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How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

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It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Timo

    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Minimalism is the best. Not only does it clear your mind because you get rid of all the clutter, you also get to make some money in the process if you sell the stuff you don’t need.

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Motivation

5 Ways to Remain Undefeated In Life and Cherish Each Moment Successfully

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how to dominate life
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Life is an amalgamation of existence and survival. It often replicates Pandora’s box. When we talk about existence, it relates to one’s identity. When we talk about survival, stories of struggles, success, victories, and defeats come into the panorama. Survival defines the continuation of existence.

The concept of existence makes us curious about, “who am I”?  Whereas, instincts of survival raise queries about “how to know who I am”? This journey from Who to How comprises several halts and platforms to make life interesting and beautiful.

Let’s Have a Look at the Surroundings

Have you ever seen a bird building its nest? It appears beautiful yet simple, right? Stop and think about the efforts they have put behind its construction. They collect sticks, twigs, yarn, grass, leaves, mud, and many other things. They prove to be skilled architects of nature. This is one of their necessities to survive.

When the eggs hatched, the baby birds come into existence and struggle to survive in the external environment. They adapt and try to fly. They fall and get scared but never give up because they know this is vital for their survival. Then a day comes when they fly higher and soar in the sky.

Why doesn’t their survival seem complicated to us? Why don’t they have any emotional and mental breakdowns? Human beings have evolved and are privileged to experience emotions.

What Makes Life Interesting and Brings Meaning to Your Existence?

There are 3 things that brings mean to your existence: Desire, Determination and Struggle.

Desire

Human beings have desire to achieve things. Sometimes desires become the cause of one’s misery, but desires can also be the driving force which let you manifest your highest potential. Having desires is important. It motivates us to forge ahead towards victory. It gives us a reason to work and strive for more.

But desire should not dominate you, and you should not depend on it to be happy. Your willpower and attitude determine your approach towards its fulfilment.Many times we don’t get the desired results. Sometimes it is better than what we thought, and sometimes it’s the opposite. A wise person neither gets swayed away with the victory nor disheartened with failure.

Determination

If the desire is the force, then determination is the velocity. Their product gives us the power to become courageous and fight like an invincible spirit. The determination provides a direction and illuminates your way to success. Hence, determined, every time you get a setback in life. When life throws curve balls, apply the technique of self-motivation and wisdom.

Struggle

When we do not achieve a set goal, we consider ourselves failures. When life doesn’t seem easy, when things turn out to be contrary or opposite of our expectations, we define the situation as tough and full of struggles.

The real struggle in life is not with the situation but with ourselves. If you succeed to win over the lowest state of your mind, your weaknesses, you win half of the battle. We win the other half with courage, hope, and a never give up attitude.

Winning is important, but to never get defeated is something even more important. If you remain undefeated no matter what, that’s a success.

Here are 5 Ways to Remain Undefeated:

1. Build a Habit of Reading and Self-Motivation

In the moment of delusion and doubt, books prove to be a guiding force and a loyal companion, capable of empowering and motivating you. When we are stuck in a situation and not able to figure anything out, reading an article, blog, book or magazine has been proven to be a saviour.

A habit of reading helps you to learn and grow. It’s like self-help pills. You keep yourself motivated. Whenever doubt comes, you seek the writings of ancient wisdom, derive its meaning according to you and keep yourself in a high life state.

2. Thinking and Introspection

Thinking is an art, and introspection is the tool to perform this art. When we spend time with the inner self, we contemplate many things. When we dwell in the dialogue with ourself, we find answers to many questions, and our vision becomes more explicit.

We know ourselves. We don’t get affected by people’s criticism or applause. We consistently focus on our thoughts and keep moving forward along the chosen path, and that is the key to achieve your goal.

3. Seek Inspiration from a Mentor

A mentor is someone who guides you throughout and enables you to achieve success in your life. A mentor is a source of inspiration. A mentor can be anyone; a teacher, a friend, your parents, grandparents, or even some celebrity. When you get down and gloomy, look at your mentor and many deadlocks of your life open automatically.

4. Connect Yourself to Spirituality

Spirituality is the way of living one’s life unaffected by worldly affairs. When we open the gate to eternity, we leave behind our footprints. It will not only guide others but also paves their way to a peaceful life.

Practicing Yoga brings you closer to spirituality and meditation and helps with mental health. Hence, Yoga and meditation have the quality of a lotus flower. No matter what condition you are going through, you will bloom.

It calms your mind, relaxes your body, and improves your concentration. Your stress levels reduce and you achieve the hormonal balance your body and mind is looking for. This balance boosts your confidence and your belief system.It is a capsule for the overall development of your personality and inculcating this habit in our daily routine takes us to a higher level of success.

