Japanese Minimalist Lifestyle – “Throw Away Stuff, 12 Things That Changed Me”
“Your time is limited,
so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs
Wasting time on stuff
On December 20, 2014, 15 thousand limited Suica tickets were sold
to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Tokyo Railways.
And the chaos on ticket sale day was reported on the news,
so many people probably knew about this event.
More than nine thousand people lined up to buy tickets
and ticket sales had to be stopped.
The news also showed images of people reacting aggressively
and saying bad words after hearing the news that ticket sales had been stopped.
At that time, many students preparing
to enter high school in the spring came to buy tickets.
Honestly, I really sympathize with people having to wait for hours in the cold weather.
However, you should know that this limited number of commemorative Suica tickets
is only as effective as any other normal Suica ticket.
It doesn’t help you reduce your fare by 5%,
nor is it made of a special material that’s hard to break…
If that were possible,
I’d also want one.
This limited Suica ticket has a beautiful decoration of Mucha’s painting.
However, for many people,
this type of Suica ticket is not an important thing,
but just a souvenir that they want to have like many people.
If you don’t realize that it’s just like normal Suica tickets,
then you’ve lost an unimaginable amount of time.
Departure and return time between your home and Tokyo station
Time in line
Time to get angry with the station staff
Time to calm anger
Time to adjust your attitude, time to go buy tickets again
Human life is very short,
so if we shorten it because of external objects, it would be a waste.
Reduce time wasted on communication and advertising
Whether we stay at home watching TV or go out,
a series of messages in society are sent to us through advertising media.
Make a lot of money,
lose more weight,
go to a good school,
live in a comfortable house, live a healthy life,
dress more fashionable,
grow up better,
understand more and be wary of unforeseen events that may occur at any time…
Director Tom Shadyac once summarized this situation as follows:
“In short, if it were me today,
it would be unacceptable.”
When you are aware of a minimalist lifestyle,
you will naturally reduce the amount of time
you are bothered by advertising or media.
Because “I have everything I need in my hands”.
If you can think like that,
then all messages and advertising messages will become meaningless to you.
On the contrary,
if you keep thinking:
“I have… Oh,
it’s not enough” then you will see that every advertising message or message is for yourself.
And when it comes to following each message,
no matter how much time you have,
it won’t be enough.
One important thing to learn from the minimalist lifestyle is:
You don’t lack anything.
Because you chase after the items you think you’re missing,
you shorten the time you have for yourself.
Reduce shopping time
People who live a minimalist lifestyle don’t go shopping very often,
so they can reduce the time they spend shopping.
Of course, sometimes they still need to buy new things,
but that time period is also shortened.
Previously, I really liked household electrical appliances.
For example, before buying a new microwave,
I had to compare products from several brands,
then look at the introductory price quotes of each product,
and finally choose to buy a product line with super steam cooking function.
Heat at high temperatures that other products do not have.
I was extremely satisfied with my choice,
but in the end I didn’t use that outstanding feature once.
If I go to the fashion district in Tokyo,
even if I buy just one shirt,
I will spend a whole day there.
Even if I choose a style,
I still have to wander around between stores A, B, C.
Going to all the stores to try on each place,
I finally return to the first store A.
Then I didn’t buy that shirt anymore and went home.
Perhaps, I went out just to make myself more tired.
Ken Segall, author of Think Simple,
when comparing Apple and Dell computers,
said: Apple’s success is because this product line has far fewer models.
When talking about the failure of the Apple Watch, in my opinion,
it is not due to its features but
because this product line has too many models to choose from.
There is a rule called the “candy rule”.
That is, there will be more buyers at the stall displaying six types of candies
and jams than at the stall displaying 24 types.
If there are too many choices,
we often think the opposite,
it is better to have no choice at all,
and even if we choose among them,
the feeling of satisfaction will be reduced.
The more the minimalist lifestyle develops,
the clearer the criteria for choosing items becomes.
So, even if you buy something new,
you won’t spend much time wondering what to choose.
My chosen criteria are:
easy to clean,
can be used for a long time, simple structure, small,
integrated with many features.
When changing bicycles, I also set clear criteria.
First it’s a simple car.
There is only one number,
painted silver for durability,
the frame is old style but I never get bored.
Only Focale44 cars can meet all of my requirements,
so I don’t have to waste time looking at or choosing from other stores.
And I don’t waste time comparing my car to other people’s cars.
When buying new things,
if you still choose the same item as the old one,
you won’t waste time researching
and choosing a completely different one.
Because you feel most comfortable with that item,
feel “this is enough” so you don’t need to pay attention to other things.
Not only home furnishings,
in other cases where you have to choose,
if you can narrow down the range of choices for yourself,
you will decide faster and importantly,
you will not waste time.
Reduce housework time
Your housework time will be significantly reduced.
I will explain this in more detail later.
if you don’t spread things out all over the room
and live a minimalist lifestyle,
the time you spend on housework will be reduced.
Throwing away less clothes also means your laundry time is shortened.
You also don’t have to spend a lot of time wondering what to wear today.
When I lived in my old room,
I hated seeing sunlight in the room.
Because I hate seeing tiny dust particles in those rays of sunlight.
Furthermore, I’m the type of person who lives at night,
so I always close all the shutters to block sunlight from entering the house.
Now, I’m used to waking up in the early morning sunlight.
When I opened my eyes,
I could immediately see that the room was clean and tidy.
This is also my little joy every morning.
Just like that,
I naturally woke up earlier than
before and the morning gradually became an important time in my life.
Move house in 30 minutes
Earlier this spring,
I moved to a new house.
I didn’t have to pack anything and just moved all my stuff out.
All in just 30 minutes.
washing machines… all combined in just 30 minutes.
Perhaps for many people,
this time is just the time they have to choose what clothes to wear during the day.
Without wasting time,
my move was as easy as going out every day.
Reduce time of drowsiness and laziness
When your home has been simplified,
you will naturally reduce your lazy time.
Before, on my days off,
I spent the whole day in bed.
“I have to wash clothes today.
After that, I still have to clean the house.
If I keep lying in bed like this,
I will never be able to clean the house.
How to be most effective now?
While washing clothes,
I took advantage of cleaning the house and washing dishes.
Okay, just do that!
Oh, and I also want to wash this set.
Or maybe after cleaning the house and then doing laundry…
It’s so annoying,
stop watching TV and the phone for a while…”
Just like that,
this situation happens like a cyclical cycle that can never be resolved.
If you have less stuff,
there’s less work you have to do.
Every day you solve them all so nothing is left behind.
Even if you complete all the housework at once,
it will be very quick.
Reduce the time to find things, solve the problem of forgetting things
I know everything I have in the house,
and it’s all in one place so I don’t waste time looking for things.
When you know every item in your home,
you won’t have to ask questions like:
Where do I put it? Do I have this…
You won’t have to waste time thinking about things like:
Let’s see, where did I leave the tape?
I can always answer you that I don’t have tape in my house.
Then the instructions, warranty papers…
if you find them important,
you can scan them and throw them away.
This “not having” has great value in our lives.
If you have less belongings,
there will be no more loss of things.
People who live minimalist lives also bring very few things when they go out,
so they don’t often forget things.
Abundant times, the source of happiness
We can easily see many people at the station often running like crazy,
even almost bumping into others just to avoid being late for the train.
Every time I see them, I think they are so unhappy.
When in a hurry to do something, no one has a bright face.
On the contrary,
when I look at the flow of people walking during Golden Week
(the Japanese holiday in late April and early May),
I see people happier than usual.
Psychologist Tim Kasser believes that “abundance of time” is directly related
to human happiness,
while “material wealth” does not do that.
Around us there are always many people who work hard,
earn a lot of money but are always stressed
when they have to chase something non-stop basil piled up.
And when drying clothes,
by the way,
clean the balcony of the next room as well.
Maybe being lazy is not my personality.
Personality does not have to change,
but simply the amount of furniture in the house.
When the furniture in the house is reduced,
housework becomes much easier.
Cleaning techniques learned from Aristotle
The ancient philosopher Aristotle said:
Humans are the result of repeated processes.
That’s why we succeed not because we do great things,
but because we rely on habits.
The important thing to be able to diligently clean
and keep the house clean is not to have an iron will
or force yourself to do this annoying cleaning job.
Only by your own will:
Come on! Just do it… then you can’t prolong your cleaning.
The important thing is simply habit.
Habit is the driving force that helps us work automatically
without forcing or thinking we have to do something.
“Remuneration” for creating habits
An important thing when you create a habit for yourself is “remuneration”.
