Doing What Works for You vs Following the Herd

 doing what works

“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you there’s just one right way to do something. Each person is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Be willing to experiment until you find methods that are suited to your life.”

– J.D. Roth

I’ve noticed some people get pretty bossy about how to simplify, as if there’s only one right way to do it. Ignore these people. Doing what works best for you is the way to make lasting change.

We all have different personalities and life circumstances. Some methods that work great for a person living alone may not work for a large family. Ideas that a retired person has time to carry out may not be possible for someone who works full-time.

Methodical people are likely to be successful with approaches that may not work well for those with more creative personalities. Someone who enjoys slow but steady progress may find gradual changes are easier to implement, but someone who needs quick results to stay motivated may find a blast of hard work more productive.

“A lot of times people are looking to follow the system that’s famous or the system they think everyone else uses – rather than doing what works best for them.”

– Loren Pinilis

Like most things, methods of simplifying are subject to trends. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since many people become exposed to minimalism that might not otherwise hear of it, and those who are already minimalists can learn from suggestions found in popular new books and prominent blogs.

The problem comes when we believe the hype to the extent we’re unwilling to recognize a particular method isn’t working for us. Minimalism isn’t about making our lives more complicated by forcing ourselves to continue following programs for decluttering that don’t fit our lifestyles and personalities.

The key to successfully developing minimalist habits is doing what works for each of us, whether as individuals, families, or roommates.

“I am always doing things I can’t do — that’s how I get to do them.”

– Pablo Picasso

Don’t get the idea I’m suggesting you don’t bother with the latest minimalist trend. If what you’re doing now isn’t working for you, you need to be open to new ideas.

At first glance, you may think the simplifying method you’ve just heard about isn’t a great fit for your schedule, lifestyle or personality, but if it’s designed to resolve a problem you have, try it out. It may be just the solution you’ve been looking for.

If, after a good faith effort, you find it’s not helping you, look for a different approach. Doing what works for you instead of following the herd will make all the difference to your success on the minimalist journey.

P.S. Check out Kelvin Belfon’s interview of me on Going Uncomplicated. While you’re there, read about his recent trip to Uganda with the Hoffman Family Foundation.

2 thoughts on “Doing What Works for You vs Following the Herd

  1. We all live lives that vary from that of our friends and family. Why would we think minimalizing would only have one way? Like when we lived full-time in an RV; the RV communities keep insisting a couple can’t live in one as small as we did. Just because they couldn’t didn’t mean we couldn’t. We just had different priorities than they did.So pick your own priorities for minimalizing and start there. That will be right for you.

    • Great advice!

      When we moved, we replaced our very old queen-sized bed with a double. That really freaked out mattress salespeople (and pretty much everyone else we mentioned it to).

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.