Minimalism or Maximalism?
To say that people have strong opinions when it comes to minimalism is an understatement. On the one hand, minimalism is a form of personal liberation in which you choose to live with just what you need. In fact, people who embrace the minimalist mindset often say that this lifestyle transforms their lives for the better.
On the other hand, maximalists believe that many of today’s conveniences and technologies are so vital to their happiness and success in life that they would not be able to function without them. They argue that embracing a minimalist lifestyle is not compatible with being a healthy happy person who has everything they need in order to thrive both mentally and physically.
By reading this article, you will learn:
- What minimalism is and why its practitioners often embrace it as a lifestyle.
- What minimalism is and why many people have a hard time embracing it as a philosophy.
- How being able to relate to the two philosophies can be helpful to you emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Have you ever heard of minimalism yet still feel conflicted when you think about how to approach it? Or do you tend to end up with a bunch of random clutter because your minimalist idea of minimalism is only in certain aspects, and not realized completely in others?
If so then this guide will be helpful in making sense of what minimalism is from the perspective of being a minimalist. Understanding these two different schools of thought about minimalism can be helpful to many people because they will know whether or not minimalism is right for them. In other words, these different perspectives on minimalism can help people narrow down what it really means to have a minimalist mindset and style.
What is Minimalism?
Before moving on, it’s important to clarify what minimalism really is. The dictionary defines minimalism as the practice of being “barely adequate” or having only the most basic of needs. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at what being minimalist entails in terms of personal experience.
A lot of people choose to live a minimalist lifestyle because they want to break free from the confines of possessions. They see it as a way for them to live more freely and not be bound by excessive belongings that have no meaning or use to them.
As mentioned before, minimalism is an ideology that encourages wholesome living. Minimalism teaches that people only need the bare essentials to maneuver through life. Therefore, anything that can be replaced or replaced with something else shouldn’t be taken for granted and should either be discarded or processed.
To let this sink in, let’s take a look at another definition: minimal: having little in quantity; of limited size; short in duration; scanty: “he earned a scant salary” (period).
Minimalism defines the phrase “things you don’t need” by cutting down on your possessions and/or belongings, thereby making space for what truly matters to you in life.
What is Maximalism?
Maximalism is the complete opposite of minimalism. It’s the idea that more is better and that you should take advantage of all the opportunities to satisfy, support, and improve your life.
Maximalists value their belongings and don’t like sharing or spending money on things that they feel they don’t need. On the contrary, maximalists love buying stuff because they believe these items help them live a better life.
One can deduce from this definition that:
Maximal: suggesting or having the greatest degree: “a maximal experience” (pertaining to something).
Maximalism encourages indulgence not only in lifestyle but also in material possessions because it’s about having everything you need to live your luxurious life.
let’s get deep into this:
- Why practitioners often embrace minimalism as a lifestyle?
Being minimalist is a lifestyle choice that gives people the freedom to live their lives in a way that works best for them. It allows people to embrace the idea of living with only what they need without being bound by excess stuff.
A lot of people, especially millennials, are embracing minimalism as a lifestyle because it empowers them to live life on their terms. Minimalism encourages you to be creative by thinking outside of the box, and not following conventional thought processes. This makes it easier for individuals transitioning into an minimalist paradigm to find creative freedom within themselves, something that’s hard to find in other situations.
Many proponents of minimalism are doing so because they want to live in a way that allows them to have more control over their lives. They believe that allowing yourself to only have the bare essentials is a healthy way for you to live, one that allows you to plan in the long-run the things you want to achieve.
Being in control can be very empowering in everyday life. It allows people to have more freedom when it comes to planning their lives and makes it easier for them to dictate how they want things in their lives.
For example, if someone doesn’t know how or where they want to get ready before work or school then minimalism encourages them to get organized the night before instead of winging it when they get there.
- Why many people have a hard time embracing maximalism as a philosophy?
In contrast to minimalists, people who embrace maximalism often do so because they feel that more is better. They believe that having more possessions will correlate with a happier and more successful life.
In a way, these individuals feel empty because they have no idea what they truly need in life and feel stuck with all the stuff they think they need.
This is why many people who embrace maximalism as a philosophy equate it with being selfish or greedy. In a way, these people think that taking on a minimalist lifestyle is not possible because you’re supposed to have everything you can ever dream of having in life from the second you’re born until you die.
What drives us to make this statement?
We think that both schools of thought are good in their own way. However, many people who embrace minimalist philosophy often feel that maximalism is bad or unnecessary. Conversely, maximalists often feel that the minimalist lifestyle is limiting and doesn’t give individuals the freedom they deserve to do what they want with their lives.
Those who are minimalists often criticize those who are not minimalists, particularly those who are not minimalists but falsely call themselves one. For example, someone could say “I’m a minimalist because I’m not cluttered or messy.” However, if an individual doesn’t truly have a minimalist mindset then they aren’t truly a minimalist.
- How being able to relate to minimalism and maximalism can be helpful to you emotionally, physically, and mentally?
To understand what minimalism and maximalism are from the perspective of a minimalist, it’s essential to know how these two philosophies relate to people emotionally, physically, and mentally.
When I first began recording my experiences while going through minimalism, I noticed that both philosophies rely on certain characteristics of how one thinks. For example, when you consider yourself to be a minimalist it is easy to identify with many of the ideas about minimalism because they pertain to how you think.
Moreover, when you adopt the lifestyle of being a maximalist you will relate most aspects of that lifestyle with how your mind works.
In short, being a minimalist or a maximalist can give you insight into how your mind works by enabling you to see the world from the perspective of a minimalist or a maximalist.
Being a minimalist first and foremost means that you have few possessions and/or belongings. Being a minimalist means that you make wise decisions about what is truly required for your livelihood.
In terms of being a minimalist, maxims are actions or behaviors that follow from your core beliefs as to how things should be/should not be. A maxim is something that stands out as more important than other things in life.
When you are a minimalist, you are likely to make decisions that are based on your core beliefs about what is important in life. You will take into account many things when making decisions, including what’s required for your livelihood.
A maxim is something that stands out as more important than other things in life.
By simply adopting the ideas of minimalism or maximalism within yourself, it can give you insight into how your mind works. This can be helpful if you struggle with making decisions because it enables you to see the world through the lens of another person who has made the same decisions as you have made before.
Being a maximalist has similar characteristics, however it’s also dependent on having more possessions than minimalists do. The ideas of being a maximalist are based on what items you think you will need in order to be the best version of yourself.
Similarity between minimalism and maximalism
Minimalists and maximalists both believe in the value of fewer things in life. They also believe in having or acquiring things that allow them to live life freely. Minimalists and maximalists both place greater value on few possessions than they do on having even more possessions.