The reward here is the small feeling of success.
If it’s cleaning,
the reward is the feeling of liberation
when the room becomes clean.
When you can control the sweet temptations,
excuses, and excuses to slow down your work,
the reward is the feeling of
being able to control yourself”.
Reducing your belongings makes cleaning simpler,
and also gets you paid.
Therefore, cutting down on furniture easily becomes your favorite habit.
We can also apply this principle to housework.
If you make yourself think that you want to create a cleaning habit,
it means you have lowered the barrier between cleaning and made it a little simpler.
Once you reduce the amount of stuff in your home,
cleaning becomes really simple.
Reduce furniture, cleaning is three times simpler
When I was in the messy room before,
I could clean the house once a month and it was good.
Even after getting rid of stuff,
at the end of each week I just rearrange things a little.
Now, every morning I vacuum and clean the house.
This doesn’t mean I’ve changed,
but after having less stuff,
cleaning became easier and gradually became a habit in my life.
Even cleaning has become a daily pleasure.
I’ll give an example of mopping a floor decorated with a wood-carved owl.
The cleaning sequence will be as follows:
1. Put the owl away.
2. Clean the owl’s place.
3. Let the owl return to its original position.
Now, if I remove the owl and mop the floor, what will be the order?
Just mop the floor.
It’s done, it’s all over.
As you can see,
my cleaning effort has been reduced by a third.
And cleaning time can also be reduced by a third.
Furthermore, I don’t need to clean that owl anymore.
Imagine if you kept three, four,
10 or 20 decorative items in your house,
what would your cleaning task be like?
It’s not about cleaning,
it’s about the “nesting instinct” of furniture
Now that I have felt the comfort of “not having things”,
whenever I see anything being dragged out,
I immediately put it back in its original place.
Furniture is always in its right place.
Previously, when reading Yururimai’s work,
I only take the TV remote out of the way when I want to use the TV.
At that time,
I couldn’t believe that someone would do such a troublesome thing.
But now, I understand that feeling.
Really, it’s no trouble at all.
Once it becomes your habit,
taking it out and putting it away are no longer two separate things.
“Take out and put away” has become a unified action.
I call it “pick up and put things away”.
It’s just like riding a bicycle.
When we first ride,
we are always aware of our driving.
But one day,
you will get in the car without any intention.
Likewise, now I don’t even realize I’m packing.
I just feel like I just put things back in their rightful place.
It’s not about cleaning,
it’s about me just following the “nesting instinct” of things.
The small room was great
In early spring of this year,
I moved from a 25m2 apartment to a 20m2 apartment.
So I have reduced the amount of room I need to clean by 5m2.
Cleaning my house is even simpler and faster.
Now, I want to live in tiny rooms.
This 20m2 apartment is still a bit big for me.
Cleaning is not only fun, it also makes me feel good.
And I won’t let anyone or any cleaning robot take this pleasure away from me.
Because “on duty and cleaning” is not something that requires money to solve.
Dust or dirt is actually who we are
Some people say: Cleaning is also polishing yourself.
To me, it is truly a living motto.
The things piled up in the room are not dirt or garbage,
but “my past” that has been covered in dust for a long time.
That is also a consequence of yourself being famous on television doesn’t bother me.
Magnificent stores, loyalty cards,
newly built apartment complexes full of amenities…
All of this has nothing to do with me.
I will still comfortably walk on the street without worrying about anything.
As I said in chapter two,
the more you buy things,
the more your things increase.
But even though you have a lot of things,
you still don’t feel satisfied,
so you buy even more things.
Likewise, the more you eat,
the hungrier you get and keep eating like a monster.
Native Americans have a word called Uetiko which means “to eat people”,
or simply to desire more than necessary,
to the point of considering human life as food.
Uetiko is also said to be a human mental illness.
I currently have everything I need.
I also don’t want any more items.
If I remain, even just a little,
my desire for things will grow into a monster
that will make me unable to control myself.
Previously, because of that monster,
I only focused on the things I thought were lacking,
which was truly miserable.
Not having the things you wish you had,
that’s the most comfortable feeling.
Don’t compare with others
“When you know you lack nothing, you are unique in this world.” – Lao Tzu
The method to get used to unhappiness in just a snap
People always think that their neighbor’s lawn is greener than their own.
In fact, the lawn itself doesn’t care whether the neighbor’s lawn is blue or green.
But notice here is the owner of the lawn.
And to make his lawn more beautiful,
he was willing to buy chemical paint and spray it on the lawn,
but then he could not be satisfied
because in the end the lawn turned black and lost its inherent beauty. .
There is a way to feel unhappy in just a moment.
It is comparing yourself with others.
Before, I witnessed the girl I liked marrying a guy with a higher income than me.
At that time,
I compared myself to him and felt disappointed:
that’s not enough.
But maybe that’s not all.
Compared to my contemporaries,
I feel like a useless person.
Just opening social networks I can see a lot of people living happily.
And when I saw passersby laughing and talking with friends,
I felt very alone.
Does Bill Gates compare himself to others?
Anyone, whether intentionally or unintentionally,
sometimes compares themselves with others.
And the problem is that this comparison will never end.
There is a person who has worked in an online business company
since the company was founded.
He compares himself with another senior who does a better job in the company.
This senior compared himself to the businessman who revived the whole company.
The businessman compared himself to a businessman from a leading company.
The businessman of a leading business compared himself to Bill Gates.
So, who do you think Bill Gates would compare himself to?
Perhaps he would compare himself to himself when he was younger.
Or maybe he will compare himself
to an unknown employee in a newly established company with a promising future.
Everyone has someone better than them
Comparing with others is
because there are always people around us who are better than us.
No matter how much money you have,
how handsome, how beautiful you are,
there are definitely people around you who are better than you.
Even if you are one of the country’s idols,
you will probably feel a bit self-conscious
if you compare yourself to Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt.
Even if you fulfill your childhood dream of becoming a football player,
at any time you will feel miserable if compared to Lionel Messi.
And even if you reach the top in a certain field,
when compared to other fields,
you are still quite far away from others.
After getting rid of stuff,
I stopped comparing myself to others.
Before, when I compared myself to others,
I felt ashamed that I was living in such a shabby house.
Then when I see people who can buy whatever they want,
I feel jealous inside.
Now, I have said goodbye to those feelings.
Because I no longer participate in any “first in the world” competitions.
The experience is incomparable
As I explained in chapter two,
people can gradually adapt to everything.
Therefore, experiences are said to prolong happiness longer than things.
You buy a 100,000 yen jacket,
every time you wear it,
you feel more familiar with it and gradually you will no longer feel happy
when wearing it.
However, if you spend that 100,000 yen to travel abroad with friends,
in the future, every time you remember it,
you will always have the same feeling of joy
and happiness as when you went out.
No item can compare to memories,
the more you reminisce,
the happier you feel.
Although experiences can make us feel happy in the long run,
people always spend money on gadgets
and tools rather than on experiences.
By furniture will be easier to compare with others than with experience.
Psychologist Sonia Ryu Bomi ASCII said:
The handbag you own makes it easier to compare yourself with others.
The value of a handbag can be easily determined by the price of that handbag.
If it is a branded product,
people will know its value more and it will be easier to compare.
On the other hand,
if you’re going to compare your yoga course to someone else’s golf practice,
or your fishing experience to someone else’s camping
and hiking experience,
you’re going to need a lot of imagination.
If you compare using experience,
it is difficult to know who is better,
but if you use objects to compare,
everything will be much easier.
And it seems that furniture will help you quickly assert your self-worth.
However, in reality,
it is experience that brings you lasting happiness.
Therefore, instead of buying all sorts of things to affirm your self-worth,
accumulating experience and improving your ability
to act will help you have many rich feelings.
Furthermore, experience is difficult to compare with others,
so you don’t need to force yourself to have anything special.
Satisfaction without comparison
Comparing yourself to others is like coveting your own things.
It will never end. I’m currently writing this book,
but when I think of books written by people better than me,
I can’t write another word.
There are always people around me who are better than me,
and when compared to them, I think:
Someone like me… and so I can’t do anything.
The items I currently have are not “wished for” items
when I am jealous of others,
but are truly necessary items chosen by me.
If you become a minimalist and know what you need,
you will not focus on someone else to compare
but only focus on yourself.
I’ve got everything I need. I’m not missing anything anymore.
Therefore, I do not need to compare myself with others.
No longer afraid of other people’s views
“The only person who pays attention to your face is you.” − Kishimi Ichiro
Even stray cats don’t commit suicide
Digging for leftover food,
running around at night,
even stray cats,
animals with such a way of life,
do not choose to commit suicide.
