Achieving Minimalism Through Exhaustion

 

It’s been about 2 months since I arrived back in the US from my New Zealand adventure.

In that time, I’ve started 2 new projects, increased the footprint of this site, visited almost 40 states, met several hundred new friends (in REAL LIFE!), drank several thousand gallons of energy drink (approximately), downsized my possessions a bit, started writing for a travel blog and figured out the next steps in my personal and professional life.

And you know what? I’m frickin’ exhausted. At the moment I’m in Seattle, and after a few days I’ll head down to LA for a week or so before heading out to Thailand, and all I can think about is how I want to sleep and consume nothing but vegetables and water for the next 80 years.

There’s a tinge to that exhaustion, though, that feels like victory. I recognize this feeling because I get it every time I push myself into overdrive and accomplish far more than would have been possible in normal gear.

Maybe it’s the Stoic in me that looks at it this way, but it’s by pushing the extremes that you really find out what your priorities are; when we’re just coasting through life it’s easy to fill up the extra space with extraneous stuff.

But when you only have 24 hours in your day and you know you’ll be driving 15 hours to get to your next location (and spending at least a few hours drinking with your host when you arrive), you can be damn sure that the unnecessary disappears and all that’s left is clean, crisp, concise matters of importance.

This is the essence of Minimalism as a philosophy. The unimportant is brushed away, allowing what you’re passionate about to take center stage.

21 comments

  1. “This is the essence of Minimalism as a philosophy. The unimportant is brushed away, allowing what you’re passionate about to take center stage.”

    that’s beautiful. Pure art right there.

  2. Water and vegetables, sometimes that’s all my body craves (minus a crazy cross-country road trip which undeniably makes it more difficult on the body). We have to listen to it, especially after we’ve exhausted ourselves to the utmost extent. But hopefully you’ll have some time to sleep before heading off to Thailand!

    “This is the essence of Minimalism as a philosophy. The unimportant is brushed away, allowing what you’re passionate about to take center stage.” <– Love it!

  3. That is such a stark contrast to the opposite of minimalism. Exhaustion from maintaining all the stuff, only leads to an endless battle.

  4. Congratulations on your exhaustion. It is well deserved! I am most impressed of your massive consumption of energy drink. Yikes! :)

    Both New Zealand and Thailand are two places I am considering living next in November although I am considering 5 other places as well. I’ve decided I will be traveling all next year. And I hope our paths will cross outside of the US at some point!

  5. Congratulations on your exhaustion. It is well deserved! I am most impressed of your massive consumption of energy drink. Yikes! :)

    Both New Zealand and Thailand are two places I am considering living next in November although I am considering 5 other places as well. I’ve decided I will be traveling all next year. And I hope our paths will cross outside of the US at some point!

  6. Vipassana.
    Es…… interesante! No tienes que hacer mucho pero hacer……. mucho!
    MISS YOU!!!!
    xx

  7. Vegatables and water. Great idea. Fresh vegatables make you feel soo much better. Instead of taking a nap after a meal, you actually feel like doing something!
    Thanks for doing the Roadtrip and I am excited to have you as my new friend!

  8. I try to optimize my diet after something like this, since it gets so out of whack while on the road. It usually stabilizes back with mostly good stuff with the occasional bad stuff after a few weeks, but I want to get back to square one first.

    Thanks for hosting us during the roadtrip, and all three of us were thrilled to meet you and to keep in touch!

  9. It’s true. And what have you gained in the end? No, concentrating on what’s important results in much better gains, financially, mentally and philosophically.

  10. Well if you do decide to head over to Thailand, you know I’ve got a couch with your name on it!

    Congrats on all the success you’ve been having in China!

  11. It is funny how your body will seldom do you wrong when it comes to craving healthy foods. It’s mostly habits that make us aim for the bad stuff…only a few days into my detox and I find myself reaching for energy drinks out of habit, and I have to remind myself that habit is the only reason I’m doing it.

  12. Hmmm, well, it really depends.

    I’ve been in this mindset for a whole school year in the past, but I was incredibly wiped out by the end. I find that going in bursts – a week or two at a time – is usually best for me. I’m sure different people have different levels of tolerance, though.

  13. Pingback: Home is Grad School, Abroad is Kindergarten | Exile Lifestyle

  14. Pingback: Home is Grad School, Abroad is Kindergarten

  15. Okay, I’m playing catch up since I wasn’t really online in August.
    I returned home. Did a some mass newsletter unsubscribing. Cut like 4 projects and have been in this zen-like state ever since. I think I’m beginning to understand this idea of minimalism. Now, maybe my hair that was falling out on the side will grow back..

  16. Pingback: Minimalismo através da exaustão < yLog

Comments are closed.