Not Your Average Minimalist

Had a big talk at church the other night about what my min­i­mal­ism is all about.  There were some ini­tial con­cerns among some peo­ple, but finally things were clar­i­fied and here’s the outcome.

From this point on, I will be appar­ently clear about my inten­tions for a min­i­mal­is­tic lifestyle.  I’m a Chris­t­ian, and Chris­tian­ity con­sumes every aspect of my life.  Sim­plic­ity, as advo­cated by Bud­dhism, is for the pur­pose of self-​​improvement and self-​​happiness.  Chris­tian­ity is intrin­si­cally oppo­site because it’s focused on God and oth­ers.  So, a Chris­t­ian would apply min­i­mal­ism to their lives to free them up to serve oth­ers better.

The Bible fully sup­ports a min­i­mal­is­tic lifestyle, but the motive is com­pletely dif­fer­ent.  So, you’re not going to find me quot­ing guys like Bud­dha when the Bible has plenty to say about the same sub­ject mat­ter.  Even though Bud­dha and Jesus might share the same prin­ci­pals, the roots of both belief sys­tems are antithetical.

So there you go, I’m a min­i­mal­ist Chris­t­ian, and this blog will reflect it from a Chris­t­ian world­view.  This blog is my jour­ney and hope­fully a resource to others.

How to Help Others Make Minimalist-Friendly Choices

We can’t twist people’s arms to become minimalists, but we can help them make minimalist-friendly choices.  Here’s some examples:

Offer to carpool.  It saves gas, it’s green, and it’s a chance to build a friendship (and possibly have some minimalist influence)

Recycle your stuff.  Give your stuff to friends who are looking to get what you have.  You become more minimal while helping them keep from buying.

Host events.  Big events like a BBQ or small things like taking a hike.  After all, the purpose of minimalism is to enjoy life, so let others get a taste of that.

How To Be an Influential Minimalist

As minimalists, we’re passionate about why we do what we do.  It’s only natural that we want to see others incorporate some of our best practices.  Sometimes, though, that passion can come across as a bit over zealous.  But, if you don’t want others to become minimalist, here’s exactly what you should do.

Always talk about minimalism.  Every conversation you get into, make sure to always bring up minimalism, and what you’ve been doing to become more minimalistic.  Post 5 status updates a day on Facebook to let everyone follow your every footstep on your journey.  Overall, let it become an obsession that consume your thoughts, actions, and speech.

Break out the statistics.  If you really want to discourage people from living simply, always keep them up to date on how your blog stats and subscription numbers are doing.  Text your friends, letting them know you just got a whopping 5 more subscribers.  Ask people to refer you on Twitter so you can get more followers.  Oh, and don’t forget to remind your friends to read your new article and comment on it.

Spam websites and inboxes.  We all know how much people hate spam, so send out those mass emails.  Find all the websites out there on minimalism and even the ones that are somewhat remotely related to something about minimalism.  Post those shallow, unhelpful comments all over the web. That’ll surely do the trick.

Tell others how much they need to change the way they’re living.  Whenever you see those cars that are cluttered with trashthe closet full of clothes that could clothe 5 people; the desk spread with papers and all those useless gadgets; the person who pulls out their credit card 5x a day to pay for those non-essentials; all those types of people and more, confront them and let them know that they’re really not truly happy.  Tell them how they’re enslaved to materialism and that they need to become more minimal.  Oh, and volunteer to throw out all their stuff for them.

Spend time on the clock building your online social influence.  There’s nothing that says lack of integrity more than when you spend all your time at work on Twitter, Facebook, and your blog.  Your coworkers and bosses will see a direct correlation to your lack of work ethic and your minimalist lifestyle.  You’ll be looked down upon in no time, and you can bet people at work will steer clear of minimalism.

Make minimalism your priority and neglect friends and family.  You’re passionate about what you do and it’s important to you.  So, focus all your attention on minimalism, don’t answer your phone when friends call, don’t do those simple things like going on a walk with the family because you’re too busy trying to live simply.  When you end up spending time with those people, make sure the conversation is centered on you and your minimalistic lifestyle.

Hope that’s been helpful, let me know how it goes for you.  If you’re one of those people who actually wants to influence people….am I not right?

Getting Rid of Books the Smart Way

I have exactly 325 books that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with.  Goodwill is one option, but I want to make some money instead of just giving away my books.  I’ve been looking at some alternatives, and if you’re trying to minimalize your possessions and books are holding you back, here’s some of the things I’ve found.

Half.com – This is a high traffic site, and it’s especially good for selling used text books.  They take a 15% commission.

Cash4Books – This is an online service that buys your books and pays for the shipping to send it to them.  They don’t pay much for the books, but since you don’t pay shipping, it kind of evens out depending on what you’re selling.

Amazon – Another high traffic site that is great for selling books fast.  They take a 15% commissions plus a $.99 closing fee when you’ve sold a book.  Amazon also offers a service where you send them your books and they endorse, package, and ship your books for a small fee which is nice because all you have to do is send a bulk shipment instead of paying for individual packages every time you sell a book which can get pricy.

Used book stores – We have a huge used book store in Knoxville that buys your books for a decent price.  If you have something like that in your area, it’s worth checking out.

Craigslist – Depending on your area, this might be a profitable option, but if you live in a small town or a place where books aren’t a big market, you probably would be better off trying one of the above options.

Anyone have any other suggestions about being smart with getting rid of books?  If this post was helpful, please leave a comment or tweet this.