Kevin S.
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Kevin S. in Stack That Money,

Minimizing/Maximizing: What Do YOU Value?

Look around your room. Your closet, under your bed, on your desk, whatever you see first. Does everything you see add actual, true value to your life? If not, why do you have it? I’ve found myself recently becoming more and more interested in the concept of minimalism, which essentially focuses on these essential topics: minimizing waste, maximizing value.

By no means would I consider myself an expert or true minimalist, as I definitely have junk laying around. But I think I’ve made progress in making sure my possessions and way I spend my time reflect my priorities in life, and I think all of you reading this can too. Just thinking about this idea has saved me from countless impulse purchases and has had an impact on not only how I view my possessions, but how I view the world.

So before getting on a soapbox and explaining all the things I find valuable about minimalism or before I tell you to throw away all of your worldly possessions and live like a nomad (as some people think minimalists do), I want to ask you a simple question: What possession do you have that gives you the most value?

Really think about it, out of all the things you own, which one inspires you to be the best you, or however you prefer to determine value. See, that’s the thing I like best about minimalism: it allows you to focus on the things that matter and are valuable to you, not to anyone else.

For me personally I’ve decided that this possession would be my running shoes. These add the most value to my life because they encourage my health, both physical and mental, and allow me to challenge myself toward improvement. I’ve learned how much of an impact running has had for me in maintaining a healthy weight and feeling good (and allowing me to eat whatever I want!) but more importantly battling some of my personal anxiety and fears by turning it into a positive. The running shoes I purchase are the best reflection of that part of my identity and a purchase I know I will not regret for a second. 

What about you?

What if every possession you owned truly encouraged you to be a better person and moved you toward reaching your best self? If every dollar spent only went to things or experiences moving you toward a truly better existence?

And as a further application of that, what if every second spent per day was toward learning something new, growing a personal brand, challenging yourself, reaching new goals and heights?

That’s what I’m moving toward. You can start with possessions, or how you spend your time, or change nothing at all - in the end it’s up to you. But we only live once, and I hope that reading this inspires you to minimize your waste and maximize your value.