With enough said of non-possession, and sporadic enlightenment on the evils of wanting and consumerism, I have been trying a minimalistic approach in my life lately.
I started this experiment in reducing or saying ‘no’ to things I feel over-indulgent.
Some 2 months before, I got back this decluttering my wardrobe opportunity. There is an NGO named Uthavum Karangal (literally means ‘Helping Hands’) which picks up clothes donation from your home. I gave away many of my old (and good, washed, untorn) clothes to them. I felt light.
No AC: Continuing that, I’ve never been a fan of using AC. The Chennai rains and winter gave an opportunity not to use the AC for 2 months. With the plugs not working, I am extending that experiment. I am not sure how long it will last, but let it last as far as it can. I have been exploring ways to live with summer without using air conditioner.
No WhatsApp: On 11th February, I uninstalled WhatsApp
No Facebook: On 12th February, I deleted and deactivated my Facebook account. It has given me a curfew of 14 days until which I can reactivate it. I have reactivated my FB account already twice. So I am hoping this time it would work. I got this confidence from Cal Newport – he is still conveniently absent on Facebook and doesn’t even use an e-mail. Remember NASA send a man to the moon without using any e-mails and technology less powerful than that you have on your smartphone.
No TV: Since February 1st, I have not been watching TV most of the times, now it has come almost to zero. Not watching TV has thrown up a lot of free time. In fact I have to invent creative outlets for engaging myself during those times which would have been otherwise spent watching TV.
No laptop: Since February 8th, I have not been using laptop at home or after 7 pm. This again (other than TV) reducing my exposure to bluelight at night. And definitely one of the main factors for putting me to sleep earlier.
No news/ magazine: Never been a news buff. So this one was easy. Though earlier I use to purchase magazines, now with online reading, I stopped that too. This is one attempt at limiting media consumption.
No reading: This was easy to accomplish, but was hard to justify. With almost everyone proposing reading culture, I sometimes feel that we are getting dumped with too many unnecessary reading. At the same time, I have so many books that I have not read completely. Taking Mark Forster’s challenge, I am trying in vain to read only ONE book at a time. Now I am reading ‘The Greatest Salesman of the World’ by Og Mandino (don’t let the title or the author name fool you. It is a classic). Hopefully I’ll post a review and summary soon.
No dinner/ third meal: This was that keystone habit that defined my ‘no’ lists. Got this idea of not having a third meal (Vethathiri Mahrishi) and not eating after 5:30 pm from James Altucher. This has been the hardest to follow of all. I am trying, hopefully I should be able to accomplish this. Update: It is not working. However breakfast skipping is far easier than this.
No coffee/ tea: That also means no milk or sugar. I anyways rarely drink tea or coffee. Later learnt that this also means I am taking no artificial sugar and milk. It is for the better I think. Most of us want something hot to run through our food pipe not necessarily a tea/ coffee. So the best alternative is to drink a cup of hot water during your meal. It helps.
No apps for tracking: Have been crazy about using different apps. Found the best method to track is pen and paper based. Update: I am currently using an app to track my spending and expenses.
No internet: With almost unlimited and free internet, temptation to capitalize it has never ceased. I am getting mindful of it. I have unequivocally unsubscribed to all my e-mailing list and subscriptions to newsletters. If I ever want to research a topic, I google it out.
No goals (from ZenHabits): I am yet to explore this, but in experimentation though.
No non-veg: in experimentation. Societal temptation is little too high presently.
Photo credit: prakashghai.blogspot.com