There is a lot of keywords buzzing around right now with the term minimalism. A lot of people shrug off minimalism as some counter-culture movement that has gained speed because of a handful of bloggers and a Netflix documentary. With this movement comes a renewed interest in tiny homes, getting rid of many of your possessions, and even mind tricks to clean your brain. I have heard many keywords over the past three years, sometimes I even find that they are appropriate in the situation.
Intentional living is one of the key phrases that seems to be the poster-child of this minimalism movement. However, I do not know if it is a some phrase coined for marketing or the reality of what minimalism is at its core. Since I became serious about pursuing this minimalism thing, I have dug through tons of information, yet at the core seems to be this concept. A concept that almost seems silly. Like who in the world does not live intentionally? Are you living intentionally? This is a question that has to answered individually. We can not group people, religions, lifestyle, or any traditional demographic to answer this question for the masses.
Often times as I am scrolling through minimalism blogs and anti-minimalism articles, I find this grouping, consumerism versus minimalism. However, they are not mutually exclusive. Everyone is a consumer, so how can minimalists be exclusive and not consume goods? The answer is we can't. Minimalism is not a counter-consumerism or counter-culture movement. Minimalism is movement that believes that consumers should make decisions based on value.
Do you work 50 hours a week to afford a fancier car? Do you buy the newest phone every time it comes out because it is the "new thing"? Do you stress over your work at home? I know that these answers are not going to be the same for everyone. For me, I have a car that drives well and so I decide to work a 40 hour week to go to a coffee shop or hang out with friends instead of working 10 extra hours for a better car. I keep up with technology, so I value new technologies and want to have the "new thing". These decisions do not make me a minimalist or a consumer. I am both. Minimalism just provides a framework for me to evaluate and to question the value of products, time, and mental work.
Intentional living is not a key phrase. Intentional living is about questioning the value that you place on things, people, places, and time. Consumerism uses price and social value to adjust these values. Minimalism uses price, time, and other measurements to adjust these values. Minimalism is not a bunch of weirdos living in tiny homes, off the grid, making their own clothes. Minimalism is a movement that encourages a framework in which to value and make decisions about the world around us. Living Intentionally changes person to person and minimalism is one of the many ways to gauge the intentionality of your decisions in your life.