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The seeming contradiction of minimalism

In the olden days, sages had to relinquish everything in their lives in order to pursue and attain enlightenment.

Nowadays, there are more successful startups by founders who start up from their college dorm rooms or when they are still in their early twenties than those that start up in their thirties or older.

One of the biggest difficulties in focusing all our energies on one thing in order to be our absolute best at it is the shift we have to make from the things we already have.

The hardest thing about becoming a sage is to give up on material desires, to give up on relationships and to then focus on the path to enlightenment. And this gets harder the more material possessions and relationships that a person has.

The hardest thing about starting up is to give up the opportunity of picking up a steady paycheck. And this gets harder the more dependent a person is on that paycheck. Which is what makes it easier for a student to startup than a wiser and older person who has to pay mortgages and support a family.

This is the seeming contradiction of minimalism. In order to get what you want, you must want very little.

But when you look at the examples above, it isn't a contradiction at all. Minimalism, then, is just the foundation upon which great success can be built.

Cutting your needs to the bone before you have to is the trick. Every euro you don't spend is a euro you don't have to raise. Every euro you don't spend is a euro you don't have to feel overwhelmed about earning. Every euro you don't spend is a euro that frees up your mind to worry about doing what you care about than earning that euro instead.

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