One of my business mentors is a former boss of mine, who incidentally helps me out by working for me 3 days per week now. I remember his office, it was clean and basic yet tastefully decorated in a very manly way. One year he held a Christmas party at his house and I noticed that his home was the same way; very basic, clean lines, well kept and very masculine. You will notice a pattern forming here. There is an old saying, “A sound mind in a sound body”, I would also add a new saying, ” a sound mind in a sound environment.”. The bottom line is that successful men are not slobs. Take the movies as one example: the powerful sit in offices that are well taken care of free of clutter and unnecessary junk.
There are two main reasons for this. The first reason is that the rich and successful live below their means. Read that again; the rich and successful live below their means. This means that a successful man will be a minimalist because he does not purchase unnecessary junk. He purchases only those things that contribute to his greater good. When he does purchase something, he purchases something of value. He purchases things that will assist him in his quest to be a better man. He does not buy useless toys for the sake of buying or having. This also means that he will value his time greatly. He will not clutter his time with unnecessary junk either. Everything he does will have a purpose, even his leisure time.
The second reason is an offspring of the first. In order to have a clear mind, free of mental clutter, our external environment must also be free of clutter. Having outward clutter in homes, offices, vehicles and in dress are both the cause and effect of a struggling mind. It is a cause because it is very difficult to unclutter useless thoughts and emotions from our own mind while being in a space that is clutered and dirty. Clutter in our spaces and in our dress is also an outward sign of our inner disposition. This is one reason why it is so important to dress well. It is either a vicious cycle of depression or it can be an upward cycle of clarity and inner peace. That is our call to make. This is one of the reasons that the military is so focused on uniform appearance, cleanliness and discipline.
We are not isolated creatures. Our surroundings affect our mindset and our mindset will affect our surroundings. The main thing that we need to do is to take control of the situation around us, one of the by products of practicing assertive masculinity. When people enter our space, be it our office, home, vehicle or all of the above, they are coming into our world, a small kingdom so to speak. A man must own those things that are his. If you have peace in your surroundings it will help you to have peace in your soul. If you have peace in your soul it will affect your surroundings. One of the best exercises to do is to remove clutter, donate the stuff that you don’t use anymore, then start to surround yourself with books. Of course you will need to read them too, but the act of having neatly arranged books surrounding you will affect your mindset tremendously. If you have a room that is a study or a home office this is even better. After dinner, retire to the den for a while and pick a book off the shelf and read. Expand your comfort zone by also purchasing books that are not directly in your realm of interests. If you love history, buy a book on basic physics, if you are a science guy pick up a book about philosophy. By doing this daily you will acquire vast amounts of knowledge in a very short period of time! Just as we can see in the mirror the physical aspects of ourselves that we would like to change, we ust be honest with ourselves as far as the intellectual weaknesses that we need to overcome. Only by knowing what we need to change can we attack that aspect and improve ourselves.
Being a minimalist is necessary to focus in on our goals, and finding our purpose in life. Once we have established these things, being a minimalist will help us to focus only on those things that are necessary to achieve these things. We will recognize the clutter trying to intrude on our lives for exactly that they are; a waste of time.