Living with Intention

I like the concept of minimalism, but I’m not sure that I like the name. It can give the wrong impression and make people think that to live the minimalist lifestyle means having very few possessions, an idea not many people are willing to embrace.

I think “intentional living” is a much better name, especially insofar as it explicitly captures more aspects of the notion than “minimalism” does. For minimalism in its entirety is not only about what we own, but it also includes every aspect of our lives.

When we live minimally or intentionally, we don’t own anything without a good reason. We don’t pile up possessions which we don’t love and won’t use; we have only those which we need or which make us happy. This means that if we are bibliophiles, we may own a lot of books, but we may not have a lot of craft supplies or makeup. Or if doing crafts or makeup is our hobby, we may have the appropriate possessions for those. However, we do not collect books, makeup, or craft supplies recklessly. Rather, we make sure that everything we have is part of a carefully curated collection.

We also don’t do anything without a good reason. We don’t attend every event or accept every invitation just because we feel like we should. Our relationships are genuine ones, even if they are few. We don’t waste our time, such as by mindlessly browsing the internet or social media. Instead, we craft a life for ourselves that revolves around that which we love and which we thrive on.

I find this type of life very attractive. I’ve tried culling my wardrobe, my makeup, my books, and my other belongings so that I am left only with what I love or need. But that’s the easy part. The living part is much harder for me. I’m good at saying no to what I don’t want to do (unless kindness or something else makes it an obligation) and at forming authentic relationships, but I am not good at using my time well. It is so easy to drift, and yet how unsatisfying it is.

My resolution is to try to come up with a rule of life which regulates what I do such that I do it intentionally. It’s difficult and is going to require a lot of thought. However, I think it’s going to be worth it.

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