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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 (94 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 TheMinimalist.com. 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

Review

"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 and Ryan Nicodemus, write essays about living a meaningful life with less stuff for their online audience of more than 100,000 monthly readers at TheMinimalists.com. They have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CBS This Morning, NBC, FOX, NPR, CBC Radio, Zen Habits, and numerous other outlets.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1314 KB
  • Print Length: 139 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615648223
  • 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:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,259 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 89 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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16 of 17 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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16 of 18 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: themins.com). 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Live a Meaningful Life provides a deep introduction to minimalism for its practical application in your life, through the helpful perspectives of two real minimalists.

Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are genuine and thoughtful, intelligent and humble. Their words read pleasantly on the page, and personal stories provided therein help to guide the reader toward better understanding the methods and means of practically applying minimalism -- how it best suits you and your life.

I recommend this to any embarking upon a new chapter in their lives, and those who are especially interested in engaging a meaningful life by exploring what minimalism genuinely is. Joshua and Ryan are helpers you can trust, with important voices that you truly enjoy reading.
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3 of 3 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 minimalists.com 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Minimalism
A great read! Very enjoyable and it's filled with simple advice that can better your day to day life. I recommend to anyone longing for a more fulfilled life.
Published 1 day ago by Thomas
1.0 out of 5 stars From a Guy's point of view
Really? No overview of minimalism, and a bunch of ideas that are presented with a judgmental point of view. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Shani
4.0 out of 5 stars Have done most of what they suggest.
About 15 years ago I began the process these men speak of in making my life simpler and more manageable. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Thomas J. Cowen
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice introduction to minimalism
A good primer on minimalism. Got a chance to meet the authors. Inspiring for those who aren't familiar with simple living.
Published 24 days ago by Jaimie Tollison
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cheerful Gift
Gave as a gift. Assume everything was okay. No complaints. Wish I had the option of limiting future recommendations just to items I buy and ship to myself.
Published 25 days ago by Edna St. Vincent Malaise
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough, but there are better books out there...
Though it's nice to read about two individuals who gave up six figure jobs to live a more bohemian - and meaningful - lifestyle, there is very little practical advice for paring... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ian Denchasy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I recommend this book to anyone in search of going back to human basics!

These two guys really made change a "must" in their lives which is not an easy thing to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bernardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
It's a very good book and I liked the idea of owning 100 things or less, which I am working towards. Overall, Minimalism is a good primer book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Mick
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip the Audio Edition!
I have no idea if the content of this book is of any value... I couldn't hear it past the annoyingly stuffy-sounding British accent. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Life is Now.
4.0 out of 5 stars Spoke to me
This book was insightful and directly spoke to issues of what really makes people happy. It gave useful techniques on how to assess your own happiness and ways to improve it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michelle Laird
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