“Consumer culture is very good at making us want more, more, more. Underneath all the hype and marketing is the implication that more is always better. I bought into this idea for years. Make more money, visit more countries, have more experiences, be with more women. But more is not always better. In fact, the opposite is true. We are actually often happier with less. When we’re overloaded with opportunities and options, we suffer from what psychologists refer to as the paradox of choice. Basically, the more options we’re given, the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose, because we’re aware of all the other options we’re potentially forfeiting.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy. Everything That Remains is a book about reprioritizing your materialistic desires with experiential desires. It’s about spending less money at the mall and about spending more time with friends; about wasting less money on fancy cars and designer clothes and investing more money into trips to new places and people you hold dear; about focusing on ways that you can enrich your life rather than ways you can become rich.
By: The Minimalists
Book Overview: What if everything you ever wanted isn’t what you actually want? Twenty-something, suit-clad, and upwardly mobile, Joshua Fields Millburn thought he had everything anyone could ever want. Until he didn’t anymore. Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism…and everything started to change. Everything That Remains is the touching, surprising story of what happened when one young man decided to let go of everything and begin living more deliberately. Heartrending, uplifting, and deeply personal, this engrossing memoir is peppered with insightful (and often hilarious) interruptions by Ryan Nicodemus, Millburn’s best friend of twenty years.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book:
- 12 Minimalist Quotes from Everything That Remains by The Minimalists
- Happy But Never Satisfied – Motivational or Misleading?
“Eventually, happiness was just a speck on the horizon, way off in the distance. The closer I got, the farther I had to go. Turns out that I’d been running as fast as I could in the wrong direction. Oops. The stuff wasn’t doing its job; it wasn’t making me happy. Depression set in when I no longer had time for a life outside of work, laboring eighty hours a week just to pay for the stuff that wasn’t making me happy. I didn’t have time for anything I wanted to do: no time to write, no time to read, no time to relax, no time for my closest relationships. I didn’t even have time to have a cup of coffee with a friend, to listen to his stories. I realized that I didn’t control my time, and thus I didn’t control my own life. It was a shocking realization.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“Life isn’t meant to be completely safe. Real security, however, is found inside us, in consistent personal growth, not in a reliance on growing external factors. Once we extinguish our outside requirements for the things that won’t ever make us truly secure—a fat paycheck, an ephemeral sexual relationship, a shiny new widget—we can shepherd our focus toward what’s going on inside us, no longer worshiping the things around us.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“Understand, every moth is drawn to light, even when that light is a flame, hot and burning, flickering, the fire tantalizing the drab creature with its blueish-white illumination. But when the moth flies too close to the flame, we all know what happens: it gets burned, incinerated by the very thing that drew it near. For decades now, I have played the role of the moth, lured by the flame of consumerism, pop culture’s beautiful conflagration, a firestorm of lust and greed and wanting, a haunting desire to consume that which cannot be consumed, to be fulfilled by that which can never be fulfilling. A vacant proposition, leaving me empty inside, which further fuels my desire to consume. Accepting the flame for what it is, then, is important: it is necessary and beautiful and, most of all, dangerous. Realizing this, becoming aware of the danger, is difficult to do. But this is how we wake up.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“Our possessions possess us. All the things I owned kept the back of my mind activated. I used to sit around and feel weighted down by all the stuff in my life. I’d worry about everything I had, thinking ‘I’ve got this much, so now I need more – I need to level it out: I have the TV, so I need the DVD player; I have the garage, so I need a nice car to fill it; I have this, so I need that.’ It’s a never-ending cycle, a cold war with yourself.” ~ Colin Wright, via Everything That Remains
“Desire always begets more desire. And thus the American Dream is a misnomer, a broken shiny thing, like a new car without an engine. There is blood on the flag, our blood, and in today’s world of achieving and earning and endlessly striving for more, the American Dream really just seems to imply that we are fat and in debt, discontented and empty, every man an island, leaving a void we attempt to fill with more stuff.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“Everyone is attempting to buy what no one can sell.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“The more you have and do, the harder maintaining fidelity to your purpose will be, but the more critically you will need to. Everyone buys into the myth that if only they had that – usually what someone else has – they would be happy. It may take getting burned a few times to realize the emptiness of this illusion. We all occasionally find ourselves in the middle of some project or obligation and can’t understand why we’re there. It will take courage and faith to stop yourself.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.” ~ Ohiyesa, American Indian