How Lifestyles Last and Succeed: Nothing Died Here!

Posted on January 28, 2011

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This…ahem, little “gem” has got me thinking. So have these blog posts and their responses. (Too many to list. They were all so good.) Everybody has their opinions, but Everett Bogue’s words reminded me of strawman hipsters complaining about how they liked X (insert name here) indie rock band before they became mainstream—”They were great. Now they sold out and suck.” An appeal quickly loses its lure once more people hear about it.

Nah! Okay, all! Not good enough. Some bands do get worse with popularity. This is more about somebody looking for a destination. Fad X might bring results. If it doesn’t work, dispose it. It was never “cool” anyway. On to another fad! They sometimes ignore effect, how things take time. It’ll take years if it has to; motivation keeps people going. Here, the aim has no sincere motivation, unless the extrinsic type doesn’t count. Numbers come first. How much weight was lost? How many things do they own? They’re done once the threshold’s touched.

That’s it! The journey is done. The art had only one aim, and that has been reached. There is no need for continuation when room for refinement is nonexistent.

To be personal, I admit I was an Everett Bogue fan. His blog got me into researching more on blogging, writing ideas, (healthy, not deceptive) marketing; and meaningful, sustainable, location independent work. I didn’t (and still don’t) like the corporate lifestyle, which mixes horribly with my personality. Far Beyond The Stars was something I could gladly return to. It gave good vibes, before descending into borderline arrogance. I still found it useful then, since the questioning over-consumerism part hit home. It was my wake-up call to change my own life.

Otherwise, as I later learned on the Pat Flynn/Everett Bogue comments debate, it wasn’t so enlightening. If his approach isn’t yours, and that’s fine, you’d think he’s pushy and extreme (unrealistic).

The arrogance radar then beeped with his posts about Twitter and following “important” people or whatever. His recent “Fuck Minimalism” stunt was the final straw. I bet he’s actually a cool guy. I think he’s smart and has great–not revolutionary, but still great– things to say, if the pompous demeanor was gone. Now he’s ridiculous.

I’m not a minimalist, nor have I been involved with minimalism. My aim is the general “create your own life” rhetoric. Regardless, I still respect the idea and pick up stuff now and then. Minimalism and its likes helped me save time and money by focusing on the essentials, the things I know I will use. That may have sounded shallow, but that moment gave me a simplicity preview.

I understand that since it was faddish, minimalism has had sketchy bloggers trying to make a buck from its market. I also know how prominent minimalist bloggers loved recycling concepts more often than expected. The simpler “de-cluttering” tips go like broken records. But none of it is enough to call minimalism “dead” or “not cool anymore.” That itself sounds sketchy too.

On with the lifestyles! I think minimalism exemplifies a lifestyle: a tool, a thought, a philosophy, or a movement–pretty much something meaningful. Lifestyles don’t necessarily hold specific rules or procedures to live, because underlying principles bond everything. A lifestyle is hard to kill when its followers cherish it. It’s not an obsessive drive for particular results, such as affluence or intelligence. It’s a continuous path, where one’s principles must stand by it. Here, results aren’t bad, as it is another word for goal. It’s okay to have a goal and let it evolve as you grow.

Now, will those goals persist during failures? There will be struggles, but mistakes make lifestyles worth it. Becoming stronger individuals is the essence. How one combats hardships determines their character.

There is no revolution or quick fix. Think that way and you will fall hard on your rear. I like big stuff, sure, but big doesn’t need astronomical proportions. It’s the influence, affecting even the most “mundane” things, that counts. We’ve all wondered how we continuously fail but continue getting up. It’s partially the influence through community. Lasting lifestyles thrive on community through sources like the Internet and meetups. People get together, share tips, and support each other.

That’s actually what has helped me grow. I feel great in having motivating people helping me see myself and do what I believe in.

Influential lifestyles aren’t often mainstream. Then society would be aiming its goals towards them. We see it didn’t do much for Minimalism. The CBS Evening News segment wasn’t enough. The media did similar things with unschooling, an unorthodox learning (and parenting in many cases) philosophy, and guess what? Society still didn’t care, except that they now have distorted perceptions about unschoolers. At first, Good Morning America flopped by editing out parts and portraying the family as what the general audience expected. Although the parents appeared live the next day to clarify things, I think the inaccurate first impression still lasted. Well then, even homeschooling, unschooling’s more traditional relative, has its share, especially regarding socialization. And what about vegans, Hare Krishnas, hippies, anarchists, the Amish, and hobos? The media has heard of them. They’ve mocked some, gave others more slack. These groups occasionally appear on some cartoon or news program. None of it was enough influence. However way they’re presented, in the end, mainstream audiences still keep their current perspectives. Becoming mainstream requires a gradual shift by society actively including ideas and options suitable for typically fringe lifestyles.

What if things like minimalism do become mainstream? That would be great! We’d have a more creative and compassionate society. Unnecessary problems will be scrapped in favor of community and sustainability. How is that not “cool?” True commitment is what’s really cool. And what if they never get there? That’s okay too. Success comes by us minimalists, radicals, artists, vagabonds, life learners and all living deep and sincere lives to the fullest. No fad addict does it well like we do.

Posted in: Lifestyles