Being a Minimalist – Simple Programmer European Tour 2015

Being a Minimalist  – Simple Programmer European Tour 2015

John: Hey, what’s up? John Sonmez from
I’m still here in Iceland. I just got out of the gym in Iceland. It’s called World
Class Gym here and just finished my workout and as I was walking back to the car I was
thinking about how I’m using someone else’s car as I’m doing a home exchange here in
their house and just about—it’s been over 3 months now since I left my house with a
backpack essentially, right? I’ve survived just fine. Obviously I’m using a lot less
stuff than what I would expect that I need. I thought it would be interesting to talk
a little bit about that idea. I’ve been a minimalist for quite sometime. It’s difficult
to be a minimalist when you have a 4-year-old, when you have a young kid. Aside from her
and her stuff because she’s always getting stuff, I’ve tried to be a minimalist and
before we had my daughter I was definitely pairing down my stuff to almost—to as small
as I could. But there’s a couple of—first of all,
you don’t really need all this stuff. This is something that’s really interesting.
You can see as I’m here traveling Europe for 3-1/2 months. Next week I’ll be back
home, in about a week from now, actually, exactly a week from now. Anyway, it will have
been 3-1/2 months that I have been traveling with literally a backpack. I have with me
a few shirts, very durable shirts that can be worn multiple times even without washing,
merino wool clothes. I mean they’re durable things. One workout outfit that’s it, my
laptop, some socks and underwear and not much else like a Kindle and a couple of electrical
things to plug everything in, a very, very minimal amount of stuff and I’m able to
survive with that. It’s really not that difficult.
What it really makes me realize is that you don’t need that much stuff. My quality of
life has not reduced so much. I mean I’ll be happy when I get back home and get to my
own office and have some of the stuff that I have there, but in reality I can live out
of a backpack for 3 months. You just might think about that yourself is what do you actually
need? What is the minimal set of things that you could live with and be happy and then
you might say, “Well, John, that’s great, sure, I can live out of a backpack but who
wants to live out of a backpack?” I agree with you. It’s not exactly fun living out
of a backpack, but here’s the thing. You might say, “John, well, why would I
do this? It doesn’t make sense? Why be uncomfortable?” Here’s the reasoning. A strange thing happened.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it. If you’re a minimalist or if you’ve experimented
with it then you know this feeling but basically all this stuff that you have it creates a
mental burden on yourself. Basically what I’m saying here is that the more stuff that
you have, the stuff that’s sitting in your closet that you got for Christmas that you
oh someday would like to utilize or that DVD collection that you have and those movie sets,
oh, you should watch that movie again or whatever it is, all this junk that you have or this
clothes in your closet that oh, I haven’t worn that in a while, maybe I should wear
that, all that stuff it creates this mental burden in your head and you carry this around
with you. It’s really interesting. If you go into
your house and you start getting rid of stuff that you don’t need all of a sudden this
mental burden—you feel it then, right? This mental burden will be lifted and you’ll
have less stress in your life. It’s freeing almost. If you have all of your stuff like
my dream now being a minimalist would be to have the minimal amount of stuff possible
just to have everything that I need that just fits in a backpack and I’m good to go. I
sort of have done that with traveling Europe but the beauty of that is that you can just
get up and go. You can go somewhere. You’re not attached. You suddenly have all this freedom
that you didn’t have before. You’re not bound by your stuff. You actually start to
become a slave to your stuff the more stuff that you have.
It’s really freeing to have less stuff or to have more compact stuff to get rid of as
much as that as possible. Another way to equate that is if you have an inbox full of email,
right? When you go to zero inbox, when you’ve got it all cleared out you have less mental
burden, you feel free or you feel better, it’s the same thing with life. It’s the
same thing with your stuff. Anyway, I thought I would just share that
with you. It’s something that I’ve discovered along the way. You should try it out, try
to get rid of stuff. I could talk about this all day because there’s so much to this,
but I will say one other thing about this is you don’t need all this stuff and you’re
not going to miss it. You can also buy it back. This is one of the key things is it’s
like at one point I was collecting DVDs and videogames and then I was like, “Well, wait
a minute there’s services like Netflix. I can buy a used DVD off of Amazon for extremely
cheap. I could use GameFly or was it GameFly where you can rent videogames like get 2 a
month or something? Anyway, there’s all these ways to get stuff
if you need it again so why hold on to it? You don’t need to archive it. You don’t
need to have every single CD and have this big hard drive terabytes full of music that
you might someday listen to. You can just go to iTunes and purchase it as you want it
or you could just basically subscribe to Spotify ort something like that and get whatever music
you want. It’s silly to try and hold on to all this stuff and try to archive it, same
with books. Man, I got rid of all my physical books. I’ll tell you it feels so much better
to just have a Kindle. I got rid of some books that I was like, “Oh, maybe I’ll read
again.” Well, I’ll just buy the Kindle version. What’s it like? 10 dollars? Come
on. Chances are you’re never going to reread something or rewatch a movie.
Anyway, that’s what I have to say about that. Just like if you really are honest with
yourself and realize that it’s—in today’s age you can get anything that you need. There’s
eBay, there’s Amazon, there’s all kinds of ways to get stuff back so you don’t need
to hold on to stuff just in case. If you’re in any doubt just get rid of it. Get rid of
it. It’s freeing. Then you can always get it back.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. I will be back in the States next week. I’m leaving—I’m
recording this on a Monday. I’ll be leaving on Saturday. You’re probably watching this
or listening to this on Friday. I’ll be taking a quick stop in New York City and then
back to the ground. I have some exciting things planned for Simple Programmer. I’ve been
chomping at the bit as I’ve been traveling to get back to work and do some cool stuff,
but I’ve got a lot of awesome stuff planned so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that
and don’t forget to subscribe to—if you’re watching on YouTube subscribe to YouTube channel.
I’ve got a bunch of back videos you can check out and if you’re listening to the
podcast definitely click that and subscribe on iTunes and you’ll get more from me every
week. All right, take care, see you next time.

11 thoughts on “Being a Minimalist – Simple Programmer European Tour 2015”

  1. God damn, thank you so much for this. I've spent an entire day dealing with errors when trying to install dual boot linux and the worst part of it all was that I realized half way through that I forgot to back-up all my bookmarks. I feel like I had just burnt down the library of Alexandria, but this video helped me put things a bit into perspective.

  2. So true, Ive started having a clear out this last week, hope I can minimise as much as I can by the end of the year (only about 5 weeks of it left) I love the idea of being able to get up and go 🙂

  3. yes you are right… i will soon delete my hard disk.I have more than 500 movies, waiting for some day to re-watch them. i do not need them.same for physical stuff.

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