I want to talk to you a little bit about why I’m embracing the philosophy of existentialism and minimalism to really help grow personally.
You’ve probably heard of these two theories, schools of thought, and philosophies on living.
The idea that embraces a way of living that’s focused on individual choice, freedom of thought, and creating a life of meaning and rationality based on how you define it. Not how the exterior world, culture and society define it. This is the idea based on freedom of choice, autonomy, and individualism.
This is very related, but it’s the idea of detaching from the materialistic world we live in. Create meaning that’s internal and eternal and not defined by society, the media and the world around us. Now, I’ll be perfectly transparent and honest. I’m not there yet.
I’m not fully going to be there anytime soon. This is a work in progress, meaning there’s certain ways of thinking and living that I think we all grow up with, we’ve been ingrained with, and we have trouble sometimes breaking free from. This for me, is definitely an area where I’m having to stretch outside of my comfort zone, because a lot of how I define success, my identity, my personal accomplishments and achievement is the ways in which society defines success, achievement, and accomplishment.
Thats usually in the form of material achievements, growth in business, creating wealth and impact. And while those all are great, they’re not how we should define ourselves in our life. Certainly not solely. And for me, I’m really trying to change my way of perceiving my own personal accomplishments, achievements, and success. And not do it by the metrics and the yardstick from which I always did. Trying to rethink and retool and reframe. Success, accomplishment, achievement, and impact is difficult. You know our status plays into the way in which we choose to live.
For example, the brands that we associate with, when we choose to buy one brand over another, we’re sending a message to the world, right? For instance, if we buy a Volkswagen car, we’re sending the message that we embrace and value efficiency and engineering. If we buy a Ferrari, we embrace and value success, prestige, luxury, accomplishment and achievement that’s very visible to the world. So for me, I’m really starting to do this in a few different ways. One way I’m actually changing the way I think and live is, I’ve really started to implement a budget.
When living by a budget, you assign value, economic unit and intrinsic value to it. They’re connected and correlated. So if I’m going to spend X amount of dollars on eating out, or on a new as a proportion of my income, I’m valuing it that much. I’m saying that it’s really worth that much to me. I look at it through the lens of trying to live more organically, internally, and find happiness, contentment and fulfillment from my own self. From my own achievements, not by what I think I need to do by and achieve to be successful in the eyes of society and others. When I do that, I start to realize that not everything that I buy or invest in carries the same value for me when I really break it down.
Is it creating that much meaning and value in my life? I’m starting to answer “no” to more of those questions. So a budget I highly recommend is a great way to break down, to see what you are physically assigning economic value to, but also intrinsically in your life, assigning value and valuable headspace to.
Another great thing is to find joy and meaning in some of the smaller things, the things that don’t require you spending a lot of money. Experiences and memories with those that I love and care about are so important. That’s getting back to some of my hobbies I enjoy. For instance, I mountain biking, hiking, swimming and boating. To me, I get a lot of joy in those and they don’t cost anything.
They cost an investment of my time, my energy and my fitness. And we can do this in other ways, too, by really pairing down and getting back to the basics of where we find joy, where we find meaning, where we find significance. So for me again, why I’m working to embrace this philosophy of living and thought of existentialism and minimalism. I’m trying to find a new way to grow. I’m trying to find a new way to be more mindful of what I’m spending. Also where I invest my money, human capital, intellectual capital and my skills.
Again, this is a new area for me. It’s a stretch area that can be discomforting, but it’s also a very liberating one. It’s one where I’m enjoying the stretch. I’m enjoying the discomfort because I’m growing. And for me, I’m so excited about that.
- What is existentialism mean to you?
- Are there new ways of living are you trying to embrace to grow, to push yourself into new areas, to challenge yourself and to do things differently than you did yesterday?
- In the pursuit of education, growing intellectually, personally and spiritually, what are you doing in that area of your life?
We should always be doing this in some way, shape or form. Hopefully you got value from this. To your success, to your freedom, your happiness, we’ll talk to you next week.