Minimalism as a philosophy is often misunderstood. Some people think it means depriving yourself and forcing yourself into poverty by giving up all your things. Others think of snobby rich people with their big empty white rooms displaying a few expensively overpriced furniture among other eccentric items. Still, others think of minimalism only in terms of weird modern art. To me it’s none of that. Simply put, Minimalism is about embracing what is important and essential and getting rid of any thing or mindset that separates you from what really matters.

Here are some quotes for example:

“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha

“I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: It is because they envy the things their neighbors have. But it is useless. It is like chasing the wind…It is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind.” – Ecclesiastes

“Don’t spoil what you have by desiring what you don’t have; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo DaVinci

“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.” -Frank Lloyd Wright

There is also a social component to minimalism:

“Live simply so that others may simply live.” – St. Elizabeth Seton

Extremism in any philosophy is always a danger so this quote has its place:

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” -Albert Einstein

Minimalism is not the same for everyone. Each individual has a limit to which embracing less creates more harm than good. It is contentment that is really the goal, not having the least belongings and bragging about it. This makes minimalism an art and not a science.