Minimalism 3.0

“We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us. We were always more or less miserable, and most of our acquaintance were in the same condition. There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did. To the best of my belief, our case was in the last aspect a rather common one.”
– Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

I recently found this quote on a blog I came across: Deconstruct the Girl.  It wasn’t posted to inspire minimalism, but that’s the affect it had on me.  So many of us spend money in order to impress our peers, in order to show how great our lives are.  But at the end of the day money spent, and processions bought, will never buy us happiness.  Collect moments, not things.  

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21-Day Sugar Detox

This weekend I attended my friend’s wedding and went home to have a belated birthday celebration with my family.  I kept things mostly Primal by mainly eating pit beef at the wedding and grilled salmon at my house, but both nights I indulged my sweet tooth when it came time for dessert.  I doubt caveman had access to multiple chocolate chip cookies and ice cream pie… but they were both delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed the sugary treats, guilt-free.

But unfortunately this morning I woke up with a serious sugar-hangover: which quickly reminded me how evil sugar is for your body.  After reading Deep Nutrition I learned that sugar causes insulin-resistance, stiffens collagen, jams hormonal signals, and slows neural communication.  These side-effects in turn lead to weight-gain, diabetes, premature wrinkling, arthritis, weakened bones, mood swings, headaches, dulled senses, and more.

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Going Minimalist 2.0

“Becoming Minimalist: because the best things in life aren’t things!”

-Becoming Minimalist

This week I stumbled upon Becoming Minimalist, a website dedicated to helping people become a minimalist.  One of their articles I particularly liked was, “Benefits of Minimalism.”

In this article they mentioned 28 different benefits of being a minimalist.  A few of my favorites were:

  • Finding work you love
  • Less stress
  • Easier souvenir shopping (haha)

But I encourage you to check out the article yourself to read the rest.

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Going Minimalist 1.0

A couple weeks ago I came across the Minimalist Living Starter Guide on Minimalist Living.  Maybe it’s because I’m reading Surviving Off Off-Grid, which I talked about in my “No-Phone Challenge”, but something about it really resonated with me.  So many of our processions are completely unnecessary and end up cluttering up not only our homes, but our minds.  By getting rid of needless stuff you’re not only giving yourself more space, but more ability to focus on what really matters.

The Starter Guide recommended the following process for individuals looking to “go minimalist”:

  • Get rid of needless stuff.
  • Keep only what is essential
  • Keep doing this

No-Phone Challenge Results

I’m proud to say that I successfully completed my “No-Phone Challenge.”  I lasted an entire week without a cell or landline phone, which meant no phone calls and no text messages, and even managed not to become a recluse in the process.  I was still able to hang out with friends, plan my mom’s birthday, and was more productive in my studies than I’ve possibly been all semester.  Instead of feeling restricted, I actually felt a sense of freedom.

photocredit: understandingshyness.com

During this past week I also finished reading Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, by Robert M. Sapolsky.  Sapolsky is a professor at Stanford University who explains how stress causes and intensifies all sorts of ailments, diseases, and psychological conditions.  Basically his book explains how are bodies react to stress similarly to how a zebra’s body would react to stress.  The problem is that zebras are usually stressed in short bursts, for instance when they are being attacked by a lion.  However modern-day humans undergo chronic stress, for instance when they are stuck in traffic, when they are worried about paying the mortgage, or when they worry that their spouse is cheating on them.  These chronic stressors lead to illnesses such as depression, ulcers, heart disease, etc… illnesses that zebras never develop.

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No-Phone Challenge

About two weeks ago I started reading Surviving Off Off-Grid by Michael Bunker.  Michael Bunker is a self-described “plain” person who lives completely off-grid, meaning he lives his life without the use of electric power and most other alternative energy sources.  It’s a fascinating read that is somewhere between ideological and a how-to book.  He basically makes the case that modern day culture has turned people into slaves to technology.  And while his views are certainly extreme, I find his way of life intriguing and lately I’ve been wondering if I could ever come close to pulling it off myself…

Then last week David Kanigan shared a clip of Sherri Turkle’s TED Talk on his blog.  Sherri gave an excellent presentation on how technology is allowing all of us to stay more connected, yet is making all of us more alone.  She basically makes the case that constant texting is preventing people from truly living in the moment.  We are becoming so busy connecting with people that are not with us, that we are forgetting to connect with the people right next to us… and ourselves…

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500 Jumps Challenge

A couple weeks ago I bought myself a jump rope that I’ve been using for warm-ups before I lift.  It only takes about 100 consecutive jumps to get me fairly out-of-breath and decently warmed-up.

And while 100 jumps is a respectable number… 500 jumps would seem a lot cooler.  So considering my Valentine’s Day Goal deadline is a convenient 5 days away, I figured over the next 5 days I would take it there.

Starting today I will jump 100 times, tomorrow I will jump 200 times, Sunday I will jump 300 times, until I reach Tuesday where I will jump 500 times.  And then I will hopefully maintain that number for all my future warm-ups.

Here we go!