Everything That Remains

“What adds value to your life?” That’s the question posited by authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. The two friends founded TheMinimalists.com, a website all about their quest to simplify their lives in 2010, and since starting the site, they’ve become internet sensations. Now, with the release of their second book, “Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists”, the two are on a 100-city tour ….
everything that remains
But back to the question. What adds value to your life? Is it your car? Your closet filled with designer shoes? Your electronic gadgets — the latest iPad or Samsung Galaxy Gear watch? For Millburn and Nicodemus, they hit age 31 and realized it was none of those things.
“I had a great job, a nice car, was making $50,000 a year, but I wasn’t satisfied,” says Millburn. For Nicodemus, he discovered he was living as a single man in a multi-bedroom condo with two living rooms, each one filled with more stuff than he could possibly use. And, they were both exhausted. “We discovered that working 70 to 80 hours a week and buying even more stuff didn’t fill the void,” they wrote on their site. The epiphany prompted a dramatic change. Together, the two friends, who have known each other since they were “fat fifth graders,” decided to give it all up and began what they call their “journey into minimalism.” Keeping a daily blog about the experience, the two drastically downgraded, from giving away business suits and televisions, to attempting to use only one bowl and one glass every day. The men even quit their jobs.
Incidentally, they felt better.

“The more I got rid of the more I wanted to jettison,” says Millburn. “Those material possessions were physical, emotional, and mental clutter. I removed the excess from my life, and I felt clearer inside.”
In addition, the more they shared on the site, the greater the feedback. Before long Millburn and Nicodemus were being featured on CBS, BBC, and NPR. Inevitably a book deal was struck, and the two published “Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life” in 2011.
But how easy is it really to follow their lead? Some could argue that the only people who could do such a thing are those already living comfortably. Millburn disagrees.
“I grew up poor, our family was on food stamps, and yet we were still discontent. I thought we were discontent because we didn’t have money,” he says. “We were discontent because of repeated bad decisions.”
For Millburn, minimalism isn’t just about rejecting mass consumption; it’s about being deliberate with the resources he has. That includes relationships. He even admits that his previous consumer-driven, workaholic lifestyle ended his marriage. “Now my relationships are much stronger because I dedicate time to my closest relationships,” he says.
And that’s what Nicodemus and Millburn’s latest book is all about, featuring sections on five life-defining questions you should ask yourself to the things that make use feel insecure. Beyond getting rid of stuff — “the average American has over 300,000 things in their home,” Millburn says — “Everything That Remains” is the duos’ attempt to prove that putting energy into passions and relationships can lead to a well-curated life.

see further: http://www.theminimalists.com/etr/

for Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Minimalists
everything 3
“In “Everything That Remains”, which the authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are calling a memoir, Joshua presents a timeline of his transition from a cushy office job with a high-paying salary into a minimalist lifestyle where he gets rid of many of his material possessions and ultimately starts to pursue the life he really wants to live. Starting as a twenty-something with a half dozen maxed out credit cards and a mountain of material crap, Joshua stumbles upon minimalism from a brief conversation with a neighbor. After a saddening event where he loses his mother, he begins to move toward a minimalist lifestyle, following the path of several others like Leo Babauta in the process. Along the way, Joshua convinces his best friend Ryan to join the lifestyle as well and proceeds to help him rid his apartment of all the items he doesn’t need. The two eventually fully adopt the lifestyle, start TheMinimalists.com, and travel the country speaking to crowds from New York to California. Rather than simply throwing away all of your crap, their challenge is to live the life you want to live, not the one you think you should live due to mass media and advertising. Having quit their high-paying salary jobs, both Joshua and Ryan now pursue their passions living in Missoula, MT at the end of the book (a town I very much want to visit).
everything-that-remains. 2
As for the content itself, the book covered most topics you would expect a book on minimalism to cover. Without reading it, you can probably assume the theme centers around decreasing your material possessions, watching less mindless television, reading more, creating more, contributing more, and enjoying more. If you’ve read anything about minimalism, you likely have the basics covered. My one criticism of the book (and really of the popularity of minimalism in general) is that it tends to get repetitive. Seemingly everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and preaching the same material. If you’re looking to read a story about how to become a minimalist, I wouldn’t say this book is for you. They have plenty of free information on their site that guides you towards a minimalist lifestyle. However, it’s apparent from the beginning this wasn’t their intention with writing the book. Their goal was to provide a transformative story on shifting towards the minimalist lifestyle and the many benefits it can have, which they nailed.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: