How Popular Ideas Keep Us Stuck In A Loop

I’m a musician. Lately, I’ve been doing some recording on a digital audio workstation. Think GarageBand. Somedays, I find myself stuck, playing and listening to the same eight measures over and over. It’s a loop. There’s a danger in loops.

Writers have a lot of power. We can influence people. We can create trends. Writers can foster longstanding social change. But nothing changes if we just continue to follow popular ideas. We get stuck in a loop. Even worse, we lead our followers in a loop.

A Loop Called Minimalism

I’ve been writing about minimalism for several years. I enjoy writing about minimalism. I truly believe in the philosophy of simplifying life. But like most minimalist writers, I get stuck in a loop. I keep saying the same things over and over: 

  • Declutter
  • Give things away
  • Buy less
  • Limit you schedule
  • Blah, blah, blah

You might think I’m burned out on the topic; that I’m washed up. Done. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m not tired of writing about minimalism, I want to go deeper. I want to step outside of the boundaries that the minimalist community has set. I want to offer new ideas and information that can help us grow.

The Holiday Loop

We’re in the “holiday season” once again. You’re likely reading lots of posts of Christmas and New Years. Most years, I write several posts about the evils of consumerism surrounding the holidays. Then come the posts about setting goals for the new year. 

This year, I’m avoiding those kinds of posts. Why? Because they’re all part of the loop. It’s what all the popular bloggers do. It’s the same as last year and the year before.

What do we learn by saying and doing the same things over and over? Not much, I’d argue. And so it is with minimalism. What do you learn by reading the same articles over and over? If you’ve been following the minimalist movement for any amount of time, you’ve read the same ideas again and again and again.

It’s a loop.  

Life’s Not About Doing The Same Things Over And Over

Let’s make a pact to break out of the loop. Stop talking about the same five topics that minimalists love to broach. Let’s explore new ideas, new topics, new depths. 

Minimalism has become popular. Or is it just a fad? Either way, there are enough people writing about minimalism to start a small country. And guess what? Most of us keep saying the same things over and over. You keep reading the same five articles over and over. It’s like eight measures of any song by Coldplay. It’s a loop. 

There’s more to life and minimalism than going in circles. Minimalists claim that living with less allows us to live more, have more fun. But everyone keeps focusing on living with less. Where’s the fun? 

Break Out Of The Loop

How can we break out to the loop that’s been created by this popular idea called minimalism? It’s simple. Change the focus. Instead of always focusing on the means, we can focus more on the ends. We can write more stories about the outcomes instead of always dwelling on the process. 

So does this mean there will be no new articles on decluttering, modifying your schedule, or meditation at Hip Diggs? Of course not. I’ll continue to write articles about the nuts and bolts of simple living, but maybe a little less often. That will open up more space to move into a variety of new directions. Are you ready for the journey?

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James Ewen
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