Joshua Fields Millburn


Consumption isn’t the problem; compulsory consumption is the problem. #30days30photos
Simple ain’t easy. #30days30photos
Every moth is drawn to light, even when that light is a flame, hot and burning, flickering, the fire tantalizing the drab creature with its blueish-white illumination. But when the moth flies too close, we all know what happens: it gets burned, incinerated by the very thing that drew it near.

For decades now, we consumers have been moths, lured by the flame of consumerism, pop culture’s beautiful conflagration, a firestorm of lust and greed and wanting, a solipsistic desire to consume that which cannot be consumed, to be fulfilled by that which can never be fulfilling, a vacant proposition, leaving us empty inside, further fueling the blaze of lust and greed and wanting. It’s a vicious cycle.

From our close vantage points, within reach of the flame’s scorching edges, the fire seems impossible to extinguish. Unlike the moth, though, we have a choice. It’s not an easy choice; the flame has turned ever more intriguing. Advertisers make sure of this; it is their job to find new ways to make the blaze eternally more appealing.

Some of us recognize this need for change, though. Others know change is necessary but refuse to stop circling the mesmerizing flame, can’t remove their eyes from the spill of electric light illuminating their homes. Other still don’t even realize it’s a flame at all. After all, how could something so beautiful be so dangerous? And so they encircle the inferno, unconscious of its dangers.

We must, however, accept the flame for what it is: necessary and beautiful and, most of all, dangerous. When we do this, when we step back to understand the nature of the fire, we have a chance to survive. This kind of thinking is not easy; it takes deliberate thought, repeated questioning of the way we live, a thorough understanding of why we feel comforted by the flame. It’s difficult to do, but this is how we wake up. #30days30photos
We’ve been given a template and told that it’s the template for happiness. There’s nothing wrong with the American dream—for some people. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a path, not the path. The truth is: there are many paths. The key is to find a life (possessions, relationships, experiences, passions, habits) that align with your values and beliefs. That’s happiness: aligning your daily actions with your long-term values.
Most advertisements don’t lie to us; they help us lie to ourselves.
You are so much more than your stuff. Even in an empty room, the value is within you, not your things.
For me, minimalism has never been about deprivation. Rather, minimalism is about getting rid of life’s excess in favor of the essential.
Too often we use the past to batter our present. But the past needn’t equal the future.
You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you. #30days30photos
Tolerance is a weak virtue. Acceptance, understanding, respect, appreciation: these are strong virtues on which sturdy relationships are built.
It’s okay to wander in the direction of your choice. And if you get lost, so what. Would that be so bad?
As a minimalist, every possession I own serves a purpose or brings me joy.
It is not ambition that sets a man apart; it is the distance he is prepared to go. #30days30photos
"Winter Coat in August" would be a good indie-band name. It’s also an occasional reality in Montana.