Random Thoughts: Minimalism and Digital Gardens (or taking back control of your life)

I research constantly.

If something attracts my attention, I follow the thread. I can't help it. I guess it's the writer in me.

Learning about new cultures, histories, ideas, and so much more is probably the most enriching thing I do with my life. I highly suggest it instead of watching endless YouTube videos or doomscrolling on social media.

All of this research leads me to topics I think it would be beneficial for you to check out, because a lot of these topics and the research I did made me change habits for the better.

Today, I want to talk about...

Minimalism

Minimalism has been an intriguing deep dive I've taken over the course of the last couple of years.

As a concept, it basically means removing from your life things you don't need, don't serve a purpose, or don't add to your happiness. It's been championed by many, but it's not a new concept, to be honest. 

It's rooted in Eastern philosophy, Buddhism in particular, where attachment is something you should avoid in order to live a more pure life and achieve enlightenment.

It's a valid viewpoint that we'd all do well to examine, especially in our world where people have become the product. 

I mean, really, think about it. 

You're probably addicted to your phone. You can't resist checking it. If you're on ANY social media platform, they're feeding you algorithm curated feeds that push you to purchase things.

Really dwell on that for a minute and tell me I'm wrong.

From there, you're purchasing things you don't need. Take out food when it's cheaper to buy groceries and make things. Random crap from Amazon. Weird stuff from Wish you won't actually get for six months. 

So, how can you change that?

First thing you do is go through all your stuff and Marie Kondo the fuck out of everything. 

I'm still working on this myself. I think I'm on round three or four. Each time, I notice something new that I really don't need, only collects dust, and provides me no happiness.

Each time it felt like a bit more pressure lifted off my shoulders.

Digital Minimalism is even more necessary.

How many hours have you wasted in a day on your phone? Be honest with yourself. You know you could spend this time doing more productive things. 

And how many times have you felt guilty when you had something to do, but binge watched Netflix shows instead?

This stuff is easier to control than you think, but it takes some willpower. It's difficult to give up old habits.

Remember, too, that these social media platforms, websites, and ecommerce platforms are DESIGNED TO MANIPULATE YOU. So don't feel too bad if you fell into the trap. Billions have.

Digital Gardens and how they help.

A digital garden, by my definition, comprises a lot of things. 

It's not just something like an individual community site like our own at groundzerosum.com or an individual's branded website with the things they like and love. 

Your digital garden goes well beyond that. It is your cyberspace environment. It's the sites you visit, the social media platforms you take part on, and anywhere your digital footprint extends on the web. 

So, if you "live" in a polluted environment, chances are it's going to diminish your experience and ruin your "garden."

In today's world, I definitely think we should watch our digital intake to make sure, again, that the experience is one that makes you happy. 

My tips for getting started with Minimalism and Digital Minimalism:

  • Do some research. Just search on your favorite browser. Study up a bit.
  • Make a list of things you'd rather be doing or getting done.
  • Look at the things you own. Start reducing your "stuff" one thing at a time. Try that for 30 days. Here's some more info that may help.
  • Examine the apps on your phone. Get rid of the ones you can either access on a computer instead of your phone. Get rid of the ones you don't really use.
  • Make intentional choices. If you're doing things or keeping things just because they're familiar, consider why you're doing that. 
  • Cultivate your digital garden when online. Make sure it's a rewarding, enriching experience instead of one controlled by algorithms. Again, make intentional choices. 
  • Log all of it. This allows you to see your progress. I suggest using a daily journal with bullet points. I find it helpful to review, especially if I feel the change is stagnant.

Ultimately, it's up to what you want out of life, IMHO.

My goal is to have a life where I spend most of my free time to write, research, and publish my thoughts in a well-designed, interesting package. 

Notice it's NOT to make a ton of money or get followers. While both have a high value, they aren't the end goal. The end goal is to have a happy life, doing the things that make you happy. 

Give it a shot and don't forget to check out our website (just click the button below) and join our community digital garden. It's 100% free to join!

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