The Less You Have, the More You Have

eric kim photography - Cindy Project - black and white-7-headband-portrait

As an American, I’ve been taught to become a hoarder.

I hate throwing things away. I always feel a sense of loss. I know how much money I spent on something, so throwing it away is like throwing away money.

But in reality, the more stuff I’ve accrued in life, the more stress I accrued.

Removing physical baggage

For a while now, I’ve been trying to live a more minimalist life. And it has liberated me.

For example, the more physical stuff I started to purge, throw away, or give away — the lighter I felt. The less stress I had.

The fewer devices I had in my life, the less stuff I needed to charge, update, and sync. And the less stress.

The fewer clothes I had, the less stress I had in deciding what to wear every morning.

Remove mental baggage

This also worked with removing mental baggage.

For example, the less I used social media, the less jealous or envious I was of my friends or others.

The less I regretted my decisions from the past, the less I dwelled and had less regret.

The less I resented others, the less poison I drank myself.

What can we remove to have more?

In having less, it is often having more.

What else can you remove from your life to have more? Some ideas:

  1. Less gear, more creativity: The more cameras and lenses I had in the past, the less creative I was. Too much gear is too much complication, and stress. I fell into “paralysis by analysis” — decision fatigue with trying to decide which camera or lens to shoot with today. Now just having 1 camera and 1 lens, I don’t have to make any decisions. And I make the best of what I have.
  2. Less time on your phone: The less time you spend on your phone, the more focus you will have. And the more attention you will give your loved ones. So whenever possible, try to uninstall superfluous and distracting apps from your phone. Disable all notifications. Set your phone to mute, airplane mode, or turn it off completely when you’re not using it.
  3. Less complaining: The less we complain, the more gratitude we have. And the more patience we have. So the next time someone says something nasty to you, or you lose your patience, bear it bravely. Don’t complain — just feel pity for the other person. The less we complain, the more happiness we will find in our lives.

The less you have, the more you have.

Learn more: Zen >