Change

27/07/2017

Change

At the start of this month I invested in an iPad Pro and a pencil to go with it. I'd had enough of putting my creative side on the back burner to work overtime to earn more money to pay for more things that really, I didn't even need. Purchasing the iPad and pencil was a positive affirmation to myself to really throw myself back into being creative by pursuing the little illustrative style that I've been hit and miss developing on pen and paper for the past two years. I kept practicing, drawing; just doodling really - anything that came into my head to try and nail this style that I've been wanting to achieve. This was the first step in a small change for me which would then go on to snowball into something huge throughout the course of the month.

The first sketch I made with the iPad

I met up with my good friend, Jack, a week or so after my iPad purchase, we went for our usual walk by the riverside close to my home where we like to reflect on what we've been up to recently; usually talking about life, girls and everything in between. I'd brought up how I'd recently bought an iPad as a positive affirmation to myself and to try to get back into the creative side of things again. It was then that he recommended the documentary 'Minimalism' to me,"Just watch it mate, it is something else and will help you out big time." he said. This wasn't the first time that he'd recommended the film to me and for whatever reason, I just never got around to sitting down and committing time to watching it except, this time I knew that I was ready for it. Over the course of the past month I'd felt myself become more at ease and letting go with everything from the past, more accepting of the new and ready to start tackling my personal creative goals again. So, after meeting Jack that week I made an effort to sit down and watch the documentary and what happened next is going to sound like your cliché hallelujah "It changed my life!" quote from the back of a self help book but stick with me and hear me out.

Minimalism

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, the creators of the documentary that I'd so long been putting off watching. These are the two dudes who have flipped my world upside down, helped me get rid of (mostly) all my physical and mental clutter, and live a more minimalist life within the past week or so since watching. The documentary shows the pair travelling through the U.S. and teaching the ways of minimalism and helping people take on a more positive life, filled with meaning. Below is the trailer to the documentary which will give you a feel for what its all about.

Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things - Trailer

The documentary isn't about clearing out your cupboards, selling your house and cutting everyone out of your life to then go and life in the wilderness by yourself with no possessions. What minimalism teaches is to be more mindful, non-compulsive and considerate in all aspects of life -- to choose what we value most in our life and not just be a slave to the 9-5 working routine to earn more, to buy more things which will hopefully make us happy. (Spoiler alert, those things never do make you happy, at least beyond the first few hours of purchasing them). After watching the documentary, I went on to do a bit of background google researching into the guys behind the film; learning more about the minimalists and their whole ethos behind the documentary. Going through their website, theminimalists.com, felt like I'd stumbled into Aladdin's cave of wonders, unearthing a whole load of life hacks, tips, tricks and other techniques which would help me out in the future, I knew I was in for a great time ahead.

I completely immersed myself into the Minimalists' world by watching the documentary, reading some of their blog posts, listening to their podcast and went on to buy their first book 'Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life' within the space of a couple of days. You could say that I'm pretty obsessed about their teachings and way of life -- and you'd be right. I've always considered minimalism to just be a description of a white walled home owned by a green tea sipping, beige turtle neck sweater wearing upper/middle-class couples. Looking back on that I realise firstly, how judgemental I was to categorise people like that and secondly, minimalism is a hell of a lot more awesome than anything in the aforementioned description. Since reading, watching and listening to media by the Minimalists, I just feel more zoned, grounded, awake; whatever typical self help jargon you want to label it as, it just feels great!

What's Changed?

Here's a list of everything that I've been making a conscious effort to do since taking on the minimalist way of life:


  • Bought a pocket diary - To keep a track of everything that I do each day and to look back on and remember how I've spent my time each week.
  • Cleared out my cupboards of items that I don't need or use anymore - Selling them on eBay or giving them away to charity. 
  • Evaluated how much worth I'll be getting out of purchasing a product and decided not to make the purchase - Consequently saving myself time, money and energy.
  • Meditate every morning for 10 minutes each day with the Headspace app - It's free to use and the guy narrating has the calmest voice I've ever heard.
  • Exercise for 15-20 minutes every day - Getting the blood pumping around the body releases endorphins which makes you feel great! 
  • Make sure I drink 2-3 litres of water every day - We're 90% water, stay hydrated and it'll work wonders for your joints, skin, muscles and more.
  • Try not to eat between meals and if I do then I stick to fruit or unsugared cereal - I feel less lethargic and better in myself.
  • Put my phone down - I saw a video the other day which stated that the average person aged 18-25 looks at their phone 40-80 times a day, imagine all of the things we could get done with our time if we just put it down and got on with that thing we've been meaning to do.
and finally
  • Started a personal creative project - One of the short films over on the Minimalists' youtube channel mentioned 'purpose' and finding what yours is in life. This lead me on to start a small project for myself where I've questioned close friends, family and colleagues about what they think their purpose is in life. With the answers I'm going to shoot a small film and potentially design a series of prints and give it some kind of meaning to it all, a purpose if you will -- and try and show people that there's more to life than just a 9-5, worrying over material things and getting caught up in the drama that life throws at us.

Overall, this whole minimalism thing, it's really working wonders for me and I feel like I've only just lifted the lid on it all, I can't wait to find out what it feels like once I'm fully immersed in this style of living. I'm going to keep plugging away at all of the above points and see where I end up with it all. Whatever I may end up making for my personal project I'll definitely be putting it up on here in the future also.

Have you seen the Minimalists' documentary, if so what were your thoughts on it? 'Til next time!



"Love people and use things, because the opposite never works."
-Josua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists.






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