healthy living

The Minimalists Documentary Review

If you haven’t heard of The Minimalists, it’s time you did. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are helping people take a more minimalistic approach to life; in fact, they’ve inspired over 20 million people. Their work has been featured in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Time, and every major broadcast news station.

Don’t be confused by their vision though. They are not solely about reducing material possessions. In fact, that’s only a very small part of what they teach. More importantly, they teach how to truly experience life by having more. More passion, more growth, more happiness, more experiences, more of what really matters and less of what doesn’t.

They inspire through their podcast, website, books, and now, their documentary which is currently available on Netflix. In an effort to minimalize, you don’t need to purchase a DVD or even have expensive cable to watch it.

This is a must-see documentary, high on the top of my recommendations list. Not just for those who wish to live a simpler life, but for everyone everywhere. It not only shows how to create a simpler, happy life for yourself, but how to give back to the environment around you and leave the world a better place than you found it.

The overall message is universal to everyone … we buy too many material things (most of which we don’t need and can’t afford), we allow our kids to have too much, we spend too much time on social media, and too much time disconnected from each other.

5 Takeaways from the Film

  1. The film does an exceptional job of promoting the idea of living with less in order to create more freedom, both spiritually and financially. Joshua and Ryan both left corporate jobs to live with less and live more intentionally. They discovered that having fewer material possessions led to happier lives and better relationships.
  2. Joshua and Ryan discuss ways to protect and save the environment. Although, they could have addressed this topic deeper as many people are committed to living more environmentally-friendly lives.
  3. They addressed that fact that even though they encourage minimalism, we do still have needs. Buying stuff is not the problem. Buying TOO much stuff is. Instead of buying stuff just to fill a void in your life, buy only what you need to add value to your life. Instead of buying more stuff, live a more meaningful life with experiences instead.
  4. They discussed the tiny home movement and living in less space. While this is certainly a wonderful idea, it’s not always practical. Depending on the size of your family, it may not be beneficial for you. Instead, it may make more sense to make better use of your existing space. Instead of building and creating something new that fills space in the world, remodel existing space to make it more usable.
  5. I got to know Joshua and Ryan a little better through the personal stories they shared of their life and hardships they faced both as children and as adults. It allowed me to feel like I understood them and their message a little better.

All-in-all, it’s well worth the two hours to watch and learn about the minimalist movement and how you can incorporate it into your own life.

About the author

Emilie Burke

Emilie is a politics-major turned data engineer. She graduated from Princeton University in 2015 and from Smartly with her MBA in 2016. She lives in North Carolina with her college sweetheart Casey who is currently stationed at Fort Bragg. She enjoys eating food, cuddling with her dog, and binge watching HGTV. She blogs at Burke Does. You can find her around the web at @emilielimaburke.

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