I remember the moment vividly. It was the first day of a macroeconomics class in college, and the professor asked us each to answer whether we believe that “more is more” or “less is more.” The first two rows of students answered, “more is more.” But when it got to me, I said “less is more,” which catalyzed a chain reaction of similar responses.
At the end of the exercise, the professor told us that if we answered “less is more,” we were wrong.
I couldn’t help but respectfully disagree with her then, just as I do now. I understood that she was viewing the question from a capitalistic standpoint. More products sold = more money earned = success…right? Well, that all depends on your definition of success. For me, being successful means being happy, and I become overwhelmed by an excess of things.
“I feel like I should want more, but I don’t. I want less. Less stuff, less rushing, less stress, less noise. I want simplicity.” -Brooke Hampton.
Like the author of this quote, I often feel pressured to want more.
Don’t I want to further my education? Don’t I want to reach the top of the job ladder? Don’t I want a bigger house or to turn my hobbies into a side hustle to earn money? Didn’t I want to host my wedding at a more expensive venue or with more guests? Don’t I want more knickknacks?
The answer, as of now, is no, thank you. I’m happy exactly where I’m at, as a quasi-minimalist.
Some may say that living simply denotes a lack of drive, but I think it denotes a great drive to live authentically.
Living with “less” doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals or like being surrounded by nice things. I still want to renovate the basement because it is dank and wood-paneled. I’d like to get a literary agent to represent my next book. I have “too much” of some things, like clothing, because I genuinely use most of them.
It simply means that I try to remove the stress from things as much as possible and surround myself with only the people, experiences, and things that bring me comfort, joy, and peace. It means that I try not to overcomplicate things. Because, less is more, for me.
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