Minimalist Friend

Minimalists are well known to cherish and love the people and stuff around them. Their spaces are highly treasured and if something isn’t valued, you’ll find it hard for them to have a place by them.

If you have a minimalist friend, congratulations. This is because, you can expect that you are someone special to them. You have a friend who is loyal and dear.

So, if you do have one, congratulations. I urge you to hold on to them tightly because you can be sure that that’s what they’ll do to you too.

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My Desk

I always make it a priority to keep my desk minimalist. Most of the time, it has just my laptop and my mouse on it. I try to not leave anything that I do not use on it. A clean, uncluttered desk reduces my worries and keeps my creative juice flowing.

The probability of things being knocked over increases when a desk is messy. On top of that, we may have difficulties locating the stuff that we need if we do not make it an effort to keep our desk tidy. This causes frustrations and affects various aspects of our lives, such as our work, our relationships and our mental and physical health.

Therefore, we should always strive to keep our desks, and other parts of our surroundings, uncluttered and clean.

Does It Spark Joy?

In case you start wondering, no, I am not jumping on the recent Marie Kondo bandwagon.

By now, you might have already come across the term “spark joy” multiple times. “Spark joy” is a term that is popularized by the famous Japanese organizing consultant, Marie Kondo. She has already sold millions of books all over the world and her recent show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, has propelled her popularity to even further heights.

More than just a catchy slogan, “does it spark joy?” is actually an extremely helpful question to ask ourselves when we find ourselves stuck in the process of decluttering our stuff.

When many of us are decluttering, we tend to go through the cruel process of interrogating our stuff. “This belt is damaged, I’m getting rid of it.”, “I don’t like the colour of this bag anymore. Therefore, I’m going to throw it away.”, “I haven’t listened to this CD for years, time to say bye bye.” All these may seemed innoucuous, but by enforcing negative perspectives onto our once-adored belongings may just be really unfair to them. Also, negativity breeds negativity. Therefore it’ll be wise if we can distant ourselves from all those self-incurred negative thoughts, as much as possible.

When we’re asking whether if something sparks joy, we seek to better understand the relationship between ourselves and our belongings. We allow positivity to naturally manifest. And if the answer is “no, it doesn’t”, we might just find the magnitude to let them go.

Image from KonMari

The 2 Prisons We Live In

Our Desires

It is inevitable that we all have some forms of desire.

Our desires dictate us to pursue them. Some of our desires are strong, some of our desires are weak.

The stronger our desires are, the stronger our urge to acquire them becomes. The more desires we have, the more energy we expend in chasing after them.

Our Possessions

We buy stuff. We use them. We grew attached to them. Then we start to develop fear of losing them. We find it impossible to let them go. And just like this, we become prisoners to our possessions.

Yielding our precious freedom to them.

Conclusion

Our desires and possessions are the things that keep us motivated and happy in our lives. However, if we are not careful, we can easily relinquish ourselves and become prisoners to them.

Therefore, it is important that we develop a healthy relationship with our desires and possessions. Our desires and possessions must always serve us with meaning and purpose.

If they ever fail to do so, we must be prepared to let them go.

3 Ways To Let Go

Letting go is an essential part of any minimalist’s journey. Here’s 3 ways of letting go that I have used in mine.

Sell

Selling is, perhaps, the most ideal way of letting go. After all, we will be getting back some money for our once-loved possessions. If our negotiation skills are good, we can even make profits from the sales of them.

Selling our stuff has become easier in the 21st century as there are currently plenty of apps available to help facilitate the transactions between buyers and sellers.

Give

Sometimes, we may encounter difficulties in selling our stuff. When this happen, we may consider giving our stuff away.

We can either give them away to our friends and family or to the charity and the needy. However, please ensure that your intended recipients are keen to accept your give-away’s. The last thing we want is to pass on our problems to become someone else’s problems. That would be kind of inconsiderate.

Throw

Sometimes, letting go via throwing away becomes inevitable. Usually, this is necessary when there are no takers of our unwanted items (Yes, our once prized possessions may someday be deemed worthless).

Throwing away may cause detrimental effects to our environment. Therefore, please consider if they can be recycled first before putting them into the rubbish bin.

