My first taste of how minimalism could bring clarity and focus in life was dated back to 2008. During my short immersion in Australia, I’ve experienced how little one actually needs in order to survive and be happy.
As an avid reader, I came across several books written by decluttering experts in Japan and they were great guides to decluttering but I wasn’t ready to fully implement minimalism yet.
Then quite unexpectedly, two months before my graduation, I suffered a setback in the love department. I was so heartbroken that I was forced to re-evaluate every single belief of mine because all along I was wired to think “he” was “the one”. Something must be wrong in my head and I needed to know what it was.
I was in desperately need to move on and start from a clean slate. So I pulled out all possessions and looked at them one by one. “Does it reflect my ideal self?” I asked. If it didn’t, I tossed it to the trolley which was filled with clothes, books and trinkets to be donated to the Salvatory Army.
It was one of the wisest decisions I made for myself because thanks to my determination to downsize my stuff, my two movings in 2011 and 2012 became much less of a burden. I didn’t have a crazy amount of boxes to pack and unpack.
I am not being one of those self admitted shopaholics who take their syndrome proudly as a prize when I say this, but I used to be very, very lavish.
All my friends know my bad spending habit. When I went out, I would spend the last banknote in my purse. There had been times when there wasn’t enough bus fare left that I needed to borrow a few dollars from my friend.
It all started when I was twelve. I didn’t want to feel inferior with my affluent friend. Since we met at weekend for tutorial class, I bought a new T-shirt, vest or sweater every week just to keep up with her abundant closet!
Luckily this friendship didn’t last long, or else I would certainly be broke from the additional expenditure starting from the age of thirteen when I was introduced to k-pop by my friend.
Not many people listened to Korean music in Hong Kong in early 2000s and so Korean stars’ products weren’t that widely available. It was almost like an obligation as a fan to buy every spotted knickknack with a Korean star’s face printed on it. I could have paid the first instalment of a mortgage had I not spent all those money on H.O.T, Shinhwa and some other K-pop bands.
Things didn’t get any better when I was juggling the development of both the brain and the body throughout the four years in college. My thirst for cultural input got me hunting for books and video discs which might not be relevant to my profession. My poor understanding of my body shape and skin type, and most importantly the lies told by advertisers and my impressionability, fooled me into buying an abominable amount of products that didn’t serve me.
A: Do it repeatedly.
Think about how our skin eventually gets used to the most potent cosmetic product. The impact will lower as time goes by, otherwise consumers can stock enough bottles for the rest of their lives. It is not just the matter of shelf life but once our skin gets used to certain ingredients, it can’t be stimulated anymore. Those who say humans are creatures of habits must have overlooked the battle between laziness (conforming to an old habit) and boredom (forming new habits) in the calculation of highly efficient individuals.
Given its low efficiency to raise one’s Social Quotient, reading isn’t the wisest entertainment. If someone reads solely to kill time, s/he forgoes the benefits of mingling with others (because reading is done in solitude) and loses the true benefit of reading (i.e. becoming more knowledgeable).
有曰：「人是受制於習慣的生物(Humans are creatures of habits)」，而壞習慣往往是不自知的，若不是從書本或講座中受到啟發，或有良師益友從旁指出，人們對自己的行為往往是後知後覺的。
- 飲食 (若有偏差，改天立刻調整，例如少吃點／選沙律／喝果汁)
由日本紅到美國的整理達人近藤麻理惠 (Marie Kondo)在《你值得每一天怦然心動的生活》中建議讀者結集一本「怦然心動手冊」。
早在小學時代，吾已經用clear folder (通常用來放樂譜那種) 收藏漂亮的剪報，這習慣至今仍維持著。