5. Be Courageous and Never Get Defeated

Courage is a virtue which enables us to make our dreams come true. To keep fighting the battle of life, you must have courage. It helps you to overcome your fear. When you win over your phobias, you increase your potential. You never get defeated, and that is an epic victory one can report.

In the weakest of your moments, when life seems unfair and ruthless, calm down, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and talk to yourself. Pay gratitude for whatever you have. You will find the meaning of your existence and that ethos to survive will never let you get defeated. You will triumph.

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Motivation

3 Ways to Rethink Motivation in a Busy World

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motivation
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I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of motivation recently. For me, motivation comes at different points during the day. I tend to be most motivated first thing in the morning. I’m not a night owl by any means, but sometimes I wish I could be. Other people are hopeless in the mornings, but they can stay up until the wee hours working on a project that inspires them.

Unfortunately, sometimes motivation doesn’t strike when you need it to. Sometimes you’re not able to arrange your day to align with specific spikes in motivation, and you’re forced to find opportunities to be productive at the corners of the day.

Below, are several ways you can set yourself up for victory, despite a busy schedule or an inability to find the right time to feel motivated:

1. Tee yourself up for a motivation session

I’m not much of a golfer, so the fact that I’m using a golf phrase to preface this tip probably doesn’t make sense. But the point is that sometimes you have to make it easy for yourself to succeed when it’s time to make a leap. You can break a task down into its component parts, and pretty soon it doesn’t seem so difficult.

That’s what motivation is about sometimes. You can take that first step towards getting things progressed. You can set up everything so you just have to jump in with both feet first thing when you have the energy. Sometimes this means creating a to do list for yourself the night before to start tackling first thing in the morning.

Sometimes it can mean drafting an email or creating a template for a phone conversation that you’re planning to have first thing the next day. Whatever you can do to get your head right and set up the right incentives for you to take that swing the very next day when you’re feeling prepared, the better off you will be. Try it next time you’re feeling tired. Take 10 minutes to tee up your next move.

“Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” – Les Brown

2. Fire, then aim

Unfortunately, sometimes teeing up a solution isn’t going far enough. What really works best is to put your head down and try to at least make a start at that “thing” you want to accomplish, that product you want to create, or that goal you want to reach. This can mean putting pen to paper, picking up the phone, typing out that email, or asking for that advice.

Do something, do anything. Whatever it takes, force yourself to make a minuscule action to move the ball forward. If you had a gun to your head or you were forced to do something to avoid losing everything in one moment, what would you do?

Perhaps this is a bit drastic, but by building a sense of urgency in the moment, even when it’s the last thing you want to do, you can find a deep source of motivation within you and set yourself up to tweak your efforts the next day.

Too often you’re overwhelmed and frozen into inaction when you reach for a large goal. This is the point of the “fire, then aim” approach.

3. Rid yourself of self doubt

One of the best ways to set yourself up for victory in the long run is to build your self confidence. If you truly believe in yourself, you will find the motivation to persist and persevere.

If you truly have faith in yourself and your ability to deliver what you set out to deliver, you can do it. The world will align to your dreams. But this won’t happen if you let yourself be talked down by self-doubt and worry about what others will think.

“The moment you feel yourself hesitate on something you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1 to activate your prefrontal cortex and interrupt the habit of overthinking, self-doubt, and fear.” – Mel Robbins

Some worry and concern is rational and even important, but for the most part, fear will only hinder your progress. Get the negative voices out of your head by tapping into the inner ego and reminding yourself that you can accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

If you put your mind to something, and you are stubborn in your resistance to listening to other people’s’ opinions of what you do, then you will be hard pressed to not succeed.

The hardest part is the start. Finding ways to make that start even a little bit less painful can make the time that it takes to create something amazing all that much easier.

How do you motivate yourself? Share your ideas below!

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Motivation

A Step by Step Process That Will Help You Make the Impossible, Possible

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We have all been there, looking at something and wishing we had it. The girl, the car, the money, the family, the lifestyle…but then we tell ourselves “Yeah, but that’s not me”. The people who get that are cut from a different cloth and we keep telling ourselves that until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We waste the wings we got believing the entire time that we can’t fly and that it’s impossible for us. We don’t even see our wings most of the time. (more…)

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Motivation

(Part 2) Conquering the Impossible Space Between Where You Are Now and Where You Want to Be

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risk taking
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I wrote a blog post based on a mini-series I did for my Subscribers on the Achieve the Impossible App and have packaged it up in two parts to share here. If you missed Part One, quick click here and have a read over that first before reading any further!

One of the first obstacles we’re going to face on this journey towards risk is one that often strikes a damaging blow to our pride and can sometimes take us to our knees. As you embark on this journey, I can almost guarantee that we will take a wrong turn from time to time, we will read the map wrong (I’ll take the hit, I’m the navigator – sorry!) which will send us off course.

