When you hear about the Spartan lifestyle the first aspect you will think about is the infamous minimalism. In our modern society that focuses heavily on consuming a minimalist lifestyle sounds strange, maybe even crazy.
That is because buying unnecessary things gives us a quick rush of dopamine. This is called instant gratification and you should try to avoid it if you ever want to be successful in your life. Try to find your passion instead.
The first step to a minimalist lifestyle is to stop buying things. Just STOP! You don´t have to get rid of all your belongings to reap the benefits of this lifestyle. Not buying things will already make you feel great.
You will now tell me that you need to buy things to survive. Yes, that´s true. But did you ever feel happy about buying groceries? Black socks? Toilet paper?
It is perfectly fine to buy stuff you need. And you can easily determinate what you need and what you want by checking your emotional response while buying. If you get a dopamine rush you probably don´t need it.
As long as you have three shirts, some underwear, socks and two jeans you don´t need new clothes. You may want them because they look good on you but you don´t need them.
Minimalism is not about owning nothing. It´s about only owning what you need or really appreciate.
Before buying something ask yourself if it will add value to your life one month from now. Black socks add value to my life because I wear a pair daily. But this fancy mug will not add value because I already have four mugs.
I don´t even need four mugs. I only need two. One for myself and one for guests. And this goes for many things people nowadays own. It´s only for convenience not due to a real need in their lives.
Belongings become a prison. If you decided to pack all your stuff and travel the world for three months right now you could not do it. You just own too much stuff. The stuff is what forces you to stay because if you wanted to leave you first had to organize a place where your stuff would be stored while you were away.
Stuff not only limits your freedom it also drains your energy. Tidying up a room with a lot of stuff is exhausting. Being surrounded by clutter all day makes your brain nervous and unfocused.
That´s why I make my bed every morning: it gives me the feeling of a tidy room. Try it out for yourself and see if it helps you.
If that´s not enough of an incentive for you think about your finances instead. You could get long lasting satisfaction from a creative passion for free but you prefer to buy your quick dopamine rush.
Once you stop buying things you don´t need you will notice how much money you wasted on them. If it´s only 5$ a day for useless stuff that adds up to over 1.800$ a year. That´s enough money for a short vacation!
I don´t know where your priorities are but I´d rather spend a few days on vacation than buy another shitty piece I will never use. The little things add up very quickly.
Okay, you are a smart superhero and now understand the importance of not buying useless stuff. The next step towards a minimalist lifestyle is to get rid of what you don´t need or don´t use anymore.
That´s the harder part of the minimalist lifestyle because humans tend to get very attached to their belongings. I definitely am. When my shoulders got too broad for my favorite T-Shirt I was very unhappy.
But it´s just a T-Shirt. I own lots of T-Shirts. And one day it would be worn out anyway.
Being emotionally attached to soulless things robs you of your freedom. If you stopped fearing losing your belongings you would be freed from the fear of failure.
Your business went bankrupt and you need to sell all of your stuff to survive? No big deal as long as you are not emotionally attached to your stuff.
You want to backpack through Asia for a year? You will need to get rid of anything that does not fit into a backpack. No problem if your stuff means nothing to you.
The problem is not that you own stuff. The problem is that you allow the stuff to own you. Once you detach yourself from your belongings you regain your autonomy.
Start by getting rid of one thing a day for a month. Ask yourself if you are really going to need this thing during the next 12 months. If not throw it away. It may hurt first but you will feel so much better afterwards.
If you are not sure if you are going to need this specific thing put it in a box and don´t use it for a month or two. Check if you miss it in your life. Throw it away if you don´t miss it.
There is no finite number of possessions you are allowed to own when you become a minimalist. Some people claim owning more than 50 or 100 things is against the minimalist lifestyle but I strongly disagree with that.
One reason is that you should only live by your own rules. The second reason is that different people need a different amount of things to be satisfied.
If you need it in your life keep it. If you don´t need it don´t buy it or throw it away.
You may need 20 things or you may need 200 things. It doesn´t matter as long as your mindset is that of a Spartan.
Stay strong, fellow superhero! You are on the right path to become a Spartan warrior. Don´t quit!