Because they don’t have to pay attention to other people’s eyes
or be ashamed of themselves.
Even if people who often receive charity aid don’t pay attention
to people’s eyes, they can live comfortably.
After minimizing the furniture in my house,
the number of clothes
I wear outside was also reduced as much as possible.
Like the iconic Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg,
I wear the same clothes and keep them to a minimum.
For them, time to choose clothes is a waste.
They would rather spend that time on creative work.
If you pay attention to minimizing your clothes,
you will have a lot of time to focus on your important things.
Steve Jobs was never stressed
Along with minimalist dressing,
a lot of things have changed.
Choosing clothes that suit me,
I don’t need to worry about whether they go out of style or not.
I also no longer follow current new trends,
so I don’t have to worry about whether my clothes are eye-catching or not.
Is this the right outfit combination?
Or pay attention to other people’s comments.
You also won’t feel jealous of someone else’s expensive clothes
or embarrassed about your cheap clothes.
Often when entering luxury stores,
we often feel stressed.
What would Steve Jobs,
who always wears the same style of clothes
when entering Comme des Garcons,
think about his outfit combination, or is he nervous?
I’m in the process of simplifying my wardrobe
and now I no longer care what other people think of me.
If it were me before,
even if I walked on the street I would still wonder:
Would I be considered a shameful person?
How will I be judged by people?…
Why is eating grilled meat alone so difficult?
The most difficult thing about eating grilled food alone is that
when you are grilling meat,
you will feel like the staff or other guests are pointing at you and saying:
Should I go alone?
Going alone looks sad really…
And maybe they really have that in mind.
However, that condition only lasts 10 to 30 seconds.
When you go out to eat grilled food alone,
you only focus on yourself.
If that meal takes two hours,
then you’ve spent two hours just for yourself.
If you were those guests right now,
you would see that they do not pay attention or scrutinize anyone.
If we translate Kishmi Ichiro’s quote into this case,
it would probably be:
The only person who cares about you going to a barbecue alone is yourself.
It is difficult for us to verify other people’s perspectives.
Even if eating barbecue alone is considered pitiful,
there’s no way to verify this. Even if you ask people directly:
Did you see: Is that person walking alone just now pitiful?
Then you only get the answer:
No, I don’t think so.
Even if you have evidence like:
Just now I saw you looking at him and smiling all the time.
Then immediately, they will make another excuse for themselves.
Perhaps, that person thinks that eating barbecue alone is pitiful,
or perhaps they don’t think so.
We cannot verify the thoughts in other people’s heads.
Even if you pay attention to those things,
it won’t solve anything.
It just makes you feel scared of people’s eyes
and not dare to try the things you want to do.
If you like going to barbeque alone, go.
When you really want to do something,
don’t pay attention to people’s eyes,
because they are only focused on themselves.
Throw away the things you bought just because of other people’s eyes
Previously, I hated e-books and only felt that paper books were the best.
Reading each page of a book is always faster,
feeling the warmth through each word,
enjoying the elaborate layout and decoration,
and most of all,
it’s good for the eyes.
However, the real reason why I hate reading e-books is not just
that they don’t have the same appeal as paper books,
but that even if I finish reading them,
I can’t save what I’ve read.
Because I like books,
I want to stock a lot of books in my house.
I keep those books so people can praise me for being eager
to learn and a profound person.
Through those books,
I want to show my value to everyone.
That’s why I need books that I can save after reading.
With paper books,
anyone can easily see how many books I have read.
As for e-books,
even if I read several thousand books,
people will only see one existing here.
That’s why I keep a bunch of books in my house
so I can read them “sometime”.
And now, having thrown away all the bookshelves,
I can focus on the one book I want to read.
As a result, I read more books than before.
Even when I threw away old books,
I found myself interested in new books.
It can be said that after throwing it away,
I got more things for myself.
The meaning of the “empty cameras” collection
I like taking photos.
I am also very confident with my photography knowledge.
Sometimes I even use my kitchen as a photo darkroom.
I have collected many beautiful cameras through auctions.
But I never used them,
I didn’t even install the film and just left them like that in the house.
It’s simply to let people know that I have many cameras,
and so people will see that I like taking photos.
At the same time, through it I can express my own value.
Currently, I have sold all the cameras in the house.
I contacted the auction agent and sold them all.
Since giving up all the things I bought based on other people’s opinions,
I find that I no longer care what people think of me.
I don’t feel self-conscious about myself or feel proud
or boastful when recognized by others.
Throwing away the furniture in the house,
I also threw those meaningless thoughts and attitudes out of my head.
After moving to a new house,
I want to turn it into a model house for minimalists.
I will turn it into an exhibition house for anyone interested in the minimalist lifestyle
or other minimalists like me to visit.
Currently I am living in Fudomae.
If you have a chance to come here,
please stop by my house.
I would also be happy to receive your suggestions for this house.
This house of mine, no matter who comes to visit at any time,
I have nothing to be ashamed of.
Even my backpack and wallet can be shown to you.
Habit of action
“When you act on your own,
you may not have the strength to get everything done,
but you took action and that’s what matters.”– Mahatma Ganhdi
I, who have always been introverted,
After a long time,
now I am no longer afraid of other people’s views of me.
I can also do housework well every day and feel like I love myself more.
Gradually, I also began to become an “action” person.
Nothing hinders all my activities.
And I started a cycle of minimalist living.
At first it’s just a small dot,
but later on,
I’ll definitely be able to draw a big circle.
I, a person who has always been afraid of other people’s perspectives
and did not dare to try anything,
has now done the following:
(actually a few years ago I was planning on going to school).
(I was quite nervous
when I attended monk Koike Ryunosuke’s meditation seminar).
(at first I was very worried because my body is quite stiff so when I practice,
other people will laugh or not).
Contact someone I wanted to meet and I did
(whether famous or whoever).
Participate in meetings of minimalists nationwide (It’s always fun).
Make friends online
(I’ve been able to make friends with people everywhere).
Set up your own website
(in the past,
I often criticized people who posted their own information online
for being too silly).
Moving out of the house I lived in for 10 years
(this time it took me 30 minutes to move,
next time I think it won’t take 20 minutes).
Confessed to the girl I always liked,
and we went on a date
(if it was the old me,
this would absolutely not have happened).
In the end, more than anything,
I wrote a book
(if it were me,
I would say:
Forget it, aren’t you ashamed!).
Regarding the girl I confessed my love to,
after which I was told to break up,
I consoled myself that maybe it was
because she still didn’t fully understand my minimalist lifestyle.
In the near future,
I will study English at home.
I’m also planning outdoor activities like surfing
or mountain climbing or taking a motorbike driving license test.
How could I,
someone who stays in my room all day long,
do these things?
Did aliens implant a chip in my head?
Are not! I just threw away some stuff.
If I had to choose “regret not doing it”,
I would rather choose “regret not doing it”.
If we talk about regret,
the regret of not doing something will be much greater
than the regret of having done something.
In psychology, this phenomenon is called the “Zeigarnik Effect”.
It is a phenomenon where people remember unsuccessful
or unfinished tasks longer than successful ones.
everyone must have regretted not revealing their feelings
to the person they love (I also regretted that).
And that regret follows us forever.
Those who are timid
and do not dare to try will always regret that they did not dare to try.
For such people,
I have only one advice for them:
whether you succeed or fail,
you have won because you did.
Compared to the regret
because “I didn’t dare to do it”,
the regret because “I did it wrong” is much lighter.
That’s why whether you take action
or not is directly related to your happiness.
Throwing away my favorite books,
maybe I will regret it
because I was wrong,
but I will regret it even more if I don’t throw it away.
So, I just threw it away.
Minimalist people are always positive!
“Wedding? If possible, please prepare three million yen.
In the future, I want to have two children.
So one child costs about 20 million yen,
just calculate it like that.
Then you should also save about 30 million yen for your old age.
Oh, I forgot,
there will also be about two million yen at the funeral later.”
If you suddenly mentioned that much money at once,
everyone would definitely get depressed.
And we are easily fooled by that number:
Oh, we don’t have enough money,
we have to save up a lot more…
All of this money is just money prepared for the eyes of others,
money wasted on superficial fake things.
The amount of money really needed for people’s daily lives is not that much.
If you need that much real money,
how can people in poor countries get married and have children?
If you calculate the minimum expenses needed for life,
everything will be much simpler.
If you know that you only need this much to live happily and freely,
you will choose much more challenging jobs.
For people who live minimalist lives,
nothing is easily lost.
