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The Power Of Minimalism & Daniel Suelo Renouncing Money
Less is more and we're here to tell you how. We've got two simple but powerful stories about minimalism and how to declutter your life.
We’ve written extensively about how humans love patterns in one of our issues that was published a couple of months back. Today, we’re going to take it up a notch and delve deeply into just one of the many patterns we love falling into…
…and that’s the never-ending cycle of acquiring more possessions. We’re hoarders, ladies and gentlemen, uncontrollably splurging on belongings that we conveniently forget about in the two years after the purchase; which begs the question - How many of these possessions do we actually care about?
If you just murmured, “Nah, that’s not true,” to yourself and scuffed at our sheer audacity, we prod you to take up this exercise.
Gather your memory, family, friends, spouse, or kids and make a list of all the things that have been collecting dust in your back closet. Then, dig up the bills or estimate the prices of each item. You'll be shocked at just how easily you'll hit the five-figure mark.
And after you’ve completed this benign exercise, you’ll sulk in guilt about how much money you could’ve had had you not indulged in your fancies at the time.
It's a tough pill to swallow, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our constant quest for more has left us with cluttered homes and cluttered minds, and it's not bringing us the happiness we thought it would.
But, there’s a glimmer of hope.
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Many people are starting to realize that true happiness and fulfillment cannot be bought with money or acquired through material possessions. In fact, studies have shown that people who focus on accumulating worldly possessions often experience more stress, anxiety, and depression compared to those who prioritize non-material things.
That may seem like a paradox, given that some of us believe in doing the complete opposite—we buy things to overshadow feelings of anxiety and depression, in efforts to fill certain voids. But little do we know, that only intensifies those feelings.
Letting go of worldly possessions induces a greater sense of freedom. When we're not tied down to material items, we can focus on what truly matters in life, i.e. relationships, personal growth, and experiences. Believe it or not, this can lead to a more fulfilling and purposeful life— because we can devote our time and energy to things that bring us joy, and no, it’s not the cliché Amazon product that we absolutely need in order to make sense of our lives.
Simplifying our lifestyle can also help in reducing stress and improving our overall well-being. Owning fewer possessions means having less clutter, both physically and mentally. It means living a less worrisome, more organized and peaceful life, allowing us to give things that matter, our all. Imagine waking up in the middle of nowhere, starting afresh; a clean slate knowing all that you know now, that’s what minimalism gives you—living with the bare minimum, yet feeling like you’re living large.
Ever heard the old adage - less is more? Lesser words spoken makes you listen more, lesser unnecessary actions taken saves you energy, lesser thoughts in your mind increases concentration, lesser tasks at hand decreases worry and the lesser you worry, the happier you are therefore, lesser possessions means making space for things that matter. And it’s only things that matter that can give you the happiness you hopelessly look for in material possessions.
We’re not suggesting renouncing everything from the get go. It’s a step-by-step process because any immediate action not backed up by unmitigated will, will result in a relapse. It’s like any drug that’s gotten you into its tangles—the withdrawal can be drastic.
Well, drastic for some but not for the upcoming story’s protagonist - Daniel Suelo.
A Story For You
Daniel Suelo was not your average man, for he had taken a path that was considered to be unimaginable by most. He was born as Daniel Shellabarger and spent his early years in Arvada, Colorado. But then, something remarkable happened. At the age of 38, while working as a cook in Utah, he made the bold decision to abandon money, forever.
One day, Daniel walked into a public telephone booth and took out his entire life savings, all $30 of it. He left it there and never looked back. He also tossed his passport and driver’s license, and changed his name from Shellabarger to Suelo, which means ‘soil’ in Spanish. From that day on, Daniel became a free spirit and a nomad, traveling to different places, staying in communes, camping in the wilderness and even sleeping in the homes of strangers.
Despite living an unconventional life, Daniel refused to accept charity, government assistance, or even food stamps. He lived by foraging for wild berries in the mountains, eating roadkill and dumpster diving. His home base was a cave near Moab, Utah, but he was far from a hermit or a hobo. He was a college-educated man with a good Christian upbringing, who refused to receive or spend money.
Daniel’s story gained national attention and was featured in well-known publications like The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and The Denver Post. In 2009, publishing giant Penguin Books approached him to write his autobiography, but he refused to accept payment for it. Instead, he asked that the book be given away for free, and when Penguin declined, his friend Mark Sundeen wrote his biography, ‘The Man Who Quit Money’ in 2012.
Daniel’s philosophy about life was simple yet profound. He believed that money represented lack, and that it represented things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but it never represented what is present. His words were enough to make one stop and think about their own life and why they have become so consumed by materialism, instead of spirituality.
And so, Daniel Suelo’s story serves as a reminder to us all, that happiness and fulfillment can be found in the most unexpected places.
Having said, the purpose of this story wasn’t to show you the right or wrong way of doing things, it was to show you another way.
A Story From Someone Else (ChatGPT)
There was a wealthy king who ruled over a vast kingdom. He had everything a person could ever want – riches, power, and possessions. But despite all of his wealth, the king felt empty and unfulfilled. He was constantly searching for something more, something that would bring him true happiness.
One day, a wise sage visited the king and offered him some advice. The sage told the king about the power of minimalism, and how letting go of material possessions could lead to greater fulfillment and peace. The king was skeptical at first, but he was desperate to find happiness, so he decided to give it a try.
The king began to sell off his possessions, one by one. At first, it was difficult for him to part with things that he had grown attached to, but as he continued to simplify his life, he began to feel a sense of liberation and peace. He realized that he didn't need all of these possessions to be happy – all he needed was the love and support of his family and friends.
As the king continued down the path of minimalism, he found that he was able to connect more deeply with his spirituality. He meditated, prayed, and studied spiritual texts, and he found that his soul was finally at peace. He no longer felt empty and unfulfilled – he was filled with joy and contentment.
Years went by, and the king became known as a wise and spiritual ruler. People from far and wide came to seek his guidance, and he shared with them the teachings of minimalism and the power of letting go. The kingdom flourished under his rule, and the king lived a long, happy life, filled with purpose and meaning.
That’s all we’ve got for you today!
See ya next Tuesday,