The Luxury of Less by Karol Gajda
The Luxury of Less by Karol Gajda | Format: pdf | download price $9.99
A very practical guide to minimalism
Karol Gajda has taken a Samurai text, The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, as an inspiration and adapted it to provide what is essentially an extremely practical minimalism handbook.
Whereas the ancient text was a book about swordsmanship, Karol’s is about living a minimalist life. Karol’s minimalism, like Miyamoto’s school of fighting is firmly rooted in the idea that flexibility is key and that the approach has to fit the individual.
Miyamoto wrote about five rings, ground, water,fire, wind, and void. Karol keeps the five ring analogy but his are, health, wealth, relationships, experience and void. The first four are pretty much self explanatory but the fifth, according to the author, can only be completed after the first four are taken care of.
The basic premise is that the more rings, or aspects of your life are fullfilled the better things are but that if at least three are not in reasonable shape then something needs fixing.
A good natural diet and exercsise are predictably considered the basis for good health. The author takes a very pragmatic approach and actually lays out a roadmap as to how this can be achieved including a series of 30 day challenges.
The wealth section is interesting insomuch as Karol takes a very conservative approach. There is certainly no quit your job, think nice thoughts and dollar bills will magically appear in your bank account type philosophy here. Personally I found this very reassuring. If an author tells me not to worry and I’ll become wealthy by imagining piles of cash I very quickly stop adding anything to their pile of cash.
A very pro active approach is advocated regarding relationships and truly toxic ones should be ended. There is some good solid advice regarding different strategies for accomplishing this often painful task.
Regarding Experience, Karol advocates Dreaming big, dreaming weird, and doing it. Experiences should be personal and not just going through the motions.
Void is an interesting one and is probably best summed up in Karol’s own words:
If you’ve ever been amazed by somebody’s talent because they make it
seem easy or natural, they’ve entered the Void. It’s not that it’s easy or
natural, it’s that they’ve immersed themselves so fully they’re no longer
consciously performing actions.
This is something that will certainly resonate with artists of all types.
The book is very readable and very practical. The methods and approaches suggested are not nearly as regimented as some and take into account the individual nature of the reader. I take the view that if something requires willpower then I need to change something, e.g. if I have to force myself to get out of bed in the morning to do whatever I am doing for a living then I need to change what I’m doing for a living to something that pulls me towards it. What this is will be determined by my nature.
I really like that Karol does not set artificial goals. He does say to minimise stuff but he doesn’t set some arbitary number to be aimed for. This shows me that a lot of thought and experience lies behind this book. It also gels very well with my own take on minimalism insomuch as there is no one size fits all approach and that a key factor is the nature of the individual.
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