Becoming Minimalist With Joshua Becker and “But Wait, There’s More!”
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Interview with Joshua Becker of BecomingMinimalist.com
We had an amazing interview with, Joshua. He shared so much information with us! He is truely an inspiration and has fantastic advice on how to simplify and get more out of your life by living with less. Here is a list of questions we asked Joshua (believe us…you definitely want to listen to the podcast!):
1. So, Joshua…who are you and how do you make people’s lives simpler?
2. Could you tell us about the “catalyst” that helped you decide to become minimalist and if there were any other factors or events leading up to your decisions?
3. Tell us about how you approached your wife about your idea to pursue minimalism…her reaction…and your collective decision to move forward. Was there any “pushback?”
4. Can you describe how long it took you to get to a point where you called yourself a ‘minimalist’? Can you explain the process?
5. How do you define or explain minimalism? What does it physically look like to you…how does it feel?
6. Does minimalism for you also include letting go of mental and digital clutter? Bad relationships, overcommitment? Do you have any recommendations for doing that?
7. In your book Inside-Out Simplicity you talk about healthy relationships. I know from personal and professional experience that it’s usually easier when couples are on the same sheet of music, but what advice would you give if couples have different ideas of what simplifying is?
8. In Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness (Simply for Students) you tell a story about your son and his birthday money. I think every parent has experienced that at some point. Could you describe that experience and give some advice to those of us with kids about how to deal with the constant consumer pitch of “more, more, more” and “bigger is better” from every aspect of the media?
9. In your book Simplify, you say that living simply is “the real secret to financial freedom.” How have you found that to be true in your journey and do you have any financial pointers for us?
10. If someone asked what the benefits are to a lifestyle like yours, what would you tell them?
11. How can people learn more about you?
12. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Dan’s Topic: “But Wait, There’s More!” The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show
Alright, so this past week I was in Las Vegas for the 2013 New Media Expo and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and I thought I’d discuss some of my experiences there. So, I’ll let the irony of that sink in for a moment…a guy trying desperately to fight consumerism and simplify his life…at the CONSUMER electronics show…the LARGEST Consumer Electronics Show in history with over 100K people in attendance. Yeah…trust me…the irony wasn’t lost on me either! I was actually there on business because I help my clients with tech for their businesses and even some individuals who just want tech coaching.
So, first off, I walked the show with a couple of friends from morning until dinner time and let me just say that the show was pretty amazing! It would be impossible to cover everything but I thought I would summarize my experience including the good, the ridiculous and some thoughts I had on the whole experience:
- We walked 9 miles, and still didn’t see it all. If I had to guess, I’d say we saw maybe half, if that. Other folks tracked in over 15miles! That’s a lot of consumer products!
- Companies from every country on the globe were there selling their wares. All the new lines of gadgets and even super hi-tech robots.
- Joshua eluded to the fact that we are bombarded with about 5000 advertisements a day. Well…think of the CES as that on steroids…like full blast, no holds barred, in your face, just a crazy consumerism extravaganza….”But wait there’s more!” kind of world!
- I couldn’t help but evaluate it all as I was going through the show, and what struck me was the word lure. You know, like a fishing lure. I came to the conclusion that the intent of most advertising is simply to lure us in with flashy attention getters, that lack any real substance.
- Lures were everywhere! From swag bags to” booth babes” and none of which had anything to do with the products.
- And after all that walking around, not much at the show really impressed me as new, innovative or “must have”.
- Products I did like were the new ScanSnap scanner and some very nice Harmon Kardon headphones (they fit perfectly, had amazing sound and can be used corded or cordless…and you know I can’t stand cords).
- On the ridiculous end were $1000 ear buds…I mean really?…earbuds…$1000? And then the worst was they iPotty. Yes…taking one of Nature’s most basic functions (kids learning how to go to the bathroom) and adding the iPad to it. (You’ve got to listen to my rant on the podcast! I had Vanessa vapor-locked!).
- So, you know what I’ll remember most? Sitting down to dinner at Beni Hanna’s with friends Cliff Ravenscraft from GSPN.tv and Gordon Firemark from Firemark.com for Gordon’s birthday meal. I cherish the personal experiences I had with friends.
- The same goes for my experience at New Media Expo. The NMX staff did a wonderful job…but as much value came from the natural interaction, mingling…some would call it “networking”… as it did from the speakers and sessions.
- So, once again I think this is an example of paying for experiences and opportunities as opposed to paying for “stuff.”
- I leave you with this: Ask yourself “If I had twice as much stuff, would I be twice as happy?” What about three times more? What about half?” I know what the answer is for me, and only you know what the right answer is for you.
- And next time you feel yourself getting reeled in by advertising, try to figure out if they are using bait or just a lure. Choose wisely…watch out for the lures…and maybe help out a few of the other fish in the sea while you’re at it.
Vanessa’s Topic: Edit & Forget Challenge Update
We wanted to give you an update on our Edit and Forget It Challenge. To date, we’ve gotten rid of 322 items…we actually got rid of 120 things on the first day! Not bad for just starting, huh?! We’ve also created a spreadsheet to track all the items and what we’ve done with them…DONATE, TOSS, RECYCLE, SELL, ETC. Additionally I’ve been taking photos and keeping notes on my observations, discoveries and some funnies along the way. Here are a few examples:
- When editing my memorabilia box, I started going down memory lane and bored Dan with my stories of the past. I even read a letter from a former boyfriend. Who does that? (Listen to the podcast to see how I redeem myself!)
- I also got busted by our 5 year old daughter. I tried to toss an old hair scrunchie and she busted me red-handed! She obviously had use for it.
- We also discovered that sometimes items can bring up bad feelings…like the universal remote Dan got years ago that apparently was the bane of his existence at one point in his life. The only thing it “switched” on was his frustration! (But he hasn’t given up hope!)
- And we also got rid of some rather odd things….like caution tape (huh?)…a feather duster (what the?)… and Christmas golf towels (we don’t golf)!
For those of you who’ve signed up for the Edit & Forget It Challenge…thank you! We’ll be emailing you very soon with updates. When we had 10 folks sign up we were impressed. Then we got 20 folks to sign up and we were like, “wow!” Now we’ve got even more! If you haven’t signed up but are interested in the challenge, just click on the Edit and Forget It icon on the left hand side of this page. Remember, it’s not just about letting go of your things…it’s about renewing your mindset and discovering that less is more!
The “Thing” Segment:
Vanessa: Live Different
Vanessa’s “THING” was about an article titled “Live Different” by Pete Tegeler on a blog called The Unitive. In the article he talks about living in a place of tension…and the struggle between Escapism (when you feel threatened) and Conformity (the need to be relevant). And he also talks about the struggles of pluralism and materialism. Vanessa relates to this article, especially with how we are intentionally living different lives by living with less.
Dan: An Invisible Thread…an interview on Huckabee
While in Vegas he had the TV on and saw Governor Huckabee interviewing a lady named Laura Schroff and a man named Maurice Mazyck. They have an incredible story that she shares in her book, An Invisible Thread. It is the story of the mysterious, unseen connections that exist between people who are destined to meet—and how, if only we open our eyes and our hearts to them, these connections can be the great blessings of our lives (Its a must see! Link is below).
We’re blessed to be able to share some ideas and some of our experiences as we journey toward a simpler life in the modern world and we’d like to hear some of your experiences, too.
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So, here are the links we mentioned in the show: