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Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life [Kindle Edition]

Joshua Fields Millburn , Ryan Nicodemus
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

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Book Description

At age 30, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on life's most important aspects. And they never looked back.

This book's foreword and first chapter examine Joshua and Ryan's backgrounds, their troubled pasts, and their eventual spiral into depression. These chapters discuss why the authors didn't feel fulfilled by their careers and why they turned to society's idea of living: working ridiculous hours, wastefully spending money, living paycheck to paycheck. Instead of finding their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences, inducing a cocaine-like high that didn't last far past the checkout line.

And then, after a set of life-changing events, they discovered minimalism, which allowed Joshua and Ryan to eliminate life's excess and focus on the essential things in life.

The subsequent chapters explore their journey into a lifestyle known as minimalism and discusse why these two successful businessmen eschewed their excess stuff in favor of focusing on life's the more important aspects: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

The authors discuss how minimalism allowed them to focus on each area, citing personal examples of how they changed everything in their lives over a two year span, during which time they left their corporate jobs, got out of debt, changed their diets, started exercising regularly, strengthened their core relationships, established exciting new relationships, began pursuing their passions, contributed to more people, and found ways to be content and happy with their lives.

The final chapter, Confluence of Meaning, binds together these five dimensions and asks the reader important questions about his or her life. 

This book's content is different from the content at While the authors' website documents their journey into minimalism and their continued growth through experimentation, this book discusses minimalism in a different way: it discusses in great depth the five dimensions of living a meaningful life. It also gives the reader much more insight into the authors' personal lives, into the painful events that led them to journey into minimalism, and into their world outside the web.

Editorial Reviews


"This is the minimalism book everyone's been waiting for." 
- Intrepid Radio 

"An excellent new book." 
- Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

About the Author

The Minimalists--Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus--are bestselling authors and international speakers who write and speak about living a meaningful life with less stuff. Their books include Essential: Essays by The MinimalistsMinimalism: Live a Meaningful LifeAs a Decade Fades: A Novel, and Everything That Remains: A Memoir. They have been featured in the New York TimesWall Street JournalUSA TodayForbesBoston GlobeSan Francisco ChronicleChicago TribuneSeattle TimesToronto StarGlobe & MailVancouver Sun,Village VoiceLA Weekly, and many other outlets. Visit the authors online at

Product Details

  • File Size: 1319 KB
  • Print Length: 139 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Asymmetrical Press; 7th edition (December 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006I7DDPI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,387 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 144 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Their blog is great. This book, not so much. July 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Firstly, let me start by saying that I only subscribe to four blogs, and the blog by these authors (The Minimalists) is one of them. At a time when so many people are being hit with so many things that look like they need to be done, the authors are really good at using minimalist principles to focus on what is important.

That's what they do in their blog. That's not what I found in this book. Apart from the occasional sentence mentioning that minimalism helps you focus on the important things, the rest of the book contains:

- Details on the authors' story of how they became minimalist and left their jobs. Only a small amount of added information compared to their blog, but I did enjoy that part.
- A chapter on the importance of eating unprocessed foods and doing exercise. No information that was new to me.
- A chapter on the importance of prioritizing the more important relationships in your life and working to eliminate relationships with negative impact. No real concrete directions other than to create a list of all the people in your life and catalog how close they are to you and whether their impact on your life is positive, negative, or neutral, then prioritize your use of time accordingly. Several pages about things like love and trust being important in relationships.
- A chapter on the importance of finding your passion, having a mission in life rather than just doing a job. One really good paragraph about the idea that if you don't know what your passions are then you still have anchors, things that are dragging you down (like stress from debt for example).
- Chapters on the importance of growing as a person and contributing, but again no real advice other than to get doing that stuff.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caused some family bonding May 2, 2013
By Jessica
Format:Kindle Edition
I've been a reader of the for a while now and I've drank the koolaid. After just about a week of combing through blog entries and many long walks- I decided to go for it. I mean what did I have to loose... except everything. So I donated and re-gifted about 80% of my material things. It felt amazing and today I'm still on a quest to live with less and live more simply.
What I haven't mentioned is that I was living at home at the time I decided to radically change my way of consumption (I was an RN right out of college, preparing to move out). At first, my parents didn't get it. I think they even laughed one time and called it 'spring cleaning'. But as I got rid of more and more they became concerned. They didn't get it. And it was hard for me to explain to them why exactly I was doing it. Why it felt so freeing.
Things became more troublesome when I did move out. Here was this nice open apartment, 'a space that would look great decorated' per my mother. If you don't see the problem yet, I'll spell it out. I didn't want more stuff. Let alone her decorating expertise (Ahh! I hope you never read this mom).
Life went on as always, and while we were still the same family, it was hard to talk to them about the important things because we no longer saw eye-to-eye.
That's where this book came in.
We have a family get together at least once a year and this year we decided that New Hampshire was the place to be. It was a long drive, and so after we lost all of the recognizable home radio stations, the car went silent. Mom was bored and dad was driving, so I took out this book and began reading it out loud. Most of the stuff, as many have mentioned below, is old news to those who read the blog religiously.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Settle! December 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
You don't have to settle for a mediocre life. At one time Ryan and Josh were facing the daily grind, moving their way up the corporate ladder and working for the weekend. But when the slow burn of discontent became too intense to ignore they took action. They knew that they should change their lives but unlike most people they actually made it a priority.