So you can happily enjoy life.
To maintain your belongings, you cannot take risks
If you want to maintain an improved life situation over the years
and don’t want to throw away the things you have accumulated,
the only way is to maintain the current situation.
That also means you never let yourself take risks or changes.
To keep your living conditions from deteriorating,
to be able to continue owning these items,
you can only continue to do the jobs you don’t want.
People often say:
To eat, to live, you need to endure.
But “to eat, to live” here is just maintaining things
and paying attention to other people’s eyes,
all of which are just flashy things on the outside.
If there are no problems around you,
you can go anywhere at any time.
If you don’t pay attention to other people’s perspectives,
you can try anything without fear of failure.
If you get rid of the things you have on hand,
your minimal living expenses will also be reduced
and you can comfortably enjoy everything.
If you keep worrying about the same things,
you can only compare the pros and cons of each method
and spend your days trying to find which method is the most effective.
I used to be like that too and in the end
I always fell asleep without realizing it.
Now I will try it without any hesitation.
And whether it is the most effective way or not is no longer important.
I took many detours to get to the point of writing this book.
If you want to reach your destination quickly,
a crowded train is the best choice for you.
Experience cannot be stolen or stolen the important thing is
that the experience we gain through actions
and experiences is something that cannot be lent to anyone,
nor can it be taken away by anyone like regular items of furniture.
Even if someone wants to rob you of your experience,
they cannot take it away.
Experience is different from things outside the body,
it always follows you anywhere,
at any time.
And in the end,
the only thing left is your experience.
Enhance concentration. Understand yourself
“I’m as proud of the things
I haven’t done as I am of the things I am doing.” – Steve Jobs
“Silent messages” come from furniture
After getting rid of stuff,
you can improve your concentration.
Why is that?
Even though they are furniture,
they do not necessarily stay in one place,
but they always have certain messages.
In particular, the more unused items are,
the stronger the message is.
If you have an English communication book you’re reading,
it will say:
You’re really free, aren’t you?
Please try me again.
A broken light bulb tells you:
You forgot to buy a replacement.
It’s such a simple thing and yet you can’t do it.
And the pile of unwashed dishes will say:
Here we go again.
I knew right away that I couldn’t expect anything from you.
Even commonly used objects have things to say to you.
TV will say:
The programs you recorded are piling up.
Besides, it’s time to dust me off.
If you use a computer, it will say to you:
I want to be friends with the printer.
But it seems not possible.
The lotion will tell you:
Hey, it’s almost gone.
Your closet’s suit will say:
I know you’re very busy,
but can you wash me with the other suits?
Any item hopes to be treated kindly by you.
And they are lining up waiting for you to know the messages
they want to convey.
“Silent to-do list” and “real to-do list”
The more stuff you put in your house,
the longer the line gets.
And I call that long line the “Silent To-Do List”.
Things can’t say like humans,
let’s do that,
let’s handle this…
Nor can they, like our boss,
come up with a “Real To-Do List”.
But if they could talk,
this real to-do list would be even longer.
If you have too much work to do,
you will feel like everything is confusing and lose motivation.
“Trouble” means I’m thinking there are too many things on my to-do list,
or even though I have important things to do,
I’m interrupted by other troublesome things
and can’t get them done.
Always value important things
It is said that people who keep their desks messy often cannot complete their work well.
This saying also has its reasons.
Business cards, documents, books,
papers that need to be discarded,
work that needs to be completed…
everything is not organized but thrown haphazardly on the table.
There are always piles of to-do lists on your desk,
silently making your concentration significantly reduced.
When you need something,
it takes time to find it,
so it’s difficult to get the job done quickly.
Even if there is a “real to-do list,”
it’s buried in a pile of stuff on your desk
and you can’t figure out what needs to be done first.
And at this point, everything becomes “annoying”,
you will gradually feel stressed with work.
Then you won’t want to do it and open your phone,
check social networks…
Ultimately creating a vicious circle that traps you in it.
If you get rid of your belongings,
naturally the “silent messages” of those items will also be reduced.
At that time,
you will not be bothered about this
or that thing in that message anymore,
nor will your brain have to waste time processing these messages.
(“I’m so tired, let me rest first”, “Okay, I’ll do it later”).
That’s why after reducing your belongings,
your concentration improves.
You will no longer receive any redundant messages from your belongings.
Even if you receive them,
you can resolve them immediately without leaving a backlog.
In short, by reducing your belongings,
your “Silent To-Do List” is reduced,
and you can start tackling your “Real To-Do List”.
When you reduce your belongings,
you can focus on what’s important to you.
Lionel Messi’s minimalist lifestyle
To be able to focus on what is important,
we must let go of all the unimportant things. In chapter one,
I defined a minimalist as someone who cuts down on things
for the things that are important to themselves.
In my mind,
Messi is also such a person.
Everyone knows that Lionel Messi,
Barcelona’s superstar, has a very short running distance in a match.
On average, during a match,
soccer players often run 10 km.
But Messi only runs an average of 8 km.
It’s also easy to see him walking on the field.
There are even statistics showing that not only did he not run
when returning to defense,
but he also reduced the number of offensive runs he made.
Even I, someone who knows nothing about football,
knows why Messi has become the top football player in the world.
Messi always sees the important points in the match,
and in the decisive moment of winning or losing,
he always uses maximum speed to surpass his opponent.
Surely, Messi also believes that scoring goals is the most important thing.
And he put aside all other things
to focus on this important thing.
Therefore, he does not run often
to preserve his physical strength
and create opportunities to score.
The perfect minimalist – Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is a minimalist not only because he always wears the same clothes,
or minimizes redundant details in his products,
but also because he is a person who really cuts everything down.
Steve Jobs even cut the number of people going to meetings.
If there was someone he deemed unnecessary in the meeting,
he would say,
“You don’t need to attend this meeting.
Thank.” Steve Jobs always did things with the best people in the fewest numbers.
It is said that what is valued at Apple is
“ideas over process”.
No matter how great a concept a designer comes up with,
after going through the marketing department,
it’s just a normal design.
The designs at the Motor Show,
no matter how sharp they are,
cannot be commercialized at any time.
The reason is also because these designs are not ordinary.
Complex processes were often overlooked and eliminated by Steve Jobs.
For him, the more seals of approval there are,
the more the idea will decline and the slower the implementation.
The first thing Steve Jobs did after returning to Apple
Steve Jobs was always happy
even though the designer only came up with a single idea.
There is only one best thing,
so why do we need a second or third one?
The first thing when Steve Jobs returned to Apple was
to put all the messy papers like spider webs
and old machinery into a museum.
In other words, the first thing he did was cut down on things in the company.
Steve Jobs always wanted to focus on “producing products
that can change the world”,
so he cut out everything outside of this job.
What he values is not “what to do” but “what not to do”.
In my mind,
Steve Jobs is the perfect minimalist.
He is a minimalist in all aspects.
Happiness comes from focused “flow”.
There is a study about happiness born from concentration.
It is a state of concentration that psychologist Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow.”
When we encounter something that makes us highly concentrated,
that’s when we can forget everything.
If concentration is higher,
each person’s ego or ego can even disappear.
Later on, people will feel more and more satisfied
and can feel that life is truly wonderful.
If you can forget time and yourself
to focus on solving a difficult problem,
then most likely it is “flow”.
you must “feel a sense of satisfaction”.
If you focus selflessly on some pleasure
but immediately regret it after finishing it,
wondering “what did I just do?”,
that is not “flow”.
Csikszentmihalyi used musical performance as an example of flow.
Not everyone finds their “flow”.
But once you find it, you will forget all about time and yourself,
so everyone will recognize it.
Those who find their “flow” are the ones who can accumulate more and more happiness.
Humans were a hard drive 50 thousand years ago.
Neither the human brain nor the body have evolved at all since 50 thousand years ago.
If we try to fit in an abnormally increased amount of objects and information,
we will freeze like that computer with the frozen icon spinning around.
We are a digital generation,
but that doesn’t mean we have more hard drives on our chests,
nor does it mean we have more multi-functional memory.
If we reduce furniture,
the amount of messages
we receive from furniture will also decrease.
Memory for things will also be reduced,
allowing the brain to function better.
The information is also completely similar.
The content of this section is reduced information.
I also want to talk more about minimizing information.
Fold away antennas that are too wide open
There is a type of information called spam.
These are not very selective pieces of news
we often encounter in online newspapers.
At a glance, it seems like important information that attracts readers,
but in reality, it’s just information we put in our heads to kill time
and from the moment we read it until the end of our lives,
we can never remember it again.
