Maybe you don’t recognize the names Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, but I guess you know The Minimalists. The popular website theminimalists.com documents a journey of two friends. The journey starts years ago with pursuing careers, earning big salaries, and buying more and more stuff. Now they are devoted to exploring and pursuing a meaningful life with less. Less stress, less stuff, fewer distractions but more time, more freedom, and more fulfillment. The two guys documenting their lives on theminimalists.com are Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
Joshua and Ryan have been friends for decades. They met in grade school, later worked for the same company, climbed corporate ladder along each other. And then something changed. Someone changed. After Joshua’s mom died of cancer, he realized his mom owned a lot of stuff. Possessions she accumulated over a lifetime had little value for him, and he had no idea what to do with them. After a sudden realization that our stuff doesn’t hold our memories, he decided to get rid of almost all of it. He donated or sold a U-haul worth of stuff that had no value for him but added value to lives of others. He decided to explore living with less in his own life, drastically decluttering, and downsizing his stuff. His newfound contentment and happiness inspired Ryan to try it too. Try living with less. And to share their experience with others, they started a blog. And so theminimalist.com was born.
Since they started to document their journey through essays, they create a space for a community. Now, after more than seven years, Joshua and Ryan are bloggers, book writers, podcasters, speakers, and documentary creators. Their message is as timely and relevant as it was when they started.
You may not be ready to purge, declutter, and minimize your possessions. I’m not doing a radical change in my life either. But I still find the message of Joshua and Ryan valuable. If all of us would do less compulsive shopping, excessive spending, falling into debt for wants, and claiming our wants as needs, we would all be better off. If we wouldn’t be in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, earning money to support our stuff our lives would be happier. We might be able to work less and devote more time to our hobbies. We might be able to travel, or study, or start a project more freely. And we might be less stress and more content instead.
So even though you may think you don’t need to read or hear about minimalism, I would encourage you to find out more about this way of living. I’m sure you’ll find out at least a few things that will resonate with you, few ideas you can agree with, few changes you might decide to incorporate in your life.
What I like about the minimalists
- They share what they believe in, but don’t push anyone to change. They invite you to explore the areas of minimalism that add value to your life.
- You can read, listen to, or watch them. They share their journey through several channels, making it more accessible for everyone.
- You can access most of the things they created for free. Lots of their experience, ideas, visions are shared in their posts, videos, podcast episodes, tweets and Instagram posts.
- Even their blog posts are minimalistic, and you can usually read them in a few minutes (often one or two).
- They share their opinions, challenges, struggles. They never claim there’s one way of doing things right or that there’s a magic number of possessions to have to be a true minimalist.
Favorite blog posts, podcast episodes & youtube videos
- The consumption continuum
- When everything is your favorite thing
- Minimalist Home Tour: JFM
- Podcast 021 | Travel
- Podcast 028 | Debt
- Episode 4 of Simples: Animated Web Series
- Art of Letting Go (TEDx Fargo 2016)
- A Rich Life with Less Stuff (TEDx Whitefish 2014)
More about Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
To learn more about the minimalists visit their website, subscribe to their podcast, buy one of their books, or watch Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (available on Netflix). You can find them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
If you would like to read about other influencers, you can find the posts I shared before here.