Anytime you hear about self help books they seem to focus on getting you more. More business, more perspective, more knowledge. And while ‘more’ isn’t always bad, it certainly isn’t always good. In fact, it wasn’t until my year of less that I actually started to understand how to live with less and actually how much better it feels.
But to say that it just *clicked* would be a lie. Finding out what you value and investing in that, fashion, travel, food, photography – whatever you want, is not as simple as reading a book… though they certainly can help you find a new perspective.
Chasing Slow – Well let’s just say it – I’m a touch obsessed with this book. And maybe it’s because I talked about the importance of slow a mere year ago and then promptly forgot about it’s importance. But really I think it has to do with the author’s up front honesty and her ability to find humor in her mistakes of the pursuit of better and faster. Erin Loechner does a wonderful job balancing entertainment + insight that keeps me chuckling and nodding along to her life lessons.
If you are looking for a bit of humor to start with the ‘less is more’ or minimalism craze start here.
Live More, Want Less – The book that started it all.
While this is book is a touch less entertaining and much more… instructive, it provides a hard look in the mirror at any possible bad habits. The author also talks about the incessant use of “loving” a mere object. I can’t count how many time I’ve said some version of “I love this dress.” It’s a habit I have yet to kick, but one I know realize I overuse and how that can skew the perception of what truly matters to me. I like to look at this book as my manual of “how-to” live with less and then Chasing Slow as my reward for trying out the lifestyle.
Essentialism – This book is one of those that I enjoyed, but never really connected to. I’m not sure why as it’s written well and it really does hit the head on the importance of living with less, but I think his examples lack the connection I found in Live More, Want Less. Business owners and executives would most likely enjoy this most, as I know for many it’s a constant struggle of life vs business.
If Live More, Want Less didn’t really do it for you I would say try this one as it approaches the subjects slightly differently and provides different examples you might align with more.
Spark Joy – This book is currently on my list as my next must read because while I have yet to read it cover to cover, the little sections I’ve scanned have me so excited.
The one thing I’m not a big fan of the minimalism trend (oh yes even minimalism isn’t perfect) is that it can be a touch extreme. I’m all for living with less, but I’m not convinced that means I have to live w i t h o u t. And yes while sometimes my closet might have some clothing that isn’t practical… it can still bring me joy and that’s something that’s just as important as avoiding excess. Marie Kondo’s approach to live with less seems to be all about the balance of joy + organization – a concept I can eagerly get on board with. (It even has cute tidying encyclopedia I can’t wait to use in my open closet!)
One thing I always try to stress about a life of less is that it doesn’t have to mean going without and lines drawn. It’s more of a way of knowing and appreciating what you value in life.
Have you read any of these books or have any another suggestions?