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Author: Minimalist Sanctuary

Our Wardrobe

My wife and I shares a wardrobe. Our clothes are hung together. For our folded clothes, I have my stack and she has hers. But they are all on the same shelf. I have two stacks and she has four.

Over the weekend, we have decided to reorganize our wardrobe. She will keep her clothes on the right side and I will keep mine on the left.

Having our own clothing space means that we have more autonomy over our own clothes – How many clothes we want to own, how do we want to keep our clothes, how do we want to fold our clothes, etc.

It also means that we won’t have to go through each other clothes first before finding our own.

These minor hassles add up over time.

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Fake It Till You Make It (Or Not)

“Fake it till you make it”

Have you ever been at the receiving end of this advice? Or perhaps you’re already a seasoned exponent of it? Should we “fake it” or should we not?

I’ve personally heard my fair share of both supporting and opposing sets of views.

Before we conclude on a should or should not answer, it’s important that we ask ourselves more questions. What are we faking? What’s the purpose of faking? Who are we faking to?

If your contemplation is to satisfy your inferior complexity due to your low levels of serotonin, then even though “faking till you make it” may boost your satisfaction at that moment, it will make you feel worse in the long run.

Or maybe you are working in a sales environment and your boss told you that you need to fake it till you make it. If it’s part of the job criteria to do so, then you may want to analyze your career goals. No doubt faking, or putting on a successful facade, may be necessary in many jobs, we must also question ourselves what is the degree of faking we need to comply. Will anyone be adversely affected by our faking. Are the trade-offs worth it? If you detect hesitations in your answers to those questions, perhaps more convincing is required.

But there’s one instance where faking till you make it is acceptable. That is faking positivity if you’re constantly shrouded with negativity. The reason is because faking positivity is better than no positivity. Faking positivity when one is negative or devoid of any positivity will, one day, begets real positivity. However, while faking it, it is even more important that we actively take actions to remove the negativity in us and to attract real positivity.

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Measuring Happiness

Unless we are always walking around with a dopamine gauge sticking out from our brain, it’s pretty hard to measure happiness.

Some say being famous and wealthy are good indicators of happiness. The more famous and wealthy we are, the happier we are. I’m inclined to think that it’s true but I am unable to verify them because I’m neither.

One of the ways I measure my level of happiness is through the quantity and quality level of my sleep. When I’m happy, I am able to sleep easily and sleep free of nightmares.

Other indicators of happiness can be our health status, our financial status, our relationship status and the state of our surroundings.

If we are constantly being bugged by negative energy such as, illness, living paycheck to paycheck, debt, conflicts, violence, and clutter, perhaps it’s a good indication that we are having an undesirable level of happiness.

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Me, My Boy, and the Rain

As the drizzle turns into rain, I was stranded under the shelter, with my little one.

In such circumstances, I should be feeling as gloomy as the weather. Instead, I realized how much of a blessing it actually was.

How often do we have the opportunity to be stuck in the rain with our loved ones. It’s as if heaven had made such an arrangement so that I could have a personal moment with my boy.

I hugged him tightly.

He chuckled cheekily.

Then he babbled. “Deh, deh, deh” and “Ba, ba, ba.”

When one gets immensed in such a moment, nothing else matters.

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A Quiet Corner In a Bustling City

Peaceful corner

An important aspect of minimalism is to find peace, as peace leads to relaxation and happiness. In a busy metropolitan city like Singapore, it may be hard to find a quiet corner to rest our mind.

One lovely place I recommend is in the library at Esplanade. Its cosy reading corner is lined with comfortable sofas and couches, and it offers one of the most awe-inspiring view of the city.

the famous .. roofs

It is also a perfect escape from the tropical heat. Of cos, the best part is that it is a library. So, the people that come here are expected to be considerate. And also Esplanade being a concert theatre for arts and performances, this library is filled with artistic material to stimulate even the most ardent art fantatics (or connoisseurs).

the COMPLETE beatles song book

On this occassion, the Beatles fanboy in me got enticed to pick up this splendid, massive, 350 page Beatles songs “encyclopedia” to satisfy my Beatles crave while waiting for my wife and son. “How big a Beatles fan are you?”, you may ask. “I named my son, Jude” that’s how big. No, Jude is not any of the Fab Four. It’s for their famous hit Hey Jude, which is written by Paul McCartney to Julian, John Lennon’s son, to comfort him after his parents’ impending divorce. Okay, I digressed.

So, if you’re ever around this part of the city, come here to relax and read a book or two. You may even bump into me, deeply engrossed in my next reading adventure.

Quiet rows of sofas
Singapore city skyline
Marina Bay Sands
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Where’s Happiness

Our default state is happiness. Unfortunately, many people do not realize it and they choose to embark on a redundant journey to seek it externally.

Many people start to compare themselves with others. Putting unnecessary blame upon themselves when they lack what others possess. Many also put heavy expectations on themselves and others around them when their desires are unmet.

Why are we living in the most depressive times in the history of mankind? Aren’t those high-tech inventions and futuristic gadgets supposed to make us happier?

