This continues my series on trying to better enact my love of minimalism into my everyday life).

I can eat a fast food extra “value” meal and feel hungry only a few hours later. I just consumed thousands of calories, but yet I will feel totally deprived. That’s because the meal was empty. We often hear of empty calories.

In my personal quest of minimalism, I think this concept actually applies to almost everything in life. The richer an experience is, the more fulfilling it will feel regardless of how long it lasts. The more passionate a love, the less time you will need to sustain it.

It’s why a week on vacation may leave a larger imprint on your mind than the other 51 weeks of that year combined.

It’s why 1 minute on a great roller coaster will leave a more indelible mark on your mind than an hour on a lame merry go round.

I think it’s the rule of marginal utility that says the more you experience of something, the less you will enjoy it. Your 10th soda is much less fulfilling than your first, for example.

When I was in Paris, France, I saw a culture of richness. They took time out to meet up with friends and family for coffee–even in the middle of a work day. They didn’t work quite as many hours but I bet they got as much or more done. Their food was way richer and more concentrated than any food in America–and yet Parisians are notoriously thin. They lived in apartments that were clean, and small, and yes–sort of perfect.

The fear of change is often what keeps us clinging to unfulfilling causes–hoping against hope that this time they will fulfill. That the job we hate will sustain us next week. That the loveless relationship we’re in will closely enough assimilate love. I’ve been there before and I’m still there with many things….but it’s no way to live.

Minimalism to me isn’t about having less–it’s about having more: more clarity, more, time, more passion, and more space. More of the things that really matter and less of the things that don’t.

Sounds pretty perfect, doesn’t it?


Chris Thomas, owner of the online freelance writing and web-copy company, FreelancePF. Chris’s interest in personal finance stems from leaving grad school with six figures in student loan debt.