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Minimum is Maximum: My Walk with a Minimalist

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I’ve always had this habit of binge watching Ted talks.  The people who have graced the Ted stage have always been influential for our peers and our communities.  One of my favorite talks on the subject of minimalism comes from my friend Colin Wright.  You wouldn’t think of meeting a new friend through TedX, but this was the first place that I’d see his name.  After seeing his first talk called ‘Extreme Lifestyle Experiments’, I found that he and I shared similar philosophies in life.  

Colin gave up his American career to become a minimalist.  He gave away the vast majority of his belongings, and decided that every three months the readers of his blog ‘Exile Lifestyle’ would vote on which place, anywhere in the world, he would live next. Everything he owned had to fit into one bag.  

After some research and light Facebook stalking, I decided to reach out to him personally. At this time I was living in New Orleans and was delighted to discover that he would be returning to the states for a road trip around the country.  One of his stops along the way would be New Orleans.  In a message I assumed would never be answered, I offered him my couch to surf.  To my surprise, he accepted.  

Colin stayed for about five days.  Together we explored the city.  Here’s a taste of what I learned from this seasoned minimalist after our many exploratory walks:

 

What would you consider your formal job title to be?

This is something that changes with some frequency, and any concise answer I give tends to leave out quite a lot. At the moment I’ve been telling people I’m either an author or a podcast host, as those are my two main focuses at the moment.

But there’s really no formality to this kind of lifestyle, and as a result, no formal title.

What was your lifestyle like before you became a minimalist?  Do you miss it?

I was running a branding studio in Los Angeles and living the lifestyle of a driven young person who never had money before and who suddenly was making money. Which is to say I was buying silly things and pursuing goals that weren’t my own. I was also working ridiculous hours and not really paying attention to what that behavior was doing to me, health- and happiness-wise.

I enjoyed many aspects of the work, but as soon as I took a second to slow down and look at the big picture, I realized that I’d need to change something, and quick. I miss elements of that lifestyle, but the things I’ve replaced them with are much better fits for what makes me happy and helps me feel fulfilled.

Tell us about your purging process.  What were the hardest things to let go of?

It took me four months to get rid of all the stuff I had at my townhouse in LA. It got easier as the weeks went by, but especially at first, it was tricky getting rid of the things I had convinced myself I would need.

I had a closet full of nice clothes, for instance, and many of those jackets and jeans and shirts were never worn, and likely never would be. I had build up a series of scenarios in my head for when I would need these things, and how wonderful I’d feel having them on hand when those moments finally arrived. And what that meant, in practice, was that I had a bunch of clothing, and gadgets, and computers, and books, and all kinds of other possessions that were just sitting there, collecting dust, when someone else who might actually put them to use could be getting value from them.

Recognizing that, it all became a lot easier. But until that point, each thing I got rid of made me feel a little less prepared. There wasn’t much sentimentality for the things I got rid of, just a well-entrenched feeling that I was going to be less secure — but that proved not to be the case. The opposite, in fact, since not stockpiling left me with so many more resources to spend on things I actually needed and wanted, when I needed and wanted them.

Is it difficult to remain minimal?  What would your advice be to the average person hoping to become minimal?

Not really. Not once you figure out why you’re doing it, at least.

Like with anything, if you’re forcing yourself to do something painful and there’s no obvious victory at the end of the road, it’s going to be harder to make those changes stick. If you take the time to figure out why you want to focus on certain things more, and reduce the excess and inessential, then it becomes a lot more manageable; you’re no longer sacrificing, you’re moving in a direction you want to go, and if anything you can feel like you’re not getting there fast enough.

My best advice would be to take the time, before you start chucking stuff in the trash can or donation bin, to figure out what actually makes you happy. What’s valuable to you? What possessions really make your life better? Allow you to do the work you care about? What do you wish you had more of in your life?

Asking these questions first will help you figure out what possessions are additive toward your goals, and which are standing in the way. Which are very much worth keeping, and maybe worth investing in further, and which you can easily give up, so that you have more time, energy, and resources (including money) to spend on the good stuff (whether that means possessions or experiences or something else).

How do you define value?

Something that’s valuable is a net-gain for you and your life.

