How to Design a Simple Life with Minimalist Habits: A Pathway to Essentialism

In a world characterized by materialism and endless distractions, there’s a growing trend towards minimalist living. It’s a reaction to the constant buzz, a conscious choice to slow down and focus on the essential. But, how can one make this transition? This article explores how to design a simple life with minimalist habits drawing inspiration from a captivating YouTube video by Pickup Lines.

Understanding the Core Philosophy: Essentialism

The journey to minimalist living begins with adopting a new mindset – the philosophy of Essentialism. This concept, popularized by Greg McEwen in his audiobook ‘Essentialism’, encourages us to differentiate between what’s ‘truly great’ and what’s ‘merely okay’. This is the vital first step in learning how to design a simple life with minimalist habits.

Essentialism fosters the habit of focusing on the ‘vital few’ instead of the ‘trivial many’. It’s about discerning what truly matters to us and stripping away the rest. Ironically, we live in a society that equates ‘busy’ with ‘important’, which often leads to overloaded schedules and a cluttered lifestyle. By adopting an essentialist mindset, we can start to de-clutter our lives both physically and mentally.

Tackling the Endowment Effect

A significant barrier to minimalist living is the ‘endowment effect’. This psychological principle suggests that we value things more once we own them. So, whether it’s that pair of jeans you haven’t worn in years or the book gathering dust on your shelf, you likely find it hard to let go because you’re already the owner.

To combat this effect, it’s beneficial to consider each item or commitment as if you didn’t already own it or have it in your schedule. Ask yourself, “Would I seek out this object or event if I didn’t already have it?” If the answer is ‘no’, it’s probably not essential to you.

The Power of ‘No’

Learning to say ‘no’ is a key tool in our arsenal to reclaim time and create a simpler life. It might seem challenging at first, especially if you’re the type who feels guilty about turning down requests. However, it’s important to remember that declining a request isn’t the same as rejecting the person.

The mantra here is, “If it isn’t a hell yes, it’s a no.” This rule ensures that you only spend your time and energy on the things that genuinely resonate with you.

Creating Mental Breathing Space

Our current society, characterized by its non-stop flow of digital information, has almost completely eradicated boredom. While this might seem like a good thing, it has also robbed us of our mental breathing space. These moments of quiet, where our minds can freely wander, are invaluable.

So, instead of habitually reaching for your phone or turning on the TV, why not welcome moments of idleness? Focus on your surroundings, the light through the window, the feel of your tea or coffee, the sensations in your body. This mindful habit is a critical component in the journey of designing a simple life with minimalist habits.

Tips to Design a Simple Life with Minimalist Habits

Here are some actionable steps you can take towards a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle:

  • Identify your essentials: Start by pinpointing what truly matters to you. This could be anything from your relationships to your passion projects.
  • Purge the non-essentials: Gradually start to eliminate the non-essentials from your life, be it material possessions or time-consuming commitments.
  • Develop the habit of saying ‘no’: Cultivate the ability to refuse things that do not contribute to your essential list.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Essentialism? Essentialism is a philosophy that encourages us to focus on the vital few things in life, disregarding the trivial many.

2. What is the endowment effect? The endowment effect is a psychological principle suggesting we value things more once we own them, making it hard to let go.

3. How can saying ‘no’ lead to a simpler life? Saying ‘no’ allows us to reclaim time and avoid non-essential commitments, contributing to a simpler, less cluttered lifestyle.

4. How can I create a mental breathing space? Welcome moments of idleness instead of reaching for digital distractions. Spend time observing your surroundings or your physical sensations.

5. How to start with minimalist living? Start by identifying your essentials, eliminating non-essentials, learning to say ‘no’, and creating mental breathing spaces.


Understanding how to design a simple life with minimalist habits is a transformative journey towards essentialism. By focusing on what truly matters, challenging the endowment effect, mastering the art of saying ‘no’, and creating mental breathing space, you’re setting a solid foundation for a simpler and more satisfying lifestyle.

This lifestyle change doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s crucial to approach it with patience and compassion towards yourself. After all, as with any journey, the path to minimalist living is just as important as the destination. So, why not start today and take your first step towards a simpler life?

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