters our lives? I believe it’s the bombardment of adverts that we see on an hourly basis. Adverts that tell us we won’t be anything or reach our goals without those things. Don’t get me wrong, I love working in the advertising industry, but being the one on the receiving end, isn’t always fun. Sometime I find myself frustrated, with many other people, with regards to the constant “in-your-face” adverts and sales attempts, brands knowing our personal information and the true manipulation behind each advert. It manipulates you to believe that in order to be happy, look a certain way or achieve a certain goal, you need to have these things. In the back of our minds we know it’s not true but life can seem much easier knowing that you can buy your way to your goals.
The only time I truly experienced minimalism (If you could call it that) was when we had to pack for London. We could only take one bag each and anything we had worn or used within the last few months we decided to giveaway. It was so hard but now that we’re here, I can’t believe how much I can leave off. There are only two items I need, which I forgot to pack and they were a pair of blue jeans and tracksuit pants. A lot of what I left behind (3 bags full), I honestly, can’t even remember what I packed in them.
Crazy how today we have so much stuff that we actually buy or rent rooms to store stuff. Why do we invest in stuff and space that isn’t needed? Why not sell the stuff we no longer need or give it to people less fortunate but instead we have this survival instinct of “What if I’ll need it one day” or “these things are special.” But let’s be honest, if they were so special why not exhibit them in your home rather than store them away. I’m truly challenged by the concept of Minimalism and I completely understand why people choose to go that route but for now minimalism has taught me a few things that I’ll definitely take away with me.
There’s so much truth behind this documentary. I highly recommend you watching and really listening to the serioursness of who we are becoming as a society. I’ve realized that it’s not about looking live off a little or having a lot but having enough. It’s important to curb our hunger for more things and rather focus on buying what you need. It’s so dangerous having the mindset of wanting more than what you have. Contentment is key in life. We should be able to be content in all situations.