Some dream of becoming a hard core minimalist, of getting rid of almost everything and being happy with just a few things that have purpose and meaning.  On the outside looking in it seems to be a deprived life and yet the concept draws more people to it every year. Most of us go to school and spend 8 hours a day preparing to go to work for someone for at least 8 hours a day in order to pay for a life. It’s considered a trade-off for security and well, stuff. We measure our worth by our great careers and our possessions. Once in a while we are admired for our clever thinking or our spirit but it’s rarely acknowledged. We can’t really take the time to see the value in a person without all of their things because we are too busy trying to get ahead. How did we get lost in this cycle and how do we get out?

Enter the concept of hard core minimalism. It’s idealistic to some and yet others seem to manage it well even with kids and a dog. Minimalism has become a solution to the rat race. Thankfully it’s becoming more acceptable to earn less, have less, and be less in order to have more valuable time, energy, and space to do those things we dream of now. What would it take for you to be able to stay at home with the kids or for your spouse to quit their job to follow their dreams of their own business? The biggest obstacle is getting past the mindset of “we have to own a home, and a car” or “we have to live a certain way of life for our family and friends to approve of us”. Minimalism means finding a way our of the immersion in consumerism that has become the norm for our culture. It means being okay with being the guy that doesn’t fit in and risk losing friends because they can’t at least tolerate your lifestyle decisions. Hard core minimalism is having only what you need. One pot to cook with, one bowl to eat out of, one bed with one set of sheets, and only the clothes you really need. Few are brave enough to go there and yet think how simple life would be. We’d have a good potential of always having money in the bank. We wouldn’t have to worry about credit card debt, moving expenses, or keeping up with trends. You’d never have to clean our a storage space again. Only genuine people would be your friends.

Could we do without? I know that I could do with a lot less. I live with a husband and a child that are not minimalists. The amount of technology in our house drives me crazy and yet I don’t know if I could do without my laptop or my smart phone.  We’ve come a long way in the last few years and I fully intend to go farther but I think that the glamour of hard core minimalism is not the same as the reality of it. Nevertheless, I’d like to try.