Updated: Nov 17, 2018
The notion of being a full-time musician and also a minimalist is almost an oxymoron. We picture the typical artist coming home with a new piece of gear a week. Stocking up on vintage guitars and boutique pedals, constantly telling our significant other that we “need these things to write.”
I’m no stranger to this. Even more so, I’m an enormous nerd. Collecting comes very natural to me. Whether it’s comic books, action figures, vinyl, CD’s, autographs or musical instruments there was a time when I wanted it all. The more I’ve been monitoring my behaviour, my relationships, and most importantly; my mental health, I have come to the understanding that these things are just that; Things. They give me no real joy. They add no value to my life. They don’t elevate my songwriting, hell I can’t even think of a single time one particular guitar has inspired even a riff out of me that couldn’t be replicated on another.
I pass no judgement on anyone that is collecting currently. This isn’t a stance I’m taking to feel superior to anyone, or like I’m some environmental gift. I’m simply fed up with stuff. While reflecting I was able to narrow down a few things that I think minimalism is going to really help me with and I’d like to share them with you. If this is something that you have been considering, or if you are someone who has some trouble in these particular areas, hopefully this can help.
Time is something that we are always in search of preserving. Yet, it seems, the more we try to grasp it firmly the more it slips through our fingers. I’ve been continuously rising at 6:00am (give or take a few weeks where my inner sloth gets the best of me) for the last couple of months now, and while that does help, it still doesn’t stop me from spending unnecessary time and mental energy on truly unimportant things like: what am I going to wear today? What should I have for breakfast? What shoes am I going to wear when I run errands? and as crazy as it sounds, what mug am I going to have my coffee in today?
All of this energy spent on things that, truthfully don’t really matter. Now, am I saying you should eat eggs and bacon for the rest of your life? Not at all, but if you have cereal in your apartment, do yourself a favour and eat all of it before you add some more items onto the menu.
This is a big one, but is pretty straight forward. How often do you eat out? Did you buy those new Yeezy’s when they dropped? Darksouls remastered just came out, had to get a copy? Or of course, I obviously need a Tele if I have a Stratocaster and a Les Paul too!
Cutting down on impulse buys is really one of the main things that goes into minimalism. Putting to much importance on things can only lead to unhappiness and a never ending well of: make money, spend money, rinse and repeat.
Discipline And Ultimately, Freedom
Just what on earth am I going to do with all this free time now? Well I’m going to continue to rise at 6am. I’m going to work my butt off, and then I’m going to have truly earned that night in with Taylor, that date night, that road trip, that concert, that experience etc. You will eventually become bored with your news feed, and if you don’t have mindless stuff to soak up your time, you might find your productivity gradually start to increase.
Much like my diet, this isn’t a lifestyle designed for everyone. There are those out there who are fulfilled by the quest for stuff, and if that is your thing AWESOME! These are my thoughts, and as this experiment continues I’ll update you all on how it goes!
Peace, love, and unity