Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Care Factor Zero - The Sooner You Don't Care The Better You Will Feel

Have you ever heard the phrase "care factor zero", I am sure you have?  The phrase is for the most part used in a negative way, defiantly against authority / common sense or to portray the speakers total lack of interest in something (smugly spoken).  I also hear it used during arguments, usually by the person losing the debate, in the form of a "shrug off" to the victor.  For most people the phrase would have a negative connotation, or at the least you would have encountered it's use in a negative situation.  I have actually learned to embrace this phrase, now more and more often applying it to situations in my life.  I will explain more as the post progresses.

Of course there are many things in life that we do need to care about, this goes without saying, but I would like to encourage you to start NOT caring.  I believe we need to learn to say no, to turn our backs on STUFF, and to walk in a new direction.  The question is however, what things and how?  As with everything in life the answer will be different for me than it is for you but as a minimalist learning not to care about certain things has been one of the most freeing experiences of my life.  Saying no and reversing years of subliminal and other forms of societal indoctrination has been the hardest part of my journey as a minimalist but the most rewarding.  The physical tossing of junk is easy, learning to let go of attachments and the underlying mental brainwashing is really where minimalism begins, it is our mindset that creates the physical ties we have to worldly possessions.  I have always stated that minimalism is a mental concept not just a bunch of physical actions.  The battles a minimalist fights, in my experience, are usually in the mental realm not the physical one.

The "what and how" I mentioned above were only revealed to me after I understood minimalism and had defined the concept specific to my life and situation. This is an essential starting point for any new minimalist and one I have elaborated on in earlier posts.  You need to go through this process to have a clear understanding of minimalism, to establish a starting point, and to provide future direction.  Take these initial steps and you will have a foundation to build on and clarity of purpose.  Complete lucidity of thought is so very important because with it comes focus and with focus comes determination and strength.

Consumerism, keeping up with the Jones, success (worldly definition), greed, jealousy, anger, control issues, self esteem, hate, coveting, peer pressure, ego, addictions, these are some of the things a minimalist needs to learn to say no to.  This is where we need to embrace the phrase "care factor zero" and learn to reverse a lifetime of programming, this is where minimalists fight for their freedom and walk a different path to the majority.  Yes minimalists are a minority subculture but I am very happy being so.

Essayist and Poet Ralph Emerson summed it beautiful in his quote below.  To be yourself, your true self, amidst all the pressures of modern life should be considered any man's greatest triumph.  Do this and I promise you will enjoy real freedom, your relationships will soar to new heights, and you will finally experience life and love as it was meant to be.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

To finish please have a read of the quotes below, I have ordered them in a conceptual sequence, can you follow the underlying theme?  To me they paraphrase thus, Don't be afraid to be crazy or different, people like us change the world.  Don't be afraid to try new things, they are the spice of life.  Don't be afraid to walk your own path, you will always find someone to walk with you.  Don't be afraid to be yourself, in doing so you will find true and lasting friendship.
~~~ James Miller ~~~

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ― Apple Inc.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ― Albert Camus

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard