Like the ever undulating ups and downs of anything committed to in our lives, I have had strong momentum with living a minimalist lifestyle and I have had expected setbacks. Although setback at times, I am still motivated to dig even deeper into this topic and explore all the different avenues the minimalist principle can be applied.
Minimalism at it’s core is the discharging of anything that does not add value in our lives and the retaining of only those things that do. A fantastic principle that unfortunately cannot be lived out 100 percent.
“But Spencer, why can it not be committed to 100 percent?” the reader asks.
Ah, I think it is because we are mortals and most everything about us is anything but perfect. The only thing we can be certain of is that we cannot do anything at a 100 percent commitment.
C.S. Lewis describes the human race as “creatures of undulation.” Undulation is the process by which waves reach the crest and trough stages. Just as the ups and downs of waves are inherent to an ocean, so are the ups and downs of any one’s commitment to any one thing.
With this in mind, failure is to be expected. But that is the beauty of it all! We are not meant to commit to something and then immediately experience a never derailed course. We are humans, we are here to learn and improve to hopefully reach a state in which everything we do is for purpose. However, to get there, we need to expect that we will not be able to commit to something 100 percent.
If you are a believer of God, you might think of God as Someone who does not waste time, and I would relate with you on that belief. If God is perfect, then of course anything He commits to is going to be committed to 100 percent.
Now it is my personal belief that it is our over all purpose to try to emulate God the best we can and everything we do in this life is to one day be closer to Him and His Godly attributes. Just as God spends 0% of His time on matters that, well, don’t matter, I strive and look forward to the day when I can have the ability to commit to something 100 percent and literally spend 0% on the things that don’t matter.
If you have not guessed it yet, I like to call this principle “The 0% Law” and am convinced of its relation with minimalism. Basically, I want to work on spending 0% on the things in my life that hold no value.
Just as minimalism teaches us that not all things in life are valuable, The 0% Law helps me to apply this principle in my behavior rather than just the things I own.
Even if one does not believe in God, it would be hard to argue that striving to get to a point of not wasting time is a good thing. I am aware of my natural undulation and do not expect to commit to anything 100 percent, but I do work towards decreasing the percent I spend on those things which really do not matter.
My life is full of behaviors that don’t add value to anyone or any goal of mine. Why would I continue these activities if they are completely a waste of time? I have confidence that anyone in true evaluation of themselves can discern what actions are valueless.
I can’t even tell you how many times I find myself consuming unnecessary media or taking time wasting naps and discover that I feel so useless and lethargic. It is in these moments that I can plainly discern that what I am doing holds no value.
It is in my journey of minimalism that I realize the importance of being aware of my behaviors and trying to work towards spending 0% on those things which don’t matter to me.