If we keep that information,
people will suffer from information overload.
An experiment has shown that people
who are stuffed with too much junk information tend
to lose IQ more than people who smoking.
Nowadays the big problem is no longer how to get more information
but how to keep a distance from unnecessary information,
how to reduce junk information.
Every day we gain a huge amount of new information.
If you own a smartphone,
surely everyone has unconsciously opened email to check messages,
continuously opened link after link on the browser,
or lost time while playing games.
The problem now is how to reduce the amount of information
we receive every day,
and how to put away our antenna that has too wide coverage.
“Relationship fatigue” due to relying too much on social networks is becoming a topic
of concern for everyone.
But no one has been able to accurately calculate
how the feeling of anxiety and nervousness
when anyone can contact you has a negative impact on people.
Yoneda Tomohiko in Advice on Digital Detox gives very interesting examples.
You can quit your digital addiction by sending your phone or computer to the hotel when you check in.
Or when you go to a bar,
leave your phone outside the door
and then just focus on drinking and talking with friends.
At the Volkswagen company, people have stopped sending emails
to employees late at night or early in the morning.
Or at Daimler, the management board has begun
to remove the program that automatically sends emails
to employees during breaks.
These companies have removed all email outside of working hours
so employees can have their own private time.
Calm down, meditate, yoga – focus on yourself
Among those who follow the minimalist lifestyle trend,
there are many people who create the habit of calming down,
meditating or practicing yoga.
In my opinion this is completely natural.
Why so? When there are fewer objects around you,
it also means there are fewer objects in the “outside world” that disturb your attention.
At that time, we will pay more attention to our “inner person”.
At first I was not interested in these subjects,
but as time went on I found them more and more effective.
I often suddenly think about things in life,
but it only takes a few deep breaths for me to regain my distracted consciousness.
Gradually, my ability to concentrate improved significantly
and my train of thought also became clearer.
For me, calming down
or meditating is like reinstalling the “operating system” for myself.
Nowadays, even Google or Facebook are paying attention to meditation and mindfulness.
Searching on Google,
you can see that people have opened many meditation courses,
and accidentally they have also created a maze for those
who want to come to true meditation.
If you don’t take the time to reflect and reflect on yourself,
it’s easy to get drowned in the wealth of information in this world.
“Believe in yourself” thanks to a minimalist lifestyle
Since becoming aware of the minimalist lifestyle,
I began to feel my mind become clearer,
erasing the “cloudy layer” that made my mind always absent-minded.
For example, with the work in the field of education that I have done so far.
My job is to choose reputable books,
and read reviews about them.
In other words, I have to learn about a certain famous author,
and at the same time
I have to learn about famous critics who write reviews for the book.
And when there is so much information about great people and great works,
I feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to choose.
There is some knowledge that I understand very well,
but it is not my own thinking,
-so when needed,
I cannot bring it up immediately.
This knowledge is not a part of my body,
so even in conversations,
I cannot apply it.
I always have to try to understand the other person’s story
and pretend to be a very good listener.
And I don’t often speak up
because I don’t want to be considered an idiot.
Now, after a period of quieting down and meditating,
I notice a change happening within me.
When everything around me is minimized,
my attention to outside information is also minimized.
I’m no longer interested in useless news, gossip,
or even the jokes that I used to enjoy so much.
I stopped learning about what other people created,
what other people proposed…
I started to believe in my own inner voice more than the words of others.
And I feel like I have “returned to myself”.
Perhaps when I let other people’s great things out of my concern,
I find that the things that have always weighed heavily on me gradually disappear.
When you pay too much attention to the views of people around you,
you will feel less confident and very sensitive to your own failures.
You will also immediately eliminate the great ideas
you come up with because the person who came up with them is you.
There was a time when my ego was big as big as this body.
In the process of social collision,
this ego becomes smaller and smaller.
And now, after many times of being hurt and falling,
I see that small ego slowly coming back to life.
I realized that one important thing,
more important than learning about strangers out there,
is to start everything with yourself,
no matter how silly it is.
Saving is also being environmentally friendly
“The more money you make,
the more money you want.
Such people are truly foolish.” − Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The social safety net is created by oneself
There are many people who follow a minimalist lifestyle to save money.
Perhaps in the future,
people will value the social safety net created
by themselves more than that created by someone else.
Minimalist living is also an effective way to save money.
If you become a minimalist,
you can save
and accumulate quite a bit of money for yourself.
There are few items so you don’t need a large house,
so you can reduce your rent.
Sell the furniture in your house,
you will have some money.
When buying things,
you will choose carefully so it will not be wasted.
You are satisfied with the things you have
so you can reduce your desires and greed.
You are less stressed,
so you also spend less money on food and expenses to relieve stress.
You no longer pay attention to other people’s views,
so expenses such as marriage, childbirth, parenting, funeral…
only need a minimum amount of money.
If you apply the minimalist trend to your work,
you will handle work more effectively
and your salary will also be higher.
After getting rid of furniture,
I also reduced the area of my house.
From the original 25m2 house,
I moved to a 20m2 house,
the rent was also reduced by 20 thousand yen.
If I save 20,000 yen every month,
my future savings will also increase significantly.
Next time I move,
I want to move to a smaller house.
I will only keep the necessary clothes and they will all be the same.
Regarding other furniture, if it’s not broken,
there’s no need to buy new ones.
I also don’t drink alcohol just to relieve stress anymore.
I will talk more about it in more detail later,
but right now I always feel grateful for life,
so even though I don’t have delicacies,
I am still satisfied with ordinary everyday rustic dishes.
If the number of people living minimalist lives increases,
will Japan’s economy go down?
If the number of people
who are not very interested in material things increases,
what will happen to the Japanese economy?
Perhaps many people will be concerned about this.
However, the minimalist lifestyle is not so simple.
there are people who are not interested in things
and there are also people who like them very much.
For example, for the same plate,
some people can just buy one for 100 yen at the COSPA store.
But there are also people who want to buy one made by the artist himself.
There are people who only focus on the product’s function,
but there are also people who also want good quality products.
There are also minimalists who love furniture
Having few things and liking things are like two sides of the same stone.
Having few things and spending money on things are just as opposite.
However, minimalist living is not just one side of the stone.
I myself am also a person who likes to buy things.
I still like to look at magazines and see the dream items in them.
The only difference is,
now if I just like them,
I no longer want to buy them.
If a comprehensive minimalist like
Steve Jobs was born into the Japanese minimalist lifestyle trend,
how would things change?
Will Japan have a corporation like Apple?
Personally, I think I should spend money on experiences
and people rather than on material things.
I will spend money on trips,
on opportunities to experience nature,
or on transportation to meet people I want to meet.
Or you can donate money to charity funds.
Minimalist living is an effective and economical way of living.
However, it is not only that,
but it also helps you change the way
you spend money from spending money on things to spending money on experiences,
people or investing in a certain field.
If there is an item that can change a person into a “richer” person,
I am willing to spend money on that item.
But if it’s simply to show off to friends or express myself in front of everyone,
I won’t hesitate to throw it away immediately.
I will only spend money when necessary.
And if anything changes,
only those circumstances change.
Minimize throwaway furniture
Maybe it’s because I throw away so many things,
but recently I’ve started wanting to reduce the amount of things I throw away.
That thought is not necessarily
because I want to save or want to be environmentally friendly.
I felt “unaccustomed” to continuing to throw things away like this.
I used to always buy two-liter water bottles,
but then I didn’t want to throw away so many water bottles,
so I ended up using water bottles outside.
Previously, during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami,
I had a very large bookcase in my house and during the earthquake,
all the books fell out.
That’s all where I lived at that time,
but what if that area was at the center of an earthquake?
Maybe the bookshelf will fall and I’ll be stuck in there, unable to get out.
Maybe I’ll get a camera dropped on my head.
Or maybe I will be killed by the things I love like books and cameras.
20% of major earthquakes occur in Japan
Japan’s total area only accounts for 0.25% of the world,
but it concentrates 7% of the volcanoes on Earth.
And the number of earthquakes over 6M
that occurred in Japan accounted for 20% of the worldwide total.
That means if you live in Japan,
you will experience earthquakes more often than in other countries.
And if you plan to live long term in Japan,
only minimizing your belongings can be considered effective fire prevention
and earthquake response.
If you can reduce your belongings,
when there is an earthquake,
you will reduce the amount of buried property to a minimum.
In the future, earthquakes will still occur in Japan.
Therefore, the equipment prepared in advance for natural disasters cannot be abandoned.
After the East Japan earthquake and tsunami,
my album was swept away by the waves.