Try to let expectations go, or at least reduce them. Similarly, let go of comparisons. Learn to be contented. Cut down your social media usage. Think of one thing that you’re grateful for in your life everyday. Slowly, but surely, you’ll eventually realize that happiness, is really just in our pocket.

We all are living in the spaces between our real self and the person we desire to be.

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Letting Go of Memories

Memories serve its purpose in our survival. The good ones keep us happy and motivated to carry on with our lives. The bad one constantly reminds us to stay away from the danger that we once encountered.

However, holding on to too much memories can be detrimental to us. It slows us down and may even stop us from moving forward in life. They may also become an emotional baggage that causes us fatigue.

Memories may be in physical forms such a photographs, certain songs that may trigger a past experience, letters and cards, clothes, journals, and even relationships.

Memories can also be in their mental forms of images in our mind.

It is important to realize the importance of letting go of our memories, especially those which aren’t serving us well anymore.

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3 Things That Animal Lovers Should Not Do

Don’t buy a pet

Pets are cute. But the dark truth is that a majority of them are produced through the cruel industry of animal breeding to satisfy the profitable pets industry. Puppies, kittens, chicks, hamsters, etc. Once they outgrow their “cute” period, they are cast aside, or even exterminated to avoid further maintenance requirement. Therefore, I do not recommend any animal lovers to buy pets, especially from the petshop, or really from anywhere.

Go find a hobby.

Visit places that exploit animals

Behind the lights and pyros of the circus industry, animals are being tortured to the point of insanity to perform unnatural tricks to entertain us. Wild animals are being captured and separated from their herds and cramped in cages, no more the size of themselves. Often, resulting them in displaying signs of distress like self-mutilation and engaging in repetitive actions, like pacing up and down the cage or swinging their heads from side to side for a long period of time.

Becareful, some of the places that engage in animal exploitation activities disguises themselves under the pretense of ethical terms such as, educational and conservational. Therefore, it is important to see past such facade and employ our ethical judgements.

Eat animals

There’s a whole dimension of debates going on about whether we should, or should not, eat animals. Many of us are brought up to see animals, such as chicken and fish, are produced for our consumption. This idea itself may seem a little self-entitled.

It is no doubt that living things feel pain and suffering when they are captured and slaughtered. Ralph Smart said that because energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred, the fear and agony of the animals that are being killed will be transferred to us. Why would we subject ourselves to such negative energy, just to satisfy our cravings?

Conclusion

Most importantly, we need to empathize with the animals. Will we be happy, if what we are doing to them, are being done to us? If not, don’t do it.

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Minimalism Saved My Life

I was once hungry, not figuratively, like for success. But literally hungry for food.

The hunger drove me to explore the options of selling my belongings to fund my next meals. I’d never imagine that I’d ever fall to such a desperate state. I wasn’t living in a famine-strickened society, neither was I born in a deprived family. My dire situation was fully a result of my own irresponsible ways. In particular my naivety and ignorance.

I could remember bringing my pile of video game discs to the game shop, hoping to fetch a reasonable fee back. Each cost me on average $70. They offered me $1 back. At that instance, I was hit with the cold, stark truth. My prized possessions were indeed worthless.

When one is at a low, everything around him will also be low. This I can attest. Needless to say, my affinity with proper jobs was simply non-existent.

For the next few months, I was compelled to further let go of more stuff. However, the more I let go, the more truth I began to uncover. I realized that I was becoming happier. I began to feel a sense of relief. I began to feel lighter. I began to feel that the burden of everything I have piled on myself over the years, the stuff, the debt, the stress, etc., being lifted off me. Back then, being oblivious to minimalism, I couldn’t explain this phenomenon.

I started to scour the internet for answers and I chanced upon the term ‘minimalist’ It sounded too cool to me. In a way, I felt that I was undeserving of such a cool label. Nonetheless, the more I read, the more I was able to resonate with it.

4 years later, my life has been transformed with so much positivity. Looking back, I was led to minimalism through my predicaments. I found minimalism by chance, not choice. And as dramatic as it may sound, minimalism had indeed saved my life.

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4 Things We Can Do During Lunchtime

Do you utilize your full lunchtime to enjoy your meal? If not, here’s 4 things that we can do during lunchtime (beside our lunch).

Read

With the limited amount of time during lunchtime, it’ll be even OK to read a few pages of a book.

Reading is a great way to input data, which then are converted into knowledge and wisdom. 

So, pick a book of your interest and start reading.

Write

If reading is inputting of data into our brain, then writing is a form of outputting our knowledge to the world. 

If you write a blog, you may utilize the excess time during your lunchtime to write something on your blog site.

Meditate

Lunchtime is a fantastic time to meditate. Meditation promotes peace and relaxation.

Therefore, if we are able to meditate during lunchtime, it’ll help us to recharge our focus and energy for the second half of the day. 

Even if there’s very limited time, allocating a couple of minutes to meditate will help significantly.

Workout

Most of us have trouble finding time for a workout in our free time. So, why not optimize our lunchtime by squeezing in a workout session?

A workout can range for a long jog to a few sets of pushups, depending on our available time.

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