The Reason Why You Should Keep Lesser New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again: when most new year resolutions are still well-kept. While I’m no fan of making and/or keeping new years resolutions, I do find them interesting.

Often, one of the reasons why some new year resolutions ultimately last only a couple of weeks is having too much of them. As progress-driven creatures, we often aspire to make several dozens of goals to accomplish in the same year, at the same time, in order to propel us further. Little do we know that this causes divided attention which bogs down our progress to achieve our goals, also cutting short of the quality of the end results.

The cure is simple: resolve to keep only a few resolutions, but put all your effort in keeping them. Make a resolution to keep to less resolutions that personally does the most good in the new year. Simplify your 2015 and achieve more.

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Minimalism and Mental Solitude

“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”

―Pablo Picasso

NOTE: This is the second of a two-part series on Minimalism and Solitude. Click here to check out the first.

Once upon a time, humans searched for information. Now, information searches humans.

As a matter of fact, information searches humans thoroughly. Regardless of who you are or where you might be, it will find you and showcase you its contents. Kind of like the world’s most persistent salesperson in a way, and ― depending on how you view it ― could be a blessing or a curse.

And today, information is no longer a stream, but an ocean with (nearly) everyone immersed in it. Everywhere you go is a battleground of noise, advertisements and endless media disruptions. All these clutter our head, and unnecessarily causes us to deviate from our goals and dreams.

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Minimalism and Social Solitude

“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
― Henry David Thoreau

NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series on Minimalism and Solitude. Click here to check out part 2.

If there’s a choice between being exposed to cacophonies in massive events and reading a good book at home, I’ll most definitely opt for the latter (I have a high Introversion preference). Being an introvert, solitude is becoming a necessity for me. Not only does it “recharge” myself for the all-time-loud-and-exhausting school hours the following day, but it also helps me focus more on tasks at hand, and getting to know more of myself (questioning myself on important personal matters, stuff like that). Solitude, however, is not confined to introverts. Extroverts need them as well, though not as much as introverts need them. Everyone needs solitude to find rest away from our busy everyday lives and contemplate on life-shaping decisions (such as deciding which university to attend, which is unfortunately pretty complicated).

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The Tale of the Treasure Hunters

The story begins somewhere around a rapid stream, with a group of treasure hunters in it. The stream roared and crashed to the banks, where there stood another group of not-treasure-hunters, reaching out their hands to help these treasure hunters.

Some hunters do not notice the helpers and continue to swim away with the current, risking their lives and believing that there is a pot of gold at the end of the stream waiting for them if they continue. Those who noticed the helpers? Some believed that the helpers are just illusions that are hindering them from finding treasure and so they won’t bother to be helped. Some, with full might, desired to be like those standing on the banks, happy and safe, so they swim against the current in an attempt to find a shallow ground for them to step out of the stream. They didn’t bother the helping hand. As a result, only a few made it, while the rest returned to the mercy of the stream. The rest took the helping hand and pulled themselves to safety. Continue reading

The Ever-Changing Market: Harm to Minimalism

When I was a kid, PlayStation One was phenomenal. Nearly every family in my neighborhood had one, myself included. Everyday, I would sneak in at least an hour of game time (unless my parents said no, because I was so naïve and obedient) immediately after I reached home from school. That was until PS2 came. Soon enough, PS1 was disregarded, replaced by the then-brand-new PS2.

I believe we’ve all been there: we kept pursuing for the latest trends in the market. The world we live in today is an ultra-dynamic world, with new products arriving from everywhere and advertisements psychologically convincing us of any product’s pros. Because of this, we develop the fear of missing out on the latest technologies, the latest fashion trends, the latest songs. Everyone became so fixated on having the best that they became increasingly impulsive and materialistic. Everyone starts to forget what is really important in life, more important than any possessions on earth.

Excessive consumerism is the reason. The reason why “having is rewarding”. The reason why people became possession-centered. The reason why minimalists are fighting an uphill battle. And because of it, a never-ending cycle of skyrocketing demands, expeditiously expanding markets and excessive consumerism emerged.

Material objects constantly promise a sense of well-being, which is true to some extent. They do offer something, but that something rarely has any significance for a greater purpose in life, which is why we should let them go.

As minimalists, our surroundings do not exactly promote the act of minimalism. It is up to us to go forth and be different. We have to stop chasing after the wind, right now, stand by our roots and search for the true meaning.