Finally, after about five recommendations from friends and family, my wife and I sat down and watched the new documentary, Minimalism on Netflix. It was definitely worth the hour and seventeen minutes of time!
The past few years, I have been on an exciting journey of discovering that less truly can be more. Not only have I been discovering this in regards to material possessions, but also in regards to my work, areas of focus, etc. We have seen this in Ncompass; our youth empowerment nonprofit we have been running since 2006. A few years ago, we decided to narrow our focus to deepen our impact. As a result, we raised more money for the cause in 2016 than we did in the first seven years combined!
I have read a few of the minimalist blog posts over the years, heard a podcast or two, and tried a few different things already. The past two Decembers my wife and I started a new family tradition which I blogged about last year. We call it our December Declutter. Every year in December, we each give away one item for every day of the month. With five people in our family now, that is 155 items each year. It has become such a refreshing tradition and feels so freeing! However, I still feel like somehow we come close to bringing in just as many items in that same month! Those of you with kids understand how easily this can happen with generous friends and family bringing all sorts of toys and games for them.
However, after watching this documentary last night, and receiving a challenging email from a friend, I am going to try and step up my game in February. I saw a one month challenge they do in which you give away items every day of the month depending on what day it is. So today, February 1st, I will get rid of one item (donate, trash, etc.), on February 15th, I will give away 15 items and so forth. It sounds easy to start, but every day you have to get more creative and break away from more items or possessions. In February this will tally 406 items. Fortunately, it isn’t March, as those final three days add another 90 items!
I have seen the power and impact of this practice in my family life and my business the past few years. So in order to stay brief and “minimal”, I will leave you with three simple things:
- The encouragement to watch the documentary.
- The challenge to join me in the February Minimalist Challenge, or start a version of your own.
- The final advice they give at the end of the film. “Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.”
Dream Big. Act Small.