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Minimalist Sanctuary Posts

Sitting On Our Purchases

We’ve heard of sitting on our decision to buy an object of our desire. Usually for at least a day or two.

By sitting on our decision, we reduce our buying impulsion. Many times, our urge to buy will subside once the impulse period has past. But sometimes, even after sitting on our decision for a day or two, we are still adamant on buying.

If that happens, then we can be more sure that our intention to buy is due to our needs and desire, rather than our impulses.

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Letting Go of People

If three years ago, you were to tell me that you’re letting go of your kindergarten friends that you’ve not contacted for the last twenty years, I’ll be giving you a scorn and judge you for treating a relationship with such dispensability. After all, human beings are not stuff. You can’t discard them as you wish, right? Not really.

Although relationships require a deeper consideration before letting go, they also liable to being let go if they aren’t serving us anymore.

Letting such relationships go is not only making more space and time for the people that we are actively around, it is also letting those being let go find their space and time for their loved ones.

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Influencing Others

There’s many ways to influence others. My preferred way to influence others is to ‘not influence others.’

I don’t like to influence others. Trying too hard results in fatigue. Constantly failing leads to exasparation. But that doesn’t mean that we should not do so because influencing others have tons of benefits, not just for ourselves but for others as well. The question is ‘how’?

When we exudes positive energy, we naturally attracts positives to us. And we will also attract people, wanting to know how we possess so much positivity. That’s the best way to influence others.

I consciously keep myself full of positives. Thus, I have no space for negative baggages. Even my empty spaces are filled with positive energy. Once I began to believe in the power of positivity, my life changed. It has come to a point that my default state is an abundance of positivity.

It is hard to be around people who are negative all the time. Ironically, there’s so many negative people in this world who desires to teach people about positivity and happiness.

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It’s amazing how hypocritical our society has become. On one hand, we are encouraged to have financial fluancy. On the other hand, our society is always thinking of new ways to put people in debt.

Credit cards, cash loan, housing loan, vehicle loan, obscene medical bills, education loan, renovation loan, interest free payments, etc. It’s even laudable that being in debt is deemed not only acceptable, but necessary in today’s context.

The feeling of being in debt feels like suffocation. It’s as if every inhalation only fills up a fraction of our lungs capacity. Getting out of it is worth it, even if it meant having to indulge in lesser luxury and comfort.

It’s scary to think that so many of us are one major financial crisis, like a major illness or a retrenchment, away from financial ruins. Yet, so many of us are not just living paycheck to paycheck, but in debt.

As long as we are unable to fully pay for our purchases, they don’t belong to us.

The only way is to live within our means.

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A little gossip here and a little gossip there, couldn’t get any more harmful than an ant bite, could it? Gossiping is a little guilty pleasure that many of us often indulge in. After all, it makes one feels good and it’s free, or is it?

Gossiping about others makes us feel good because when we gossip, we gather people who shares the same opinion about others onto our side. But after a little chuckle about others, nothing is changed and the cycle repeats.

When we gossip, it’s an indication that our lives are unfulfilled. Or even worse, they are shallow and empty. Thus, we need to constantly seek others’ plight to fill up ourselves.

Make a conscious effort to avoid gossips. When people try to lure you into a gossip conversation, smile and avoid gently. When you, yourself, have the urge to find people to gossip with you, turn the other way and go.

Get yourself out of opportunities to gossip. Social media is a very potent source for gossips. There’s various Facebook groups who’s daily job is to simply create an endless stream of topics for people to gossip. When one hot topic dies, another one emerges. And the gossiping community craves for things to gossip about, and unknowingly find themselves stuck in a vicious loop of gossiping.

Gossiping is addictive. It’s like smoking. Cigarettes are easy to acquire, yet the smoking habit is hard to kick. Smoking soothes and releases stress and tension, but the damage is long-termed.

I am sure you would have heard that successful people have no time for gossips. That’s true. We all have 24 hours a day. We spend 8 hours sleeping. 8 hours working. And we are left with only 8 hours for the rest of the things we need to do- that includes travelling, eating, cleaning, leisure, learning, socializing, doing chores, doing groceries etc. Can we really afford frittering our precious time away on gossiping?

If you really want to help or change someone for the better, go volunteer your time to help the needies. I guarantee that you will feel even more useful and purposeful.

Fill up your own life with so much positive and focus that you have no time to gossip about others.

Once I got myself out of the toxic gossip cycle, I began forming a different perspective about happiness. I became more focus on my priorities. My life evidently improved leaps and bounds.

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My Plant-Based Diet

My current diet consists of 90% plant-based food. I eat oats for breakfast and brown rice with a variety of vegetable for lunch. My dinner varies. As a heavy meat-eater all my life, to be able to swing my diet towards a more plant- based one surprised even myself.

I look forward to my every meal. They are not only tasty, but also meaningful. Most importantly, I am in control of what I choose to put in my mouth. This choice is truly liberating, rather than restrictive, as what most would feel.

Ralph Smart said that energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred . When we consume animals, their fear and agony will be transferred to us. This stucked. Minimalism helped me to reduce my craving for meat. Over time, eating meat became even undesirable for my preference. As the distractions around me were reduced, my life principles and health priorities become clearer.

To know that I will leave my next meal guilt-free, antibiotic-free, and growth hormones-free, makes every of them truly enjoyable.

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Our 3 Blocks of Time

I have discovered that we all have 3 blocks of time in our day.

Hard Time

Hard Time doesn’t mean tough times. In this aspect, Hard Time is the block of time where we have compulsory activities to do. And more often than not, we cannot do other things during our Hard Time.

Some examples of activities that we do during our Hard Time are – sleeping and working. Usually Hard Time will take up the majority of our 24 hours. If you sleep, or supposed to, 8 hours and you work for 8 hours, you’d have allocated 16 hours, or one-third, of your time a day to Hard Time.

Soft Time

Soft Time are our free time. This is usually the time in the evening between end work and sleep. This is the period where we may choose to take a nap, play video games, read a book, or watch TV.

We may also choose to spend our Soft Time on activities such as spending time with out loved ones and friends.These activities shouldn’t be underestimated as we all need our rest time, to prevent ourselves from burning out.

In-Between Time

And then, we have our In-Between Time. This is where most people neglected. Our In-Between Time are time such as, travelling time and waiting time.

What do usually do during such times? A simple observation during the rush hours will show that most people are on their phone, texting, surfing, gaming and watching videos. 

But I realized that this is a very important time block for us. Although it may be, perhaps, the shortest, there’s much we can achieve during this period of time. For example, if we spend 2 hours a day of travelling between home and office, we have 2 hours to spend on reading or pursuing our goals, like blogging or studying. 2 hours a day is equals to 730 hours a year.

If your circumstances permit, you may even use your In-Between Time on exercising or meditating. Spend sometime to look through your own daily routines and discover your own In-Between Time. You may even “borrow” some time from your Hard and Soft Times to augment to your In-Between Time to help you achieve even more meaning in your life.

Living in a world where time is of such scarcity, it is important that we cherish them and spend it on activities that bring us the most fulfillment and joy.

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Consume Less, Live More

Countless man-made disasters in the history of our existence are the result of our selfishness and greed.

Why do we need to build dams, mines, and even nuclear reactors? Why are we clearing forests and mountains at such an unprecedented speed without any signs of remorse? Why have we allowed the state of our ocean to deteriorate in such a manner that its marine creatures are depleting and pollution level increasing so quickly.

Everytime, I past by industrial area, I shudder at the sight of thick smoke billowing out from the factories and incinerators.

Our insatiable appetite for more clothes, more meat, more electricity, more houses, more vehicles, more entertainment, more comfort, more water, etc. Not to mention our desire for more things faster, bigger, better and newer. Most of the time, all these just to fulfil our vanity needs. All these are driving our beautiful home to an irrevocable state of destruction, if we are not already there yet.

This vast appetite needs to be curbed. This is the only way we can restore mother earth’s current fragile frame back to its original vitality.

I was heartened by the recent initiatives by the authorities of Koh Phi Phi (Thailand) and Boracay (Philippines). They were aware that the massive number of tourists that visited their famous islands have caused huge damage to their coral reefs and marine life. Therefore, they were able to put aside their profits and close themselves to tourism to allow their coral reefs and marine life to recover. Truly there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

This is just what the whole world needs. Instead of justifying how powerless our individual strengths are, think about how we can touch others and influence their believes with our own conviction.

Mother earth has sacrificed so much of herself for us. It’s about time we do something for her.

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The Lives of Others

One of the huge mistakes that many of us make is we care too much about others. We care too much about how they live, eat, and say. We care who they are with. We care how many kids they have. We even care what they are thinking, how they think of us, if they are even thinking about us at all.

It’s addictive to constantly be updated with the lives of others. And often, our attention are cast on others so much that we forgot about our own existence.

Many of us live a life obsessed with how others live. Then we compare. Then we feel upset with all their achievements and joy, that we miss out in our own lives. 

But life doesn’t have to be like that. Take a break from our obsession with others. The more we are able to stop caring about others, the more we will be able to refocus our time and energy to improve our own.

The key is to reduce our exposure that makes us want to care about others. Be it cutting down our social media time or quitting the gossip club during lunchtime.

Often, how people think, about us or about other things, have no bearings on us whatsoever.

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