“The pursuit of enough, while erasing the superfluous, is the most challenging and gratifying lesson we can learn”.
– Reece Pater
Instead of writing about Minimalism, and the offloading of possessions, I thought I would share my take on conscious consuming. Because if you are one who has gone down the path of minimalising what you own, then you will eventually achieve a base-level of ownership that will inevitably lend itself to an occasional purchase. Plus, the allure of acquiring more things never goes away, and may also become stronger shortly after de-cluttering. All that extra space may look very inviting for new stuff, haha.
So what is conscious consuming?
Well it is basically just maintaining a deeper awareness of what you choose to bring into your life. It is the ability to consistently assess whether a new acquisition is really needed. Just recently, I was seriously considering purchasing a new MacBook Pro. Not a cheap purchase, but considering I am very much a minimalist, I have a lot more money than I have had in previous years due to consuming much less. So money, for the first time, was not part of my decision process. I researched all of the different models, and also tried to condense my selection based on what I needed. However, in a moment of clarity, I realised that one of the prime drivers for this purchase was to open up more gaming options, due to a better processor, RAM etc. And when I really thought about it, the games I like best still run fine on my current laptop (which I have now had for about 6 years). In fact my current Samsung laptop still runs super fast (due to maintaining it properly and cutting back the programs to the essential). Once I was able to step back, and look at this purchase without “shiny new technology tunnel vision”, It became an easy and obvious decision to just keep being grateful for the Laptop I already own. I must admit that this was not as easy a decision as I have made out, especially as my sister purchased a brand new MacBook that I now look at everyday! Haha. But I am content with my Laptop, and have committed to using it until it legitimately breaks down and starts to lose its primary functions.
This is just one of the many challenges that comes with becoming a conscious consumer, because there is always going to be something new and exciting that may cause you to lose sight of what you actually need. This was one of my biggest challenges this year, especially because apple tech is just so damn awesome!
I think the trick to conscious consuming and also maintaining a minimalist mindset, is to consistently review whether the things you own still serve you, and whether or not your consistent purchases are in-line with your values. By doing this every couple of months, I have found that there is usually always something that changes. Something may be donated or sold, or you may pick-up on some newly created purchasing habits that don’t fit with your overall values or philosophy. I feel this is very cleansing to do, and it keeps me on track.
Have you cut-back your possessions, just to be sucked into more new stuff? Do you re-assess your ownership of things regularly?
Let me know in the comments! 🙂