It coincides that Stoicism is a great practice for developing such skills and Minimalism is a jump start towards being a Stoic. Minimalism removes distractions and focuses us on what matters. Especially, in how we manage our emotions towards people and things. Emotions on their own can be neither useful or useless, but they can be informative. Stoicism and Minimalism as a practice can help us move past the immediate reactions from a feeling and look at the deeper lesson within them. They act like car brakes, stopping us before we let our highs get too high or are lows too low.
Minimalism represents time and balance for me. The time to do and experience all the things I want. Along with finding the discipline to not let what other people define as import dominate my time. For me, that means cutting out the “noise” of life more than getting rid of things. It requires being ok with earning less, having less, but definitely experiencing more.
Decision Fatigue is a real issue. As I get older I about how I can avoid this state of mental exhaustion. To that end, we’ve automated a lot of key repetitive tasks in our lives. From grocery delivery, to landscape maintenance, pest control, dry cleaning, house keeping, food delivery, pet sitter, and much more. The goal is not to be lazy and have the free time to lounge around, but instead to open up our creative and critical thinking capacity. Many would not think that most of the above activities would be a brain drain, but when measured against the total number of decisions someone is asked to make in a day, it can lead to decision fatigue. That state has a qualitative effect on the quality of your decisions as the day progresses. Moreover, I recently read an article about how we are constantly inundated with prompts from the smart devices around us which are really creating more and more decision points.
We’ve just gone through the biggest purge of material items in our house ever. We got rid of almost everything going back to elementary school except for vital records. Trophies, games, furniture, etc. we are really focused on this minimalism path and are pouring all of our free time into it. I have a blog post I’m working on about the process of becoming minimalist. I’m interested to see the reaction people will have to a couple formally associated with being textbook consumers, wielding down to much less. Minimalism is a journey with no end, so I am sure the days and years will constantly be redefining for us just what is the right amount of “stuff.”
I doubt I can ever come to understand the propensity for senseless violence. Two days after an attack in England by terrorist, we have a shooting in Orlando which may have no ideological basis. Violence is never acceptable and doesn’t bring others to your side. I can only imagine that our growing inability to communicate across social, political, and economic divides. Talking doesn’t cure all ills, but it sure as heel can help calm people down if both sides are forced to listen before speaking.
Earlier in the year I debated on what shoes to purchase as my main running shoes for the 2014 season. I primarily compared the Nike Free 3 Flyknit and the New Balance Minimus 10V2. I decided to go with the Nike Free based on recent history and success in those shoes. I set both a half marathon and 10K PR in my previous Nike Free’s and hoped to continue that success. After a couple hundred miles and a few races in the 2014 editions, I feel safe in providing my review of them.
I wrote in a previous post about my deep love for the Nike Free running shoe series. I also mentioned in that post, that I was, however, looking to test out a potentially more minimal shoe despite favoring the Nike’s already. I decided to give the New Balance Minimus 20 V2’s a try. I got them on a great deal from The Clymb. Below is my in depth review of this particular model after about 3 months of use. The shoe will probably be up for renewal by the time I release this review but I wanted to be thorough so others could use it as a reference point for deciding on New Balance Minimus shoes in general. Immediately, below is the product description from New Balance themselves.
Since April of 2009, I have managed to run over 2,600 miles across paved road, trails and treadmills. Over that time, I have put many shoe brands and models through the test. I once ran exclusively in Adidas but their shoes let me down one too many times. They ran too narrow, had too much cushioning and did not breath well at all. While my love of Adidas faded, my love for the Nike Free running shoe series has grown. The Nike Free series is a system of minimalist shoes that offer a range of cushioning and fore foot flexion that you can’t find in almost any other line. What I love most about them is that they offer 3 different levels of cushioning that allow you to transition year over year to a more minimalist shoe. The shoe soles come in a 5 mm, 4mm and 3 mm heel drop. Each pair becomes more and more aggressive and advanced as you progress through the line.