Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why Being a Minimalist Works for Me

As someone who grew up from South-East Asia, I was lucky to have spent my young adulthood in the US. I learned a lot about who I am and who I want to be and how to accomplish it. As an example, I had to learn to live alone the first time while in a foreign country, and I learned that I really really hate washing the toilet but I love doing my own dishes.

As a gamer (zerg rush anyone?) as well as someone with an engineering mindset, I knew what I had to do to get what I want. To minimize all the things that I hate to do or don't need in order to maximize my resources to do what I want. We as humans have long passed the capacity to be able to sustain our most important needs for survival but society is very good, too good in fact, in making us think we need more, and more.

It works for me because I want to be an entrepreneur. Many of you who are reading are probably in the same boat. Every penny that I make goes to my savings or the nearest liquid investment. Having a house just means that you have a bigger risk to take when you are planning to go out on your own and start a venture.

It works for me because I am environmentally conscious. Every flyer that you did not take from someone on the streets saves a tree over your lifetime (totally just made that up). I have stopped bringing every printout material that I received from conventions, conferences and I always try and put those materials back where others could have picked it up. (Though my wardrobe is full of those shirts they pass out at tech events. I haven't bought new shirts since.

I want to urge all of you to rethink about the essentials in your life that makes you happy, then minimize everything else. For many of us, it could be family, friends, a smart phone, a laptop, two pair of shoes, a dozen shirts, 4 pairs of jeans, one set of formal wear, dozen pairs of underwear, dozen pairs of socks, a set of cookingware, a broom, a mop, a towel, a bed, toiletries. You don't have to extreme of course, just cut more of the shallow stuff out so you can enjoy the things you truly appreciate.

PS: I developed a browser extension that lets you perform a mail merge on top of Gmail. A mail merge basically allows you to personalize mass emails. I would like some feedback on it. Google "gmerge alpha chrome" or "gmerge alpha firefox" as they don't allow links.

SoonKhen OwYong
dude[AT]owyong.sk
Hong Kong S.A.R.

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