At age 30, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, left their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on life's most important aspects. And they never looked back.
This book's foreword and first chapter examine Joshua and Ryan's backgrounds, their troubled pasts, and their eventual spiral into depression. These chapters discuss why the authors didn't feel fulfilled by their careers and why they turned to society's idea of living: working ridiculous hours, wastefully spending money, living paycheck to paycheck. Instead of finding their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences, inducing a cocaine-like high that didn't last far past the checkout line.
And then, after a set of life-changing events, they discovered minimalism, which allowed Joshua and Ryan to eliminate life's excess and focus on the essential things in life.
The subsequent chapters explore their journey into a lifestyle known as minimalism and discusses why these two successful businessmen eschewed their excess stuff in favor of focusing on life's the more important aspects: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.
The authors discuss how minimalism allowed them to focus on each area, citing personal examples of how they changed everything in their lives over a two year span, during which time they left their corporate jobs, got out of debt, changed their diets, started exercising regularly, strengthened their core relationships, established exciting new relationships, began pursuing their passions, contributed to more people, and found ways to be content and happy with their lives.
The final chapter, Confluence of Meaning, binds together these five dimensions and asks the reader important questions about his or her life.
This book's content is different from the content at TheMinimalist.com. While the authors' website documents their journey into minimalism and their continued growth through experimentation, this book discusses minimalism in a different way: it discusses in great depth the five dimensions of living a meaningful life. It also gives the reader much more insight into the authors' personal lives, into the painful events that led them to journey into minimalism, and into their world outside the web.
©2011 Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (P)2012 Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
Eric J. Gruber
I didn't like the narration at all. Sorry, mate.
Literally almost anyone.
I didn't finish it because it, sorry to say.
The book is fine...interesting, even. But the accent of the narrator (who sounds like a young Thurston Howell III) is completely incongruous for a book about living life simply written by two working-class guys from Dayton, Ohio.
I appreciate the book for its purpose however, I really was looking for it to be more steps and formulas to help me in my lack of decision making when it comes to clutter. What if my passion is fashion and I have a hard time deciding which clothes and accessories to get rid of? The story of these two guys' journey is inspiring and all the principles are good for creating and maintaining a meaningful life. I personally just feel that I have a meaningful life with too much stuff!
"Minimalistic yes, but also very general"
This was the second book by The Minimalists I have listened to. The first was "Everything That Remains" describing J. Fields Millburns development from corporate careerist to minimalist philosopher and author, and which I liked a lot better.
I downloaded "Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life" expecting to get a more hands-on approach to the many ideas raised in "Everything That Remains". However, this book is very "broad strokes" in some places (live healthy, don't waste time and attention on the wrong people, find and live your passion, etc.) and oddly detailed in others (don't eat pasta or dairy, prioritize your relationships MS Excel style). I like The Minimalists but I wouldn't recommend this book - unless you have never heard of them and don't have time to sample their blog to get an idea of what they are all about.
"Wonderful! It grew me from the inside out."
This is the first audio book that I have wanted to listen to again, back to back. I am so pleased that I didn't read the reviews before buying, as I actually hate to think what I would have missed out on.
I am in the middle of my own personal journey towards minimal living and I have read and listened to many discussions of the subject, even so, there was *so* much in this book that I hadn't previously considered. I found it expansive and thought provoking, and as I listened the content consistently challenged areas of my own thinking that were previously embryonic. As a result I genuinely felt as though it grew me from the inside out. I particularly appreciated the chapter that looked at relationships. As someone who currently spends 90% of my time and energy on people who are not in my core groups (family/close friends), I found the ideas that were expounded very illuminating.
The narration was fine for me, not outstanding, but perfectly pleasant to listen to, accurate and at a good speed.
Many thanks to Joshua and Ryan for writing this life changing book. I am delighted to find that there are other materials you guys have published that I can now devour.
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