So if a possessions adds value to your life, it’s enhancing something that’s important to you. If it’s a liability, it’s keeping you from something important, or maybe sucking up money or energy that you could be spending on something that’s an asset.

The specifics will be different for everyone. I prioritize experiences and pursuing new knowledge and meeting new people; travel, then, is more valuable to me than it might be for some people, because it makes me happier than almost anything else. For other people it might be anything else in the world — for some people, travel will be a waste of money and time.

That’s why I think it’s vital to understand yourself, first, so that any minimizing efforts are time well-spent, rather than just an empty exercise.

 

Downsizing a person’s life isn’t always an easy feat.  It’s not for everyone. For myself, I found this process paramount in truly knowing the difference between what I ‘want’ and ‘need’.  People often find themselves on autopilot when it comes to defining value within their lives.   Practicing a minimal lifestyle goes beyond just the stuff a person can accumulate.  In a way it’s a method of studying the inventory of worth within your life.  Minimalism can be expressed not only in what you choose not to have, but also in how you make your decisions as a consumer.  It can show you whether or not you can see a difference between having ‘experiences’ or having  ‘possessions’.  

How do you define value?  Maybe going minimal can help you find out.  

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Business

How Music Improves Work Productivity

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Music seems to have an important role to pursue in modern workplaces. Seeing colleagues with headphones in while working have become regular, seeing that music improves work performance. The best fitting headphones are up to debate, but with Sudio headphones, they are as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical. The wireless headphones are lightweight, easy to use, and are perfect for entrepreneurs who desire functionally and beautifully designed products. Tres headphones are great for office use, commuting, and even gym wear as they are sweat proof, 9-hour battery life and quick charge capability. 

Music Improves Work

The packaging is simplistic and mirrors Apple’s minimal designs. The headphones themselves come in neutral colors with an accent of black, gold, or rose gold that appears more like pink in person. Different size ear comforters allow fit for a variety of users, although long term wear can leave the ear a bit sore. The sound quality works well for everyday users, especially for entrepreneurs looking for affordable, stylish, yet minimal wireless headphones. Similar to the company’s social media, Sudio headphones brings users one step closer to a minimal and chic lifestyle.

The founder of LifeSounds Educational Services and author of the book Soundtracks for Learning, Chris Brewer says specific sounds can help retain our attention, evoke emotions, and stimulate visual imagination. “Students of all ages—that includes adults— generally find that music helps them focus more clearly on the task at hand and puts them in a better mood for learning,” says Chris Brewer. This study can reduce the levels of stress at work environments with the incorporation of music, showing how music improves work performance after.

Here is a discount code to recieve 15% off: OWNERSMAG
Here is a hyperlink direct to product: https://goo.gl/KCUwN2 

Music Improves Work

There are 3 reasons why employees need to listen to music while working:

Music Increases Motivation

Arguably, natural sounds such as classical music or songs without lyrics can increase your productivity. The absence of lyrics creates concentrated attention to the music, allowing the mind to be devoted to your tasks. By including a musical element into your general tasks, the impact results in enhanced attention, better quality in mood, and overall effective learning intake. Statistically showing, 65% of business owners believe that music helps employees be more productive. While in relation, 88% of employees produce more work when listening to music. While each category of music stimulate different moods, classical music is the best option to improve accuracy by 12%, while pop music reduces mistakes by 14%, and other genres sync different outcomes as well.

Music Relieves You Of Your Stress

Music has a special connection to our emotions, most of us use it as a therapeutic tool even. Music has been indicated to stimulate brainwaves, which changes mood and behavioral responses in coordination with the type of music you’ve chosen. When your brain waves get altered, your body starts reacting as well. Your muscles begin to relax, we become more alert, and our breathing and heart rate adjusts to the music we’ve been exposed to. Other benefits include a reduction in stress, decrease in depression, elevated mood, and a promotion in relaxation. This all occurs when a specific song relates to you, with Sudio headphones, your songs can be produced more thoroughly for you to enjoy. The songs are only as good as the tools being implemented to expose it.

Music Inspires Creativity

Certain songs stimulate feelings of nostalgia. When in need of creativity, music can be used as a memory cue to allow your brain to expand. “The brain looks different if you’re trying to solve a creative problem than if you’re trying to solve a math problem,” Dr. Jeffrey Thompson of The Center for Neuroacoustic Research in San Diego explained, who has examined the impact of sound on creativity since 1980. So when you activate music into your tasks, Thompson says the brainwaves try to adjust themselves to the speed of the pulses in the music. “That alters your consciousness, creating a more dreamlike state,” he says. “That dreamlike state, Theta, mirrors the state of consciousness associated with creativity.” Music undergo various impact on your behavior and subconscious. Certain songs can even adjust your mood without even realizing the cause. An increase in creativity results from the musical influence, enhancing how music improves work performance. 

Concentration is often hard to maintain. Employees with mundane tasks are usually victims of being drained at work. Stress is to blame for the rupture in our brain at work, making procedures as simple as learning and concentrating difficult to complete. The cure to this features a response in creating a level of calmness for ourselves. The finding narrowed down music to be the answer to inducing our state of meditation. Though speculation still questions if music improves work performance, it is still being enjoyed during stressful times at work. 

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Business

7 Known Brands that Bootstrapped to Success

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Today’s entrepreneurs have a misconception that in order to succeed, you need outside money, and you need others to validate and invest in your idea. Below are 5 major companies to prove that theory wrong. You’ll probably recognize these 5 successes below and you’ll be more impressed with the fact that they didn’t receive any funding to become successful.

1 – SPANX

Sarah Blakely started her $400M company with about $5000 in her bank. At the mere age of 27, the wild idea of her new to be found startup came while she was getting dressed for a party. At the time, she even researched and wrote the patent herself in order to save money on hiring an attorney. Fast forward to 2016, her company reportedly worth $400 million and she owns 100% of her company.

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Business

5 Strategies To Massively Save On Your Holiday Spending

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Regardless for those who are buying presents on-line or in-person, you continue to need to lower your expenses.
Whereas many individuals neatly use rewards playing cards and coupons, they’re nonetheless lacking out on beneficial financial savings, which can price you serious money. These firms might help.

Get smarter about rewards

Curious which reward program suits you greatest? Birch helps you discover new bank cards based mostly in your spending habits.
Have already got playing cards with cash-back bonuses? You need to nonetheless try the finance app because it additionally helps you optimize what’s already in your pockets.

By grouping your transactions into classes, Birch exhibits you which of them card provides you essentially the most bang to your buck. You’ll never miss a another reward.

Money made simple

Utilizing Ebates is as simple as one, two, three: Join, Earn Cash, Earn Cash again. I’m not kidding.
Free Ebates memberships let savvy buyers seek for combining shops, and with one click on – and a coordinating purchase – you’re creating wealth. I’ve been a member for years.

The web site is straightforward to navigate, together with helpful day by day offers. There’s even a Chrome extension that permits you to simply store with out ever skipping out on reward money again. So even for those who ever neglect to undergo Ebates first, the Money Again Button will notify you.

Easy financial savings

With greater than 600,000 coupons at over 70,000 retailers, Retailmenot has every thing you have to save over the vacations – from coupon codes and cashback provides to meals offers and in-store gross sales.
The web site exhibits customers the highest trending reductions, whereas the app makes it simple to save lots of at your favourite shops and eating places proper out of your cellphone.

For these optimistically venturing out to brick-and-mortar shops, the the digital provides market makes use of push notifications and message-prompts to assist buyers and companies alike.

Flip reward playing cards into gold

Present playing cards amassing mud? Flip them into playing cards you really need or cold-hard money with the most important reward card change on the earth.
CardCash desires your undesirable reward playing cards and truly pays you as much as 92 % of the cardboard worth.

Have somebody in your elevate that’s arduous to buy? I believe you’ll in all probability seize them a present card. Why not do it at a reduction and select from the king-of-card’s big stock?

Giveback whereas gifting

It’s the season of giving – we wouldn’t be speaking about presents if it weren’t – so why not give again whereas procuring?
The world’s first-ever shopfunding web site, GoodShop donates a portion of what you spend once you store at 1000’s of shops on their web site.

From nationwide charities to native colleges and group teams, once you store with Goodshop you not solely save, however you give again.

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