Do you ever feel like sometimes you would feel more fulfilled with less? I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things“ and it opened my eyes to how a large percentage of our society feels the need to buy things, giving them a temporary sense of fulfillment, when in reality, they are trying to fill some sort of void in their lives.
We live in a day and age where people’s lives are constantly documented through social media, giving a certain perception to others. Most of these perceptions are not real – no one is going to document the struggles, because who wants to see those, right? So we post about anything from job promotions, engagements, weddings and babies to dinner dates with friends and good deeds we did that day (did you know you can do a good deed without posting on Facebook about it? Crazy, right?!)
While watching the documentary, one part struck me and has been stuck in my head ever since. A man who used to work on Wall Street had decided to try out Minimalism after he was offered a huge promotion. He already had his own office, and was probably making a pretty decent salary already, and the promotion offer opened his eyes. After he received the offer, he said he wept inside his office, realizing he was now even more trapped than before.
[Thought] – Can so much security make you feel stuck? Like you can never leave or that security will go away?
This Wall Street man had finally received what he had been waiting for all this time. Or so he thought. Not everyone is built for corporate, structured, 9-5 life. And that’s okay. But society has a way of making us feel like we’re doing something wrong if we don’t follow what everyone else is doing, in the exact same order they’re doing it. This part of the documentary was small, but it spoke to me so much. There is so much more throughout the film that will open your eyes.
I’m beginning to think this is all just an illusion we create in our minds, because we think that’s how it’s supposed to be. Did you ever think you could maybe be happier with less? Less clothes, less designer handbags and shoes, less clutter, even less income. Money may make things a bit easier, but it won’t all of a sudden turn you into a happy person. We have hopes and dreams, and us humans love the chase.
But, what happens when we reach our goal? Have we instantly gained complete and utter happiness? Probably not. Our dreams sometimes come along with baggage. Baggage that leads to an overwhelming stress and a realization that maybe this is not really something we wanted the burden of carrying. But, because we’re told it is what we should aspire for, we chase, chase, chase… until we arrive at our destination only to come to become aware that it wasn’t for us in the first place.
After watching this documentary, it does not mean I’m all of a sudden going to sell all my things and get by with just a few items. But, it does make you realize that you can declutter other parts of your life that are far too overwhelming. Use it a a metaphor, declutter your mind and get rid of all that makes you unhappy. You do not need to follow what everyone else is doing and you do not need to purchase the most recent styles and trends to maintain or gain happiness. Letting go can be liberating.
You do not need to be engaged just because you and your partner have been dating for years, you do not need to have an extravagant wedding to please others and keep their mouth’s shut. You do not need to make a certain amount of money just so you can sit across from an acquaintance one day and brag about your job title. You do not need to have a piece of paper to show you can start a family and you do not need to take the opinion of others and turn it into your own.
There isn’t enough time for this, we grow older each second, and one day we will regret making our lives about everyone else. And as I type this, I’m telling myself along with you. I need to listen to these words as well, each and every day.
Check out the ‘Minimalism’ trailer below and watch the full documentary on Netflix.
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