The souvenirs have also flowed with the water.
And the lesson I learned is to take advantage of all the means I have.
I do not recommend this method for everyone.
However, if you convert all of your souvenirs into data,
save them on your computer,
upload them online,
store them on Dropbox or Google…
then when a natural disaster occurs they will not be lost.
Dora, I don’t need 40 seconds
As long as I have a healthy body,
I can move anywhere,
because moving house takes me less than 30 minutes.
There is nothing valuable in my house.
All furniture can be purchased anywhere.
No matter what happens,
I don’t have to worry about anything.
In the animated movie Laputa:
City in the Sky,
the pirate character Dora always orders Pazu:
Prepare now in 40 seconds!
Or like in the movie War of the Worlds,
while fleeing from an alien attack,
Tom Cruise had to shout to his children:
Prepare in 60 seconds!
For me, I don’t need that much time.
Even with the items I was about to bring on the plane,
I only needed to prepare a few changes of clothes.
After waking up,
carrying my suitcase,
I was able to leave the house in less than 20 seconds.
Reducing furniture means reducing danger in earthquakes
and natural disasters.
No matter what happens,
you reduce your risk.
And you can move at any time.
That’s what I like about this lifestyle.
Change relationships with people
“A person’s value is not what he achieves but the impact he brings.”– Aibert Einstein
Don’t look at others as objects
There’s a book series that I really like called How to Get Out of Your Little Box.
Simply put, this book is about how to change relationships
between people and how to put them back in place.
There is an example like this.
here is a couple who both work so both are very busy.
The husband saw the clothes being washed and thought:
there is no need for the wife to do this anymore.
Just fold the clothes.
Even though he thought like that, he didn’t fold the clothes.
(Acting against your feelings is called “self-betrayal”).
In this case, the husband betrayed his positive thoughts.
At that time, the husband will begin to think:
“I’m also busy and tired too.
This is none of my business.
I filled it up once.”
Then he will think about his wife:
“What a mess.
How many times have I done this without even saying thank you? Unacceptable.”
Starting from betraying his own thoughts,
the husband begins to think of legitimate reasons for not folding his clothes
and blames the wife.
What about the wife?
When the wife saw the pile of clothes she was washing,
she immediately thought:
Just fold the clothes.
But when she saw the husband doing nothing,
the wife began to mumble again.
And so begins a negative cycle as follows:
both spouses think of reasons to rationalize their actions,
think badly of the other person,
and the relationship becomes deadlocked.
This series of books is really a very good series of books.
One of the things this book points out is:
Don’t look at other people as objects.
People are gradually considering family members,
company colleagues or neighbors they meet every day as fixed objects.
Every time we talk to people,
we get the same bored expressions,
so there will be times when we see them as advanced robots.
And when you treat people as “items”,
of course you will also treat them more carelessly.
Thinking a little more broadly, if both sides consider each other as objects,
then the relationship is over relationships
between people will always be like that and will never improve.
So, don’t look at others as objects,
value them as yourself, recognize them as people with desires, sadness, happiness,
worries and fears.
If you don’t betray your own thoughts and can do things for others,
relationships between people will change.
I no longer look at others as objects but see them as real people.
Less stuff, less arguments
Like the example I mentioned above,
washing clothes can also become the cause of a rift in the marital relationship.
Now let’s imagine if this couple had less clothes
and washing clothes no longer took so much effort,
what would it be like?
Since getting rid of my belongings,
I’ve enjoyed cleaning the house again,
doing laundry and washing dishes.
A lazy person like me sometimes enjoys housework.
Because after removing the furniture,
everything becomes much simpler.
I’m currently 35 years old and still single.
If I lived in a smaller house with fewer things,
I would probably enjoy housework even more.
Suppose one day I saw my wife holding a mop,
I would probably say:
Oh, you’re cleaning the house alone again,
you should call me to do it with you.
But maybe that’s just my illusion.
Many minimalists have shown me
that less stuff also means less fighting.
It is said that the Ofumi family that I introduced above,
after reducing things in the house,
they quarreled less.
And so did Mr. Yamada’s entire family.
His family has two children, each in a separate room.
Whenever there was something that needed to use a room,
it was like the two of them would argue about whose room to use.
Because the two of them kept arguing, he finally let them share a room.
So they stopped arguing.
The two of them even said:
This is better than before.
Many furniture will make us spend a lot of effort when doing housework.
They make us easily feel uncomfortable and frustrated
when our spouses and children do not help us.
Therefore, if you get rid of stuff,
you can greatly improve your relationships with people.
At that time, even if you quarrel,
you won’t have anything to smash,
or even if you overturn the table,
you won’t be afraid of breaking the lamp.
Because basically there is no light in your house.
Anti-theft small house
I heard that smaller houses can be more resistant to theft.
If you know about the case of a girl being detained at home
for nine years in Nigata province,
then you will probably understand that a space is so large
that you can live in your room without seeing anyone else in the house,
or that the house is so large
that you can live in your room without seeing anyone else in the house.
A level where you can’t know what your neighbors are like is a pretty dangerous place.
In Japan, people often think it is childish to make a child’s room,
but many people find it annoying
to let their children study in the living room.
who runs the website with me,
said that he often quarrels with his wife.
However, both of them agreed on one point:
when they quarrel,
they don’t go back to their room.
The house is small so the two of them can’t hide forever in the room every time they argue,
but on the contrary,
it is also a motivation for the two of them to face life’s problems together.
Living together in a small house,
everyone wants to spend the most comfortable days.
Therefore, both siblings must work together to find a common voice.
A small house may seem inconvenient at first glance,
but it is very useful in connecting family members.
If you throw away your belongings,
you can live comfortably in that convenient house.
And another great thing is that the house is smaller
and the price is also cheaper.
For a single person like me,
that’s the best thing.
TV – relatives
If you haven’t seen your relatives for a long time,
you and they won’t have common topics to talk about.
That’s why people often rely on TV programs.
Turn on the most popular program
and the program content will be the topic of the story.
I call this television – relatives
There is no place in my house for this theory.
If we talk about its function,
it is only a bedroom and a tea room.
In this house everything is very normal,
there are even no appliances,
so every time guests come to visit,
they are very surprised.
Because they can’t start the story in the usual ways like:
Oh, the room is so beautiful.
Where did you buy this sofa?
Or I can’t turn on the TV and find a topic to talk about,
or play a game with guests.
The only thing I can do is offer tea and just talk.
When drinking tea, the common thought of both the drinker
and the brewer is probably “the quality of the tea”.
My room is also a tea room,
without decoration or furniture.
So when people come here,
they simply face each other.
Surely no one is upset
when there is no TV or radio in the tea room
And thanks to that,
we can focus completely on each other’s stories.
The secret to a sweet married life
Every time I visit the home of a minimalist,
I talk to them in an empty room and forget the time.
That’s because we all focused on talking.
In today’s modern life,
we often see two people sitting on either side of a table,
each using their phone,
maybe playing games or looking at friends’ social networks…
Minimalist living is exactly the opposite.
If you completely focus on the other person while talking,
your relationship will change a lot.
The secret to married life is “husband and wife share a lot with each other”.
According to a survey,
compared to couples who do not talk to each other often,
couples who talk to each other talk more than five hours a week.
If the couple is too busy with work,
often quarrels about property,
and locks themselves in their room,
the time to talk will be greatly shortened.
Anyone is simply a “human”.
Perhaps after starting life with few belongings,
my perception of people has changed.
I am simply a “human”, carrying no belongings,
wearing normal clothes and walking around here and there.
This image of “human” is no different from the duck
or turtle swimming in the pond or lake.
From seeing myself as simply human,
my perception of others also changed.
I no longer feel jealous of other people’s money,
material things, or talents,
nor do I look down on those who don’t have those things.
Now, even if I meet a rich and talented person,
I no longer feel inferior about myself.
Or when I meet someone who has nothing,
I will no longer criticize them for not trying as before.
A person who has many things does not mean he is a great person,
and a person who has nothing does not mean he is a mediocre person.
I simply see them as human beings.
Because of thinking like that,
my relationships with people also seem to have changed.
I have eliminated the thought of distinguishing between rich and poor,
I consider everyone the same.
And I have nothing to be ashamed of myself.
If you had 100 friends,
what would you be like?
I heard this story from a colleague in the company.
There is a guy who is very friendly,
funny, and attractive to women.
When he held a birthday party,
100 people came to celebrate.
Because this guy likes wine,
it is said that everyone brought a bottle of wine to celebrate.
