Note: If you prefer to just cut to the chase, head straight to my TEDx talk. But if you’re partial to a little back story, read on.
What I’ve discovered is that it’s the journeys we embark upon unwittingly that often have the most impact.
Also, you can usually only connect the dots in retrospect.
In April of 2007 I moved my folks into an old age home. I can’t say it was against their will exactly, because the truth is they didn’t know what I’d done until it was too late. But if we’re going spilt hairs I guess ‘tricked’ is closer to the truth.
It’s a long story that deserves airing someday (if for no other reason than to shed some light on my worryingly callous approach to family). For now though, the condensed version will have to suffice.
As it turned out relocating their stubborn asses was only half the problem. Once I had them safely ensconced in their new digs I then faced the mammoth task of cleaning out their house. By myself.
They had a lot of stuff, ’nuff said.
In July of 2008 Sporty and I had the talk. The one where I explained how effortless life would be if we sold everything and rented a furnished apartment instead. I’ve written and spoken about this event on a number of occasions, because although we didn’t cotton onto it at the time, it turned out to be the beginning of our minimalist journey.
Separate to all of this I joined Toastmasters in 2012 to up my confidence levels and hone the art of small talk, and ended up speaking at TEDx Cape Town about the benefits of downsizing a little over a year later. Go figure.
But while my TEDx talk does a fairly good job of explaining how (and why) owning less stuff will make you happier, it’s also just the tip of the iceberg. The positive benefits of living a pared down lifestyle are more far-reaching than I could ever hope to tell you in in just 12 minutes.
It’s a good start though.