When you’ve taken a wrong turn driving, what is your first thought? DAMN IT. (Yep, me too!) What’s your second thought? Is it ‘ahh, I’ve stuffed up. I’m gonna just pull over and sit here until either the roads and maps magically change in my favor or someone comes to rescue me?’ Or do we think ‘Ok, what’s the quickest way to get back on my path?’

Mistakes Will Happen

When we stuff up, make a mistake, choose the wrong software, tell the wrong people or say the wrong thing, we don’t just pack up our dreams and hide. NO. We pick ourselves back up. We face the right direction (or what we believe is the right direction) and we MOVE FORWARD.

I don’t care if you start by walking one ginger step at a time, just start! Those small steps gain momentum and eventually lead to a jog, then before you know it, you’re back running!

Mistakes aren’t meant to end us, they are there to redirect us. Anytime you embark on an unknown journey you’re going to make mistakes.How you respond is the only thing I want you to focus on. Respond with reflection, movement and momentum in the direction of your dreams.

On our journey, we’re going to make mistakes and take wrong turns from time to time, but we choose to pick ourselves back up, and get back on that journey! We’re not staying stuck, we’re ‘running to risk’! As we get back on this journey, we’re going to need to make a decision to take action and invest in risk.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

Sounds like I’m about to write a message on Warren Buffett’s worst nightmare. But that’s not the risk I’m talking about and it’s not the investing I’m talking about. Sleep tight, Warren. This risk I’m talking about is the thing that stands between you and your dream. The thing that you’ve told yourself is too strong, too powerful and too insurmountable to climb.

It’s often the case that the risk we perceive in our own minds is actually far greater than it truly is in reality. I remember as a child, visiting a museum and being fascinated by a scary looking dinosaur down the other side of the room. It looked ferocious and intimidating from across the room, and as I walked closer and closer, the dinosaur, through the magic of perspective, got bigger and bigger.

That’s where I feel we are at right now on our journey towards risk. We’ve identified the risk standing between us and our dreams, and we’re taking the tentative first steps towards it. As we step closer and closer to risk, it will look bigger. You’ll start to compare the size of it to you, and don’t be surprised if it grows each step you take. But, have faith.

The closer I got to the dinosaur, the bigger it became. I had a choice to let fear or faith determine my next steps. I continued walking step by step towards the prehistoric creature. Then something strange happened.

Yes, the closer I got to the creature, the bigger it became. But then something else came into the picture. The closer I got, the more detail I was noticing. What I thought were bone-crunching teeth were actually a matte white plastic, what I thought was impenetrable skin was old flaking greeny-brown paint. Those eyes that glared at you from across the room, were now nothing but big marble sized spheres of glass.

When we step towards fear, yes it gets bigger – but as we invest in faith and continue to live our lives in the direction of our dreams, we expose the master of risk…FEAR.

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

Invest in those extra steps this week as you get closer to risk to point out the finer details, you’re going to realise it’s not as scary as it once seemed. Those steps aren’t always going to come easy though, because the journey towards risk is an interesting one.

There’ll be times when you’re pumped full of Adrenalin, bashing down every obstacle that comes your way. There will be times where you’re cruising on a nice downhill slope, enjoying the scenery and wondering why it took you this long to convince yourself to get here!

Then there’ll be times when things aren’t easy. Just like my climb this evening up a little mountain by my home on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. I started out full of energy, pumped for the adventure ahead, then five minutes into the usually very achievable rocky steps, my legs started really feeling it.

“You’ll never know your strength until you’ve faced your struggles.”

The Adrenalin gave way to frustration, to fear and to my quickly draining self-belief in my fitness. I continued one painful step at a time. I wasn’t going the pace I normally would, but knew this mountain could be conquered one slow step at a time.

As I slowly neared the end of the steps, my legs were burning, my heart pounding and my mindset weakening. Two quiet words burst through my pain…

Stay strong

I’m pretty sure I’ve never said this going up the mountain before, but it seemed fitting. As I climbed one step at a time, ‘stay strong’ became my repeated mantra. After the season of pain and intentional mindset building, I reached the summit of the mountain and cruised my way back down.

There is such an incredibly untapped power within our self-belief and mindset, which shapes our self-talk. On your journey towards your risk, I can almost guarantee you’ll be faced with steps that seem too difficult, too challenging, too much to conquer.

Remember…’stay strong’. You’re on this path for a reason – you’re capable of completing it. You’ve come this far, see it through. Your ‘impossible’ dream is counting on you to conquer fear and run to risk!

This blog is based off the mini-series ‘Run to Risk’ first featured on the Achieve the Impossible App, accompanied by downloadable wallpapers and daily inspiring messages to inspire, challenge and equip you to achieve your impossible dream. Download the Achieve the Impossible App and start your free trial today!

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