Live in the moment, be happy with what you have, and CLICK ON THIS AD!

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There are over 152,000,000 blogs out there, with more popping up every day.  Many of these are filled with amazing content, produced by phenomenal people who enjoy sharing their passion.  But can we admit, that many of us have dreamed of blogging not just for our passion, but for a living?  of turning our little ideas into a big check? Honestly most of us would settle for turning our big ideas into a little check!  So, we look around the internet, trying to find different ways to monetize on our blogs.  Pay-Per-Click Ads, Affiliate Ads, In-Text Ads, Confusing Ads, links to articles that are really ads.

It puzzles me, when I go to read an article about minimalism, or anti-consumerism, and the page is chock full of ads!  “Live in the moment, be happy with what you have, and CLICK ON THIS AD!”  Trying to make a living doing what you love is commendable, but there has to be a different way.  Now I believe that most of us bloggers have good intentions.  We aren’t trying to fleece anyone.  We would just like to quit our day job so we could spend more time creating awesome content.  That’s what the people want, isn’t it?  That’s what the world needs, right?

eBooks

So, we will remove the ads, creating a more comfortable environment for our readers, and our conscience.  But where do we get the money?  That’s it!  we can write eBooks!  152,000,000 eBooks…So now we not only need to convince people to come and read our blogs, maybe even subscribe, but also to buy our eBooks (which somehow have got to be better than the free content we have already been struggling to create during our “free time”)  Okay, I don’t know if this option is going to work either.

Put Out Your Hand

The best option that I can see, is a virtual tip jar.  I have been noticing these more and more, and I really like the idea behind it.  You like a post, you leave a tip.  After all, blogging is an art form, just like that guy on the corner playing that old beat-up saxophone.  He’s pretty good.  give him a couple bucks.  Ah, that felt nice, didn’t it?  I don’t know if these virtual tip jars actually work, not having one myself, but I know it is definitely a better option than selling your soul to the advertising companies.

If anyone has any other ideas, I have already drafted my letter of resignation for my 9 to 5, and I am itching to print it off.

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My Minimalist Journey

We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded by advertisements.  They show up in every place imaginable:  social media, search engines, billboards, television, radio, newspaper, magazines, apps, clothing, virtually everywhere.

The design and purpose of this advertising (and it is very effective) is to create false needs.  They start by making us feel inadequate (If we don’t feel that way already).  Then they lure us in with promises of a better life.  If you just had that one item, you would be happier, healthier, better looking, and more organized.  Then, with a sense of fulfillment, completeness, and joy, we take the item home, and add it to our collection.  But these feelings fade all too soon, and we are left with that familiar feeling of emptiness.

“Perfection is achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Minimalism is a philosophy that takes a much different approach, finding joy in simplicity, and discarding all but the truly necessary.  But you don’t have to be living in the woods wearing a loin cloth and drinking dew off of the leaves to be a minimalist.  It’s a journey.  It’s about moving from more to less, busy to quiet, and complicated to simple.  I still have a long way to go on my journey, and I will probably never reach minimalist perfection, but I am now living without many things that I once thought were essential for life.

Why Minimalism?

  • Buying less stuff means saving money
  • Less time spent shopping, cleaning stuff, and organizing stuff, means more time for you and your family
  • Less clutter means more space for living
  • Lower demand makes for fewer items being manufactured and shipped, which means cleaner air for everyone!

What have you given up so far?

Well, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but here are a few things that I am now living without

  • Deodorant (I use baking soda)
  • Microwave (Less radiation!)
  • Many of my books
  • about 2/3 of my wardrobe (Also, I have recently started washing my clothes in the sink when I take them off, and then hanging them to dry.  They are usually ready by the next day!)
  • A Smart Phone (Okay, I didn’t give this one up, because I never had one)
  • Soap and Shampoo (Its been over a year, and I haven’t gotten any complaints yet.  I just let my microbiome do all the work)
  • Extra shoes

Its not that difficult.  And, if you are worried you might regret your decision, try packing up a few things for 3 moths, 6 months, or a year.  If you still haven’t used them, you probably don’t need them, and it is safe to part with them.

Where are you on your minimalist journey?