Enter Minimalism. It's right there in the title. But don't pick up this book expecting a step by step guide on how to become a minimalist (their website can help with that: Instead this book is about living a meaningful life. More specifically how to build a meaningful life through your health, relationships, passions, growth and contribution.

One of my favorite elements of Josh and Ryan's writing is how genuine they are. In this book they really allowed themselves to dig deeper. They teach what has made them happy. They teach how they were able to rid themselves of discontent and live a more meaningful life.

I can't thank Ryan and Josh enough for their writing over the past couple of months. When I first started my minimalist journey they were the torches that guided me out of the darkness of materialism. This book shows the growth of their writing and how they plan to continue their journey towards living a more meaningful life. And they aren't going at it alone.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Minimal on talent September 19, 2012
By jjw
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very disappointed. Have been a big fan of the essays on the minimalist website, and hoped to find a similar level of expansion in the novel. But it has been the opposite. Mostly a rehash of any cookie cutter self help book out there, they skim over major topics with half a mumbled page, providing very little of real content, worth, or value. As a whole, it's akin to a junior high school term paper, without the factual research and detail one would expect of an eighth grader. Do not waste your money on this book. You'll find so much more worth, and content, and enlightenment, not to mention some actual content on minimalism (which, for a book entitled "minimalism", shouldn't be too much to expect) on the guys minimalism website. This book is a waste of time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Love the message ... just not the books 💖
I really enjoy these guys, their message and their strategies. However I didn't enjoy the books. They were repetitive and full of things I already knew. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Lesley Hillhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars The best!
Wonderful book, extremely helpful. Basic and simple just like a minimalist book should be yet rich with information. Must read for everyone!
Published 20 days ago by S. Whipple
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed how the authors changed their life by having less ...
Bought the book after seeing the TED lecture, enjoyed how the authors changed their life by having less so they be more.
Published 1 month ago by Kirt Bowman
3.0 out of 5 stars Good food for thought
Good food for thought, inspired me to get rid of some clutter in my life. Tends to be a bit repetitive and "preachy" but hey that's the genre so what did I expect. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jacki Owen
2.0 out of 5 stars For minimalists they sure like to talk about how they used to have a...
For minimalists they sure like to talk about how they used to have a lot of stuff. The book is ok but not particularly well written and it's pretty light on actual content. Read more
Published 2 months ago by lennoc
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on minimalism
Great book on minimalism. They are very friendly and explain how cleaning up your life, leads to a more meaningful existence.
Published 2 months ago by timbo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Helped motivate me to get rid of a lot of stuff I didn't need.
Published 2 months ago by Starlene Winchester
3.0 out of 5 stars Great advice
All dimensions are really important and their advice make it easier to achieve. However, it was nothing that was very new compared to most personal development books.
Published 3 months ago by Desta
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book to read
As I read the pages all the material sounded familiar. I realize they both authors talked about spiritual importance but, I did not make the connection. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Minimalism Way
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Minimalism
I liked "All That Remains" better, but that may be due to the fact that I read that book first. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KD
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