When I first heard this story,
I – someone who doesn’t have many friends
– was very jealous of him.
Usually when I have a birthday party,
people who love me will come to congratulate me.
If I had that many friends like him,
maybe I wouldn’t feel lonely,
and in difficult times,
there would be many people to help.
However, maybe that guy will have to go to a birthday party every three days.
If you have 100 friends, each of whom has a birthday party,
and you love everyone,
then on average you will have to go to a birthday party every three days.
Minimalist friendships are also great
There is a saying about friends:
The magic number for friends or colleagues is three.
If you have three close friends who know each other well,
even if you only see one person every weekend,
you will have a happy month.
Keeping close friendships at such a minimal level is also a great thing.
On the contrary,
if you have many friends it also means you have many relationships,
but you will not be able to dedicate yourself to all of them.
And what you get in the end is just as superficial as what you give.
Every minimalist has few things,
but they always appreciate each one.
That’s why they always feel happy
and satisfied with what they have.
Fewer things does not mean less contentment.
As I said above, having many friends will make you feel proud,
but you will not be able to be devoted to everyone.
If you have friends with whom you cannot share your thoughts,
stop that relationship. It’s like throwing things away.
If that item is really important,
you will need it again and have it again.
Likewise, if that person is really important,
you will definitely have a way to reconnect with them.
Things the movie Into the Wild taught me
There is a movie called Into the wild.
The film is based on a true story about a guy named Chris McCandless
who was born into a wealthy family
and graduated from college with excellent results.
However, he gave up everything,
cut off all relationships and lived alone in nature in Alaska.
The end of the film is the tragic death of the main character,
and the final message the film leaves behind is:
Happiness is only real when shared.
And what Chris McCandless taught me is this:
even if you can leave money
and material things behind, you cannot live alone.
The secret of the world’s longest living village
Chris McCandless once pointed out that
the key to feeling happy is having relationships in which you share happiness.
And people are even more limited happiness will live longer.
Psychologist Ed Diener has drawn a conclusion from his studies:
People who feel truly happy can live 9.4 years longer.
In Italy there is a beautiful island called Sardinia.
Here, for every four thousand people,
there is one person over a hundred years old,
a rate 2.5 times higher than the world average.
On this island,
there is a village that
Guinness World Records confirmed has the world’s nine oldest brothers
living in the same village.
In this village,
most people are relatives,
know each other and live peaceful lives.
Brothers, sisters, and relatives live close together,
supporting each other and everyone in the village.
This love-filled life has contributed to prolonging the lifespan of people here.
The same is true in Okinawa,
Japan’s famous village for its high longevity.
Everyone you meet could be your brother.
Elderly people look after the neighborhood children,
people live in rich relationships and lives full of love.
The happier people are,
the longer they live.
When investigating people who live long,
the results show that they all have very good relationships.
Of course, not to the level of 100 people as I mentioned above.
There are also people who are not married.
But they are very close to their neighbors,
close to everyone.
And this is indispensable in happiness.
Mirror neurons, empathy cells
Mahatma Gandhi, a proletarian,
said: Instead of buying this
or that to make yourself happy alone,
contributing to others will make your life richer.
Even though I cannot spend my whole life fighting for others like Mahatma Gandhi,
I still feel happy when I can do something for everyone.
When I do something for others,
I receive a smile from them.
And when I see that smile I feel so happy.
Why is that?
Helping others makes you happy has been scientifically explained.
There is a type of nerve cell called a mirror neuron.
Under the influence of this nerve cell,
as long as you see someone injured or falling, you will also feel pain.
Or in other words,
the mechanism of this cell is to give you a feeling similar
to the feeling of someone you see.
The feeling of being fascinated when reading stories,
watching movies, watching cartoons…
that we often call movie addiction
story addiction… is also caused by the impact of this cell.
If the main character is miserable,
you will also feel miserable, or if the story is happy,
you will be happy too.
Similarly, when you see smiles on the faces of the people you help,
under the influence of mirror neurons,
you will also feel happy.
Default “friendly” mode
Besides mirror neurons, there are other mechanisms
that make us feel empathy for people.
when seeing the scene of people helping a child swept away
by a flood in the river,
many people felt choked up…
Those people who shed tears do not mean
they are sad and sentimental people.
When you see a rescue scene on the river,
your brain will produce endorphins.
Endorphin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that
creates positive emotions and improves mood.
Just seeing the action of helping others,
under the influence of this substance,
you will feel happy.
Of course, not only by looking,
but also when you directly help others.
Giving up your seat on the bus to the elderly and pregnant women,
returning dropped items to the person in front…
just with those small actions, you will feel happy.
Surely everyone understands this feeling.
The reason is that at that time,
endorphins that create a feeling of happiness are produced.
In short, each person has a pre-installed mode
that creates a feeling of happiness
when helping or sympathizing with others.
Humans are animals that know how to organize society.
Therefore, people are reflexively formed to feel happy
when doing something for others. If we say so,
then the distinction between good people
and hypocrites seems to no longer have any meaning.
Because when you do something for someone,
it’s ultimately for yourself.
Even if you do it for yourself,
the reality is that you still do something for everyone.
Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish them.
If you have few belongings,
even your relationships with people will change.
But even if you have less stuff,
the mechanism of happiness remains the same.
Enjoy the present
“No matter what you say,
distinguishing between past,
present and future is just an illusion.”– Albert Einstein
The future is unthinkable
I threw away a lot of my stuff.
Even the items that I will “sometime” use.
And a strange thing happened, that is,
I didn’t think about my future anymore.
It’s like the door called the future has closed,
no matter how much I want to think about it,
I can’t think of anything.
Why is that?
I just threw away some stuff.
This situation is completely opposite to what I was before.
Before, I often worried about his future.
I chose a job in publishing, an aging industry.
Even though I’m an editor,
I can hardly do much.
My scope of work is very limited.
And with just a little change,
I could be fired at any time.
But I’m also 35 years old this year,
so changing jobs at this time is a bit difficult.
no close friends,
perhaps only death in solitude awaits me…
I used to have such thoughts about my uncertain future.
Don’t wash dishes that aren’t dirty yet
In Dale Carnegie’s book Stop Worrying and Live,
I like the quote most:
Don’t wash dishes that aren’t dirty yet.
The number of dishes
that have to be washed today is only the number of dishes in one day.
But if you think about the number of dishes tomorrow,
the day after tomorrow or in a year,
anyone will feel worried
when having to do this job,
even the dishes for the day cannot be done.
Likewise, future unemployment, marriage, childbirth,
illness, old age and death are the dirty dishes of the future.
After starting a minimalist life,
I learned a big lesson.
That is, for items that “someday” will be needed,
only then should we buy them.
you can just throw it away for now.
In the future,
maybe I will be unemployed,
maybe I will die alone.
But I’ve realized that I shouldn’t be so worried
until I’m unemployed,
or until the end of my life.
Why do you take all the responsibility on yourself?
When the time comes,
someone will automatically take over,
wouldn’t that be better?
You should only worry when necessary.
Suggestions are for right now only
Every time I throw something away,
I ask myself over and over again, is it necessary “right now”?
With this repetition,
I no longer pay attention to “some time”
and can recognize suggestions
that are only for the present.
When the door called “future” is lowered,
even if you think about it,
ou can’t think of anything.
I only wash the dishes for the day,
and I only do my current work.
And when I no longer think about things that haven’t happened yet,
I find life much happier.
Best of all,
I can focus on the present.
The items were once a testament to themselves
Likewise, I no longer keep items that I “used to” need.
Only considering the present time,
I don’t keep any of the important things in the past,
or the items that I always wanted to have in the past.
Even the items that once bore my own mark were thrown away.
I am simply a “human” with nothing.
I also don’t carry anything that proves my worth as a person.
I used to be a closed and dark person.
Throwing away all the items from the past also means
that I can say goodbye to that gloomy past of mine.
And so, I can focus on the present me.
Experience is in the present
Among animals, only humans can partially predict the future.
And as I explained in chapter two,
this possibility is only true for very short periods of time.
For example, it only helps you in a few seconds to run away from enemies
or tells you which direction to move to catch prey…
Since primitive times,
this ability to predict is only valid for a short period of time.
very short time.
while you may know how you feel right after buying an iPhone,
you can’t imagine the scenario a year later when you use it.
It is thought that it is possible to predict the future,
and to do that, people make a lot of meticulous plans.
When making those plans,
they often feel like they are in the future,
but remember that no one in this world can “experience” the future.
If you speak you can experience the short future about five seconds later.
Okay, so close your eyes and count.
