Fumio Sasaki owns a roll-up mattress, three shirts and four pairs of socks. After deciding to scorn possessions, he began feeling happier. He explains why
Let me tell you a bit about myself. Im 35 years old, male, single, never been married. I work as an editor at a publishing company. I recently moved from the Nakameguro neighbourhood in Tokyo, where I lived for a decade, to a neighbourhood called Fudomae in a different part of town. The rent is cheaper, but the move pretty much wiped out my savings.
Some of you may think that Im a loser: an unmarried adult with not much money. The old me would have been way too embarrassed to admit all this. I was filled with useless pride. But I honestly dont care about things like that any more. The reason is very simple: Im perfectly happy just as I am.
The reason? I got rid of most of my material possessions.
Minimalism is a lifestyle in which you reduce your possessions to the least possible. Living with only the bare essentials has not only provided superficial benefits such as the pleasure of a tidy room or the simple ease of cleaning, it has also led to a more fundamental shift. Its given me a chance to think about what it really means to be happy.
We think that the more we have, the happier we will be. We never know what tomorrow might bring, so we collect and save as much as we can. This means we need a lot of money, so we gradually start judging people by how much money they have. You convince yourself that you need to make a lot of money so you dont miss out on success. And for you to make money, you need everyone else to spend their money. And so it goes.
So I said goodbye to a lot of things, many of which Id had for years. And yet now I live each day with a happier spirit. I feel more content now than I ever did in the past.