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Lee Is More
Lee Eun-yeong  |  tnr1915@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2016.05.09  07:08:02
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
   

 How can we be perfect? Many people think we should do something more and have more to be perfect. For example, people usually think the bigger house is necessary for a perfect house and after buying the bigger house, they want more furniture to fill it. Therefore, perfectionists tend to be unhappy because they overtax themselves. Meanwhile, some people suggest a different view about perfection. Saint Exupery, the author of The Little Prince, said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”  In other words, perfection is having no superfluous things. You may be unfamiliar with this point of view about perfection. However, it is such a common idea that the term ”minimalism” has been created to relate to this perspective.

     Minimal + ism

What is minimalism? It is a combination word of ”minimal”, which means very small in quantity or degree, and ”ism,” which means a belief, attitude, or style. It came into use in America in the 1960s. In the beginning, it was a kind of visual art. Minimalist art emphasizes the expression of an essence of a subject through restrained methods. It encourages people to be interested in a material’s inherent properties. In addition, it lets the painters come to the nitty-gritty of art by excluding the artists’ emotions and values. Although it was a field of visual art at first, it has started to cut across various fields such as architecture, music, and fashion. Minimalism in diverse fields focuses on representing simply and minimizing needs. Recently, it has been loved by many people and affects people’s value of life.

    Why Are People Fanatical about Minimalism?

People in modern society may feel it is a retreat to live simply with having less because they are too used to advanced technology and affluent lifestyles. They have a strong desire to fill a closet with the latest fashions and buy the latest models of cell phones faster than anybody else. However, when they get what they want, they will be happy but at the same time, feel the futility. Since the satisfaction the subjects get is not permanent, they will long for other things that they don’t have. Therefore, people are trapped in a vicious circle of owning.

People who are aware of this vicious circle offer minimalism as a solution. They claim that people can be happy when they live simply with a bare minimum because they realize they can’t reach happiness by possession. Modern people started to feel tired of their busy and complicated lifestyles. People’s material circumstances improved and people have much more information in comparison with the past. However, they have antipathy towards the complex and material world and choose to go back to the essential.

    Minimalism In Your Life

           When you read the above material, it sounds difficult and abstract, and it seems to require a big decision to practice minimalism. In addition, some people may not agree with the suggestion that living simply with the least number of things is the source of happiness. Nevertheless, minimalism exists in people’s lives although they don’t recognize it. Besides, you might have already liked it – even you have never noticed it before.

At first, there is minimalist fashion. It is a design that stresses human body lines by simplifying colors and decorations of clothes. Minimalist fashion was emerging as a trend in 2013 and it has been loved by many fashion designers and consumers until now. For example, a white mini dress without any printings and decorations such as lace and wearing only white and black clothes are examples of minimalist fashion. It generally gives a cool and chic image and it is never out of date.

           Moreover, minimalist movie posters are a good example of minimalism in daily life. They usually use a solid-color background and simple symbols to represent a movie. They don’t have promotional words about the cast and their award winning careers, which are so common on normal movie posters. They stimulate people’s curiosity and make people interested in the movie. In addition, the simple design enjoys general popularity. The most distinctive advantage of minimalist posters is that they express and promote a movie effectively with the least number of elements.

     People Who Live In a Minimalist World

Living simply is not simple. In fact, it is quite difficult and faces challenges because people should throw what they have away and give up many things they want to own to live simply. People may raise a question, ‘Is it possible?’, but fortunately, there are great examples for these people. We call the people who practice minimalism “minimalists.” Let’s talk about them!

The most commonly known minimalist was Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple. He was a great believer in simplicity and said, “Simple can be harder than complex.” His belief affected the design of the iPhone, which has only one button. Many people are really excited by simple designs with effectiveness. In addition, he always wore black turtleneck sweaters, jeans, and sneakers at every Apple presentation. It shows his love about simplicity well. Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, is also a minimalist. One day, he posted a photo of his wardrobe on his Facebook page and it drew much attention. There are only several same-colored short sleeves and also several same-colored hoodies in his closet. He explained the reason why he always wears the same clothes is because he wants to focus on several important decisions as long as possible. Additionally, he said trivial matters such as what to eat and what to wear exhaust a person’s energy. These two people have something in common in that they put emphasis on simplicity and practicality in fashion. As a result, they have saved time and energy and in order to concentrate on their work fully.

It is not that only famous CEOs who are minimalists. Matilda Carl, an art director who worked in New York, is famous for making her own uniforms and wearing the same clothes for three years at her office. After being late for an important meeting because she spent too much time picking out what to wear, she decided to wear the same look every day at her office. Then she bought fifteen same white blouses and black pants. She realized how happy and productive she was when she did not let small things bother her.

.      You Can Be A Minimalist!

After reading the stories of minimalists above, you may make up your mind to be a minimalist. Although you might make the decision, it is hard to take action on living simply. Here are some tips for people who want to be minimalists but don’t know what to do.

    Buy Well

It is important to buy things carefully and not to collect superfluous objects. The first step of smart shopping is thinking about what you really need. It is recommended to put a top priority on usability and then consider your taste. Classical designs are preferable. A crucial point of shopping is that buying a few high-quality products is better than buying many cheap and nasty products.

    Clean Your Wardrobe

Looking into a closet, people can easily realize that they only enjoy wearing particular clothes among the many clothes that they own. Let’s leave clothes which you really like and look good on you and remove the other clothes such as a skirt you plan to wear when you lose weight and a blouse that is out of style. Then, donate them or throw them away.

     Digitize Memory

There are some things that are hard to get rid of, such as diaries you wrote in childhood and letters written by your friends. In this case, taking a photo of them and scanning them are good solutions. If you store them on the computer’s hard drive or web-drive, you can file them in order and keep them almost eternally without risk of loss and damage.

           You can save your energy and obtain time and money by simplifying your life. Then you can use this energy, time, and money to help you concentrate on what you are really interested in. Furthermore, living simply while focusing on the essential will allow you to find the real value of life. It is tough to give up the pleasure of ownership and other various choices you have been enjoying. However, you can get much more satisfaction and happiness by emptying your house. 

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