Podcast 000 | Who Are The Minimalists?Happy Scribe's Favorites
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- 26 Oct 2020
This episode of The Minimalists has brought to you by nobody because advertisements suck. Enjoy the show. Every little thing you think that every little thing you think that you need, every little thing that's just feeding your greed out there that you desire without everyone.
This is Joshua Fields, Millburn, one half of the minimalists. And I'd like to officially welcome you to our podcast, the minimalist podcast. This is Episode zero zero zero. This is the introduction episode. We want to give you a little teaser about what to expect from this podcast and how you can be involved as well. So I'll give you a little background on the minimalists if you don't know a lot about me or my writing partner, Ryan Nicodemus.
And also, I'm going to give you a little bit about the format of this podcast as well.
So let's start with the minimalists. Who the hell are the minimalists? Well, me, I'm Joshua Fields, Millburn, and then, of course, Ryan Nicodemus, the swarthy year, half of the duo. We we started a website a few years ago called The Minimalists Dotcom and everything that has ensued in the subsequent five years, we didn't necessarily expect. But even before that, it started with a few things in our lives. Ryan and I were both living in Dayton, Ohio, and we were sort of living the American dream.
We had everything we ever wanted, the six figure salaries, the luxury cars, the big houses with more bedrooms than people and all the stuff to fill every corner of our consumer driven lifestyle. We were really living the American dream. I mean, two events happened in my life. This was late 2009, my mother died and my marriage ended both in the same month and these two events forced me to look around and start to question what had become my life's focus.
And I realized that I was so focused on so-called success and achievement and especially on the accumulation of stuff. I mean, yeah, I was living the American dream.
But it wasn't my dream, and it took getting everything I ever wanted to realize that everything I ever wanted wasn't actually what I wanted at all.
And so I decided to simplify, I stumbled across this thing called minimalism, and I found this whole community of people from single women who were traveling the world and everything they owned fit in their backpack on their back to minimalist families with six kids who lived in the city or the suburbs or everything in between. And what I realized is that there were all of these different flavors of minimalism. There were all these different minimalists who had different recipes that fit their lifestyle.
And what I realized is that there was likely a recipe for me as well. But I didn't see in any of these particular examples. So what I started doing was teasing out ingredients from each person's recipe and sort of created my own flavor of minimalism. And over the course of about eight months since 2009 and 2010, I got rid of about 90 percent of my possessions. I started slowly. At first I started with a question how might my life be better with less stuff?
And by asking that question, I was able to understand the benefits of minimalism. I started cluttering. I started getting stuff out of the way. And as I did, I started feeling freer and happier and lighter.
And it's interesting that people at work started noticing some of those benefits, too, they started saying things like, wow, you've seen so much less stress, you seem so much calmer.
What is going on with you? You seem so much nicer.
And then my best friend, a guy named Ryan Nicodemus, whom I've known since we were fat little fifth graders, he came to me one day and he realized I was no longer depressed.
And I explained to him. This thing called minimalism. You see, I spent those eight months simplifying my life, getting rid of the clutter. But if you were to come to my home today, I don't think you'd walk in and say, oh my God, this guy is a minimalist. No, you'd probably just walk in and say, well, he's he's pretty tidy. And you ask how I keep things so organized and I just smile and tell you that I don't own much stuff, but everything I do own.
Has real value as a minimalist, every possession, whether it's my car or my clothes or my furniture or my kitchen, where it all. As a function. There's a minimalist, every possession serves a purpose or brings me joy and everything else is out of the way. And so when Ryan came to me and I showed him this thing called minimalism, I said, you know what? I think you might be able to benefit from it, too, because, man, you've got a lot of stuff and you're just as miserable as I was.
I noticed I was happy. And so he started letting go to and he did something crazy called a packing party. And I'll let you listen to his TED talk. Actually, I would encourage you to take a look at that. The Minimalists Dotcom Ted X and actually have Sean play a snippet of the TED talk for you right now. I want to share a story with you about how I became rich. Imagine your life a year from now, two years from now.
Five years from now. What's it going to look like? Imagine a life with less, less stuff. Less clutter. Less stress and debt and discontent. A life with fewer distractions. Joking right now, right? Do we try to give a talk? Sorry about that. Now, imagine a life with more, more time, more meaningful relationships, more growth and contribution, a life of passion unencumbered by the trappings of the chaotic world around you, what you're imagining is an intentional life.
It's not a perfect life. It's not even an easy life, but a simple one. All right, so as Ryan continued to let go of his stuff and he experienced some of the benefits of minimalism, he realized that he was going to be able to take back control of his time and his finances and his relationships and his health and all of these things that he and I had both forsook for so long. And then a few months after we both simplified our lives, Ryan came to me and said, hey, you know, I think other people might find value in and the story in our story.
And so we did what any two 30 year old guys would do. We started a blog. And we call it the minimalists dotcom, and that was five years ago, and since then we've been really fortunate. A lot of people have found value in our words, and when you find value in something, you tend to to share it, adding value as a basic human instinct. And I don't know about you, but but if you're anything like me, you tend to share the things you find value and you'll send in an email or a tweet or a Facebook post or whatever to the people you care about because you want them to find value in it, too.
And so over time, our audience grew from 52 people the first week to 400 and 4000. Over time, people kept sharing. And now we have more than four million regular readers at The Minimalists. And so that's our story.
That's what gets us here today. As we've we've published a few books, a book called Everything That Remains that are our most popular one. It's a memoir from Ryan and myself and also an essay collection called Essential. And our very first book was a book called Minimalism Live A Meaningful Life, in which we highlight the five most important areas of life once you get the clutter out of the way. And so you can check any of those out at our website or of course, at your local library, if they don't have it, you can ask for it.
And most libraries can actually order the book if you want to go that route. If you do decide to pick up a copy of one of our books, obviously minimize it afterward. But the blog and the books are just a couple of different vehicles. We've used to communicate with people and we've realized that this message is bigger than just writing. Right. And I both really enjoy writing and it's our primary means of communicating with our audience. But we also enjoy a lot of other platforms.
So we have a documentary coming out in May of 2016 called Minimalism, a documentary about the important things. You can see the trailer for that over at minimalism film Dotcom. And now we have social media with that audience is growing, whether it's Twitter or Instagram or Facebook, however you want to communicate. These are all vehicles that we can use to reach different people as long as we feel like it adds value.