Happy Mani’s Day
One of my overarching philosophies is the philosophy of minimalism. That is the question that this adds is very simple – do I need this or does this bring me joy? if the answer is ‘no’ then minimalism says that you get rid fo it. Now, this does not just apply to things like furniture and clothes, but also relationships, health, fitness, and just about anything else that this question can be leveled at.
One of the key issues is what you are spending time on. All things take up time and the minimalist question is whether or not the time should or should not be spent. is the time spent necessary and does it bring happiness? If not, why are you spending them on this whatever it is?
Behind the statement “Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens First” is the wisdom and reason of ravens who are looking for things that better manage time and get rid fo time wasters. This is minimalism at its best.
To the Wolves and Ravens:
“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”
The issue of need is always a sticky issue as what a person’s needs are can be far more than food or clothing, but also relationships and other things that allow a person to function. There is a crossover between needs and wants but the question of do I need this to function as a human being is the starting point of being minimalist and how I spend my time.
As an example, my work wardrobe is the same and I actually have four copies of it. Why? I spend zero time deciding what to wear for work. That time is better spent on other things like writing, and actual preparing for work. I need to have clothes for work, but nothing says I need to have something different every single day so I save time by having it pretty much the same. You could also accomplish this by having three to four preset outfits for work that you just rotate through.
The second part of the question involves the wolf of want. Does this bring me joy? Does it make me happy? I think this part is more about all the other things besides stuff. Relationships, in particular, are here because some relationships are not only not needed, but they are negative and time wasters. You might find more time if you just drop some of them and improve your attitude because you are not being drained.
For myself, my relationships are few right now but I would have to say very much necessary and they do provide some comfort and support so they do indeed provide from my happiness. My issue is new relationships as I am much more cautious about being sucked into a relationship that is going to take more than it gives. I spent a lot of time as a minister fostering relationships that were unnecessary, simply because it was expected and let me tell you I don’t want that anymore. From a loyalty standpoint, family and friends are a different matter. All other relationships, however, have to be carefully considered in the matter of how much time is required to maintain them.
I find reason is more helpful in assessing needs. I can usually apply a pretty simple reasonable question; ‘have I used this in the last year because I needed to use it?’ and suddenly whether or not I do need it is pretty apparent. I also can say this for relationships. Work relationships are needed, so they stay on my lists but I am cautious about how much time I spend on each one.
The question of joy is a wisdom question because it doesn’t just involve a question of happiness but love, heart, and spirit. There is more to joy than your own joy too. ‘Does you having this thing give someone else joy?’ is a valid question. I have a few things like that because other people gave them to me in trust that I would honor the spirit in which they were given. Other things are just junk moving from one house to the next.
Long term thinking also hits this because I have a few other things that I know would give me joy if the context was right. They may not be currently giving me joy but if things change I know (keyword ‘know’) they would.
Minimalism plus time management is a healthy combo for the wolves and ravens. But minimalism properly practiced gives you more time to do other things and that is simply a fact. It focuses my time on what is important and that is key to achieving my goals.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.