Minimalism: a life free of expectations
I just sat down to plan some videos and, naturally, got a little distracted. I started watching More Melody's video, 'Becoming Minimalist', and had to pause it when she stated that minimalism meant, for her, a life free of expectation.
This isn't something I had considered before so thought I would explore the idea on a blog post. A life free of expectation. What does that mean? Well, in relation to minimalism, I can definitely say that I no longer expect my purchases to fulfil any roles outside their intended use. My favourite example is my eternal search for the dress that would make me feel confident. Clothing's job is to cover you up and make you warmer than if you didn't have it. It is not its responsibility to make me feel confident.
Expecting less from possessions also meant that I took more responsibility for how I felt. The understanding that no item of clothing could make me feel confident meant that it was up to me to figure out how to feel that way.
Stoicism and minimalism are very much linked for me and stoicism teaches us that we should be aware of what is and isn't under our control. Energy spent on things that we can't change is energy wasted; it is energy that we could be spending on things that we can change. By understanding that I only have control over a very limited number of factors in my life, I no longer expect anything of my external environment. I don't expect it is a new job or a move to another country that will make me happy. I don't expect it is another person or the purchase of my own home that will make me feel whole.
I had not realised it till I saw that video but, beyond the everyday cause-and-effect stuff, I live a life free of expectation. To use the metaphor I started in my previous post, I have an appreciation for the ocean that my life drifts upon; there is no use in getting frustrated or wasting energy anticipating its movements. Relinquishing this perceived control over my life has made me so much happier. I can only do what I can do and see what happens.