Conclusion

We will continue to be trapped in the vicious cycle of buying, selling, giving, and throwing if we fail to identify and acknowledge the root of the problem.

Most of those stuff exist simply because of our impulses in the past. The next time when you see something that you really desire, just give yourself a little more time to consider if you really, really need them.

3 Things Fathers Really Want For Fathers’ Day

Fathers’ Day is around the corner and for many of us, it’s also the time where we all start scratching our heads in unison and ponder how can we give our fathers a celebration to remember.

Our Presence

I used to believe that everyday should be Fathers’ Day (or Mothers’ Day, or Valentines’ Day, etc.) I still think it should. But such believes are simply unrealistic as everyone has their own endeavours to pursue in their everyday lives.

Therefore, special occasions like these are an opportunity for us to get together and express our love and gratitude to the special people in our lives.

Happy, Healthy, and Well

For fathers, nothing beats seeing their loved ones happy, healthy, and well. There’s nothing in the world that a father will exchange for the wellness of the people they love. Therefore, this is the greatest gift a child can give to his/her father.

To Be Frugal

As a father myself, I will be worried if my loved ones spend a bomb on the celebration.

The purpose of having Fathers’ Day is for us to remember and show gratitude to the sweat and tears our fathers sacrificed while ensuring we grow up well, not another day for us to have an excuse to exercise our mindless consumerism behaviours.

Spending a fortune on it might inadvertently erodes the meaning of the occasion.

Conclusion

I can assure you that our fathers will not frown at us if we have not prepare any special gifts for them. It also doesn’t even matter where our celebrations will take place at.

Just remember to put away your phones and simply give your father your love and attention that they deserve and I guarantee that that will bring a smile to their faces, if not their hearts.

6 Ways To Get Rid Of Your Debt

Debt, if left unattended, is bound to cause insurmountable damages to us. Therefore, getting rid of them should be of paramount importance to anyone who has them. If you’re drowning in debt and dying to get yourself out of it, here’s 6 ways that may just help you to do so.

Have A Plan

It is important to devise a repayment plan and stick to it. Ensure that a portion of your monthly income goes to the repayment and the amount should be significant and realistic. The amount allocated must also be able to gradually reduce the overall debt amount.

Clear The Smaller Debt First

Assuming you have a total of three sets of unpaid loans. Ideally, you should work towards clearing off the smallest one first. By doing so, you eliminate the number of your existing sets of loans from three to two. The reason for this is to help you achieve the “small victories”, that are important to keep you motivated in your arduous journey of becoming debt free. However, it is also important to put other factors into consideration as well, such as the payment due dates and interest rates. If you have a loan that has a 5% interest rate and another one with 25% interest rate, it is then only logical to prioritize eliminating the 25% one first.

Change Your Circle

In the midst of our money problems, it is also important that we pay attention to our social circle. If we are in debt and continuing spending time with friends who enjoy exquisite and expensive lifestyles, maybe it is a better idea to avoid joining them for the time being (at least until we become debt free again). At such times, we simply cannot continue to indulge in $40 catch-up meals and $50 karaoke sessions. An occassional treat is fine but ultimately, focus, discipline, and perseverance is all we need.

Change Your Habits

Our poor financial state is often a result of our day to day spending habits, rather than a massive, one-off purchase. Therefore it is important for us to align our lifestyle habits to our financial capabilities. Those innocuous $5 breakfast sets that we reward ourselves every morning may seem insignificant but it actually adds up to $1,825 a year. Your chance of achieving debt free status will increase exponentially if you are willing to replace those $5 breakfast sets with some homemade sandwiches.

Borrow

Borrowing may be deemed sensitive and shunned upon by many but if there’s someone who trusts you and is willing to help, it can relief you the burden of the usually-high interest rates and legal pressure from the various banks and loan firms. However, this route must be treaded carefully and repayment must be carried out timely as promised.

Track

Lastly, track your progress. Being able to visually witness our debt being reduced works wonders to our self-belief and confidence.

Author’s Note

In case you’re wondering, the above ways are indeed tried and proven ways to get one out of debt.

No prize for guessing who the sucker, who had to use them, was.