When I started Hip Diggs almost five years ago, I didn’t know what the future would hold. Nobody knows what the future will hold. Hip Diggs was an experiment. I didn’t really set out thinking about it that way, but really, all of life is a series of experiments.
My next post will be my last post at Hip Diggs. This minimalist experiment will be completed. It will have taken me 5 years and 500 posts to complete. I’ve struggled through this experiment at times. I wanted to give it up prematurely. I even sold my house as part of the experiment. And even though I had hints of the results from the start, those results are now officially in.
Why I’m Letting Go of Minimalism
First, let’s discuss why this minimalist experiment has led me to let go of the lifestyle ideology. Then I’ll discuss some positives about the simple life.
- Minimalism is an ideology: First and foremost, minimalism is like a religion. It’s an ideology. There are rules, and in order to be “saved,” you must follow those rules. The problem is that minimalism is not really achievable.
- Minimalism is unachievable: Some people may reach a point where they believe they have the perfect number of things. But somebody else will come along and tell you that it’s not enough. So what happens is very similar to what happens to those who chase consumerism. It becomes a contest with others and/or the self. Life becomes consumed with becoming minimalist.
- Minimalism is a trend: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I think minimalism as a lifestyle is a trend. When I started blogging about minimalism five years ago, there were only a handful of popular books and blogs about minimalism. Now the market is saturated. I’d guess that content about minimalism has increased tenfold in five years. Remember disco? Grunge? Heavy metal? Those genres of music all had their time. But they are no longer “the thing.” The same will likely happen to minimalism.
- Minimalism is a product: Because most people who write or preach about minimalism want to make money, minimalism has become a product. Oh, the irony. We’re told that we need to buy a magazine, a book, a movie, a course, and a variety of other products in order to achieve the minimalist dream. So in essence, minimalism has become exactly what it claims not to be, a form of consumerism.
- Minimalism as a lifestyle is a trap: Minimalism as an art is an aesthetic. It can be accomplished without reaching a point of dissatisfaction. I can paint a minimalist piece or art, declare it’s complete, and hang it on the wall. The problem with minimalism as a lifestyle is that it never feels complete. Therefore, it becomes a trap.
Some Good Things I’ve Learned from My Minimalist Experiment
Although I’m denouncing minimalism as a kind of lifestyle or belief, I’ve learned a lot of good things through the study and practice of minimalist concepts.
- Buying less stuff is good: I’ve never been one to buy shitloads of stuff. But during this 5-year minimalist experiment, I learned to curb my spending habits. If more people bought less stuff, there would also be less waste.
- Trying to stay less busy is good: Considering our schedules and cutting out the things that keep us too busy is a great idea. However, this can only be done within reason based on our life circumstances. But I’m all for trying to stay less busy whenever possible.
- Decreasing our waste is good: When we consume less, we waste less. Pollution is at an all-time high around the globe. Wasting less stuff is an admirable goal. If more people lived with less, we might make a dent in improving our environment.
- Decreasing one’s debt is good: Debt keeps you tied to your debtors. When you’re thousands of dollars in debt, you’re not really free. As long as you have significant amounts of debt, you’ll be stuck working, even if you hate what you’re doing. Decreasing our debt can break those chains.
Life Goes On
So what’s next? Well, life goes on. I’m not going to stop writing. I’m not going to stop promoting some aspects of simple living. But I’m also not going to stay trapped within a little box called minimalism.
In a few days, I’ll post my last post here at Hip Diggs. I’m going to leave the blog live as a resource, allowing people to continue to view the archives. But there will be no more new posts. Instead, I’ll be writing at my main blog danerickson.net. Interestingly, through these last couple of months, I’ve made some changes over there, too. I’ve changed my subtitle from Simple Habits for a Creative Life to one simple word: Life.
There’s too much to life to narrow things down to single categories. Although, I’ll continue to focus on creativity, productivity, simplicity, success, and simple habits, you might find other topics in the mix. Because life is not about minimalism. Life is about life.
Continue the journey at danerickson.net.