mnmlist: ‘I could never give up’

I’ve found that when I talk about simplifying or minimalism in general, people are generally positive … but when you get down to specifics, they’re not always so enthusiastic.

When I talk about giving up unnecessary shopping or clothes or shoes, many people balk. When I talk about giving up a car, or getting a smaller home, or not drinking sugary coffee drinks, or giving up junk food … I always hear a lot of people who say, “I’d love to be a minimalist, but I could never give up my ____.” (You can fill in the blank.)

I thought the same thing, many times, when I’d hear about other people making changes. “I could never give that up,” I thought to myself.

I was wrong.

I said I could never give up my hamburgers or fried chicken, but now I’m a vegetarian.

I said I could never give up my cable TV, but I’ve been without it for 6 or 7 years now.

I said I could never give up my cigarettes, but I’ve been tobacco-free for nearly 5 years.

I said I could never give up my sweets, and now I only have a few bites now and then.

I said I could never give up my car, but I barely drive now and am going car- free next month.

I said I could never give up packaged foods, but now I almost only eat real food, unpackaged.

I said I could never give up my coffee, but I recently have.

I said I could never give up my running shoes, but now I run barefoot.

I said I could never get down to a handful of clothes, but I have.

I said I could never give up TV altogether, but I am.

If you think you could never do something … stop saying it. You just might surprise yourself.

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