Solomon Perkins

Sharing my opinions on the things I find valuable.

Minimalistic Lifestyle - We Need It More Than Ever

⊗ Apr 4, 2020 | read time: 2min

"" Reference: Pexels

The word minimalism has been thrown around quite a few since lately. It seems to be the new “in-thing” - at least that is my impression. As we speak, the world is currently facing a pandemic and living a minimalistic lifestyle could help most folks weather the storm.

As a Software Engineer, we are required to be efficient when developing solutions. Nimbleness, simplicity, and speed are the primary KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of my profession. We treat computer resources as a scarce commodity where every bit counts. And creating software to achieve those targets is the holy grail.

So why aren’t we, humans, living our lives in the most efficient way possible? We do a poor job of distinguishing between wants from needs. We constantly satisfy our mental greed by having the latest & greatest. Feeding that greed is capitalism that cleverly masking wants as needs through sophisticated marketing techniques. I’m not blaming capitalism for our lifestyle choices, nor should you declutter your life until it fits into a suitcase. Instead, look at minimalism as a way of ensuring you don’t bite off more than you can chew. It also come with an added benefit of helping you live a better life.

Simplicity We Use To Survive 🎵

I think the Netflix documentary, Minimalism, somewhat reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in a single parent farming-household and conservation was an integral part of our survival. Despite having little, I was very happy. My father’s teachings have been the blueprint I’ve been using for years to navigate my life. I’ll always remember his words of encouragement: “Soul-jah wi haffi do wah wi can & God wih provide”. Here are a few instances where I’ve applied his teachings:

  1. Powering my house with 100% renewable energy. On face value, this seems unrelated but they are. Energy utilization is limited by energy generation. As a result, this impacts any purchase decisions especially for items that consumes power. This then directly contributes to the minimalistic lifestyle as I’m being nudged to conserve.

  2. Constantly plan, question and budget for any foreseeable expense. Mentally categorizing my future purchases into needs or wants is a game-changer. This level of prediction reduces the likelihood of impulsive buying.

  3. Always save something for a rainy day. Based on the #Covid19 pandemic, the rainy day is here.

Technology Has Many Life Lessons

Technology has taught me a lot about life. Let us consider a technique called performance testing or stress testing. As the name suggests, it simulates how an application behaves due to excessive utilization of its resources. Similarly, we’re constantly depleting our natural resources with little to no regard for mother nature (#ClimateChange).

Only use what need when you need it and use the least amount possible, is another applicable life lesson. These suggestions can help us live a better life by focusing on what is important rather than hoarding unwanted stuff.

Simplifying complex situations is another benefit. IT experts are being asked to convert our complex world into a 1-click fix. The ability to see things clearly is something we should all aspire to. My wife helped me achieve clarity by cleaning off some unwanted stuff from my desk.

Help The Next Generation

We’re having a major challenge in getting our lives in order. The recent pandemic has shown that the world is not ready for any type of setback. Before #Covid19, research showed that most American’s can’t afford a $1000 loan. That is alarming and we need to take the necessary steps in preventing the next generation from falling into that trap.

As a father, I need to teach my son the essential principles integral to his survival & happiness. Living a minimalistic lifestyle has helped me and I hope it will help you too.

Walk good!

Tags minimalism lifestyle joy consumerism