James Altucher describes how minimalism brought him “freedom and joy.” On Boing Boing:
I have one bag of clothes, one backpack with a computer, iPad, and phone. I have zero other possessions.
Today I have no address. At this exact moment I am sitting in a restaurant and there’s no place for me to go to lie down.
By tonight I will find a place to lie down. Will that be my address? Probably not.
Am I minimalist? I don’t know. I don’t care. I don’t like that word. I live the way I like to live no matter what label it has.
At any moment, you are exactly where you want to be, for better or worse.
A lot of people get minimalism confused.
It’s not necessarily a good way to live. Or a free way to live for many people. It’s just the way I like to live.
Altucher is a hedge fund manager. Presumably one of the possessions he carries in that one bag is a financial instrument that will allow him to bed down for the night in any of the most luxurious hotels in the world. I was going to speculate he has an American Express Black Card. But he says he has no credit cards. Still, lots of money is required to make the minimalist lifestyle comfortable.
If he wasn’t rich, he’d just be homeless.
But I’m not trying to be dismissive. There’s something appealing about Altucher’s lifestyle. And it’s always worthwhile to be conscious of which of our possessions enrich our lives, and which are just anchors weighing us down.