Time out! And what you feel is “now”.
Experiencing the future is impossible.
No one can even feel past experiences exactly as they happened.
What we remember is just a collection of bright spots in our memory.
In reality, there is no future or past.
It’s all just series of “now” moments that last forever.
And what you experience can only be in the present.
Einstein once said that you cannot distinguish between past,
future, and present.
People always sigh
Those who think it is possible to experience the future
consider the present as non-existent.
To have a bright future,
they will always wonder what they can be proud of.
However, as I said above,
we can only experience in the present,
so those who are always thinking about in the future,
they will always have to think like that.
If you want to change something,
the only way is to change it right now.
In this world there is no such thing as tomorrow or next week.
And even if you wait until a year later,
that time is only the “now” time.
It’s all about the present moment.
After throwing away all the items saved for the future
and the things I used in the past,
I can now focus absolutely on my own present.
I don’t have anything scary in the future anymore.
With no more things to get in the way,
my life is so easy.
In the future, no matter what happens,
no matter how life changes,
I will no longer compare myself to others.
Maybe I’ll live a poor life, maybe I’ll wallow in misery,
but I’ll enjoy it.
And no matter what happens,
I just enjoy my “present” time.
Know how to appreciate
“There are only two ways to live human life.
One is to live without leaving any trace,
the other is to live and leave everything for the next life.”– Albert Einstein
Few things teach me to appreciate
This is an old story of mine.
When I get rid of stuff,
my room becomes empty.
And when I slept in bed as usual,
I felt strange.
I don’t understand
why I feel so grateful and appreciative of the things in my house.
It was a feeling that I had never had before.
During the time when I only focused on the things I lacked,
I never knew the words “thank you” for the things I had.
I just lingered on things that didn’t belong to me.
I always feel like I don’t have this, not enough of that…
but at that time,
in my room there was a bed,
a table and chairs,
and even air conditioning.
Looking back now,
I see that at that time,
I had all the amenities to sleep comfortably,
bathe, cook, and have fun at home.
I finally began to be grateful that I had a roof
to protect me from the wind and rain.
Maybe if I continue to carry around those items,
I will never know what it is to appreciate them.
Appreciate the TV,
video game sets, tape decks,
all kinds of remotes…
With fewer things,
I can appreciate all the things I have.
Knowing how to appreciate, the solution to overcome boredom
As I explained to you in chapter two,
people always repeat a process from “familiar” to “boring”.
The only solution to this problem is to be grateful and appreciate things.
Know how to be grateful and appreciate,
you will no longer feel bored
because you always see and use the same item for a long time.
You may even feel lucky to have items that you currently find boring.
From there, you can find freshness in your daily life.
Thanks to appreciation,
you no longer take the things you have for granted anymore.
That’s because appreciation creates a different “stimulus” for you.
This stimulation also helps you feel more secure than the stimulation
when you buy new things or add furniture to your home.
No matter how many things you have,
if you don’t know how to appreciate them, you will quickly get bored of them.
On the contrary, even if you have few things,
if you know how to appreciate all of them,
you will find life very satisfying.
“The shelf of five shops”
– the habit of being grateful
people must pray and recite a “verse of the five contemplations”.
Simply put in modern language,
this verse is as follows:
Ponder the origin of the dish.
(How was this dish made? Who brought it and how?)
Ask yourself whether you have accumulated enough virtue today
to deserve this meal?
Don’t eat in a hurry, don’t think about others,
just focus on the meal in front of you.
Not eating like a connoisseur to see if a dish is good or bad,
but eating to maintain one’s life.
Eat this meal to accomplish your goals.
This verse has immense power.
Instead of going to the store a thousand times,
if you recite this verse a thousand times,
you will find your life much more satisfying.
Focusing on your meals helps you appreciate the meals you have.
Because you appreciate meals,
you focus more on meals.
Just like that, every meal is a time for you to reflect on yourself.
Steve Jobs often stood in front of the mirror and asked himself:
Today is the last day of my life.
Do I really want to do all my plans today?
And he has maintained that habit for 33 years,
every day reflecting on whether he has faded at all or not.
Likewise, the five contemplations verse is not simply the words
you say on your lips,
but also the time you reflect on each of your own actions.
I used to be a huge foodie.
I like delicious food.
But now, I don’t want to waste time looking for delicious food anymore.
Even if I’m no longer considered a gourmet,
I don’t mind.
Just don’t forget the feeling of gratitude for the food,
whatever no matter how meager the meal,
I can still focus on the food
and feel lucky to be able to eat it.
Being thankful is not a means to happiness
Now I understand how powerful it is to be grateful.
Back in elementary school,
I certainly learned about the importance of saying thank you in ethics class,
but I had forgotten all about it.
Those empty, boring words “thank you,
appreciate it” are nothing to take seriously.
And now, after taking a huge detour,
I seem to understand the importance of gratitude again.
That’s why from now on I will practice the habit of being grateful.
This time, I will definitely not forget.
when I read the book “Conversations with God” by Satoumi Tsurou,
I felt really surprised.
In that book it is written:
The moment you know how to be grateful is also the moment you are happy.
Suddenly, I thought of a scenario called “happiness”.
Stay in a luxurious inn,
bathe in a spacious open-air bath.
Then enjoy a hearty meal.
Perhaps everyone wants that scenario to come true,
and surely everyone will know “thank you” at that time.
beautiful big bathtubs,
if you are provided with excellent conditions,
you will naturally feel “grateful”.
And you will think to yourself:
When you feel happy,
you definitely feel grateful too.
Therefore, gratitude is not a means for you to be happy
but a part of happiness.
According to experimental psychology research results,
people who often feel grateful are happy people.
And that is also obvious,
because gratitude itself is happiness.
Being grateful is looking at it positively
Being grateful is a positive way of looking at things.
When seeing half a glass of water, some people will think:
Oh, there are other half cups like this.
But there are also people who think:
There’s only half a cup left.
Positive thinking like “half a glass of water left”
is the essence of gratitude.
That’s the feeling:
How lucky are there half a glass of water left?
Gratitude is not looking at everything negatively,
seeing everything as lacking,
but a positive way of looking at everything in front of you.
It’s the feeling that just this is enough.
Being grateful is “looking” in a positive way.
Combine being present and grateful
As I mentioned above, humans can only experience the “now”.
You cannot through the five senses re-experience the past
as truly as you can in the present.
And even though it feels like you are experiencing the future,
when that time comes, it will all become “now.”
That’s why you can only experience the “now”.
“Grateful” is a “positive outlook” on everything.
What would happen if these two elements were combined?
Please try it with me.
It only takes a minute of your time.
In this one minute,
you must be “grateful” for the “now”.
In other words,
you have to “look at the present positively” for a whole minute.
I’m currently in a family restaurant late at night.
The only remaining guests were me, so I felt a bit bored.
However, this store is open until midnight just to serve me alone.
The staff in the store looked quite cold,
but when they brought the food,
they gave me a warm wish:
Wishing you a good appetite.
The chair I sat in was very ordinary but I felt extremely comfortable.
The bar menu never changes, but your drink is always filled.
Glasses and cups are also cleaned thoroughly.
When I left that restaurant,
I saw a couple walking in front of me,
and I felt a bit jealous of them.
But looking back,
I just had some really great things.
Let’s continue to imagine. Currently,
I take the train to work,
a boring process that I go through every day.
The passenger in front of me was being held at the ticket gate
because the balance on his Suica1 card was insufficient.
However, you have to admit to me that
the Suica card is a wonderful invention and very convenient.
Escalators are designed to allow two people to stand in a row,
but we always only stand in a row of one person,
which is a feature of Japanese culture.
Stepping onto the train packed with people,
how lucky we are that
there are so many people
and we don’t have to live in a doomed world like in the movies.
It’s quite hot today,
but if you come to the company,
there will be fans and air conditioning to cool you down right away.
Although my salary is not much,
I earn enough money every month.
Every day the work is the same boring,
but if I stay focused,
I can handle the workload.
The partner is always grumbling on the phone,
but if you consider this as part of the job,
it’s not so bad.
I’m tired at work and so is my partner.
The juniors in the company never do good work,
but on the contrary,
they never complain and always help me at work.
Working continuously for many days makes me feel tired and stressed,
but fortunately I am not sick and still have enough strength to work
I feel my life is too happy.
How about you?
If you continue to think like that,
you will always feel “grateful” for the “present”.
And a person who always looks at “the present” positively will always be optimistic,
tolerant and never give up on life.
They are friendly,
gentle and always happy people.
And perhaps at some point,
they can change their “reality”.