Living with Less

Play episode
Photo by Bench Accounting

Are there things in your life you could never give up? Liz Waid and Adam Navis tell about the minimalist lifestyle. People try to live a better life with fewer things.

Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2  

And I’m Adam Navis. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Follow along on YouTube
Voice 1  

Courtney Carver lives in Utah, in the United States. In 2010, she was tired. She was trying to do too much. Then she had enough of being tired. She started a website called Be More with Less. On it, she wrote,

Voice 3  

“I worked too hard. I spent too much. And I slept too little. I spent much of my adult life tired, worried and sick. I always wanted more. I thought I needed more to be happy.”

Voice 2  

Carver decided to change her life. She began to live more simply. She sold many of her things. And she gave away other things. She became a minimalist. And she says she has never felt better.

Voice 1  

Carver is part of a group of minimalists in places all over the world. Minimalists try to live simple lives. They believe that things get in the way of what is important. Instead of having more things, they invest in relationships and experiences. Today’s Spotlight is on minimalism.

Voice 2  

Minimalism is the idea that people are happier living with fewer things. But it is not about giving away everything you own. And minimalism is not about seeing how little you can live with. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus write, teach, and speak about minimalism. They run the website theminimalists.com. They describe minimalism as a tool. It helps a person get rid of the things they do not need, so that they can concentrate on what is important. On their website they say,

Voice 4  

“There is nothing wrong with owning things. Today’s problem is that we give too much meaning to our things. We often forget our health. We forget our relationships. We forget to keep learning. Do you want to own a car or a house? Great! Do you want to raise a family and have a job? If these things are important to you, wonderful. Minimalism lets you choose these with greater care.”

Voice 1  

Minimalism means different things to different people. But many minimalists agree on a few general ideas. First, love what you do own. As part of her minimalism Courtney Carver started Project 333. She encourages people to choose only 33 pieces of clothing including clothes, jewelry and shoes. Then they choose what to wear from these 33 things for three months.

few clothes on a rack
Photo by tu tu
Voice 2  

Dave Bruno is another minimalist. He started the 100 thing challenge. He reduced everything he owned to just 100 things.

Voice 1  

Both of these projects ask people to think about what they own. If you have fewer things, you will love them more.

Voice 2  

The next idea of minimalism is to get rid of the things that do not bring joy. Marie Kondo is a Japanese writer who helps people organize their homes. In 2016, she wrote a book called Spark Joy. She says her method is easy. Pick up an object in your home. If it gives you joy, keep it. If it does not, get rid of it. She says if you do this, you will always be surrounded by things that you love.

Voice 1  

The third idea of minimalism is to spend time on relationships. Dan Erickson calls himself a moderate minimalist. He writes on the website hipdiggs.com. He says that when we live with less, we have more space for people. When we slow down our lives, we have time for relationships. When we watch less television or use the Internet less, we see what is around us.

Voice 2  

Minimalism looks different in different people. For example, many people choose to live in very small houses called tiny houses. They could pay for a large house. But they choose a small one. Some even build a house that is as small as a single room. A small house costs less money to build. It takes less time to clean. It costs less to heat and cool. This leaves more time and money for family and friends. However, a tiny house is good for one or two people. But it is difficult for a family to live in one.

Voice 1  

But a family can still be minimalist. Joshua Becker believes that minimalism is great for children. He writes on his website, becomingminimalist.com that,

Voice 4  

“Children with fewer things learn how to develop relationships with other children and adults. They learn how to talk to other people. And studies show that children with good friendships have a greater chance of success in school. They also have more success in social situations as adults.”

Voice 2  

Living with less can even be very exciting. Colin Wright is a writer who lives in a new place every four months. He can move from place to place because he has so little to move. And he lets his readers vote on where he should go next. He has travelled all over the world. He has been to Argentina, Iceland, New Zealand, India, and the Philippines.

neatly arranged items for travel
Photo by Barbara Maier
Voice 1  

Minimalism may sound strange to people who are struggling to have enough food or a safe place to sleep. But people who practice minimalism say it is not just about the things people own. It is about people and relationships. It is about living the best life you can and choosing what is important. And minimalism is not a new idea. Many religions and ancient thinkers believe people should not worry too much about things. Buddhism encourages people to let go of the things they own. And Jesus once said,

Voice 5  

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the wild flowers grow. They do not work or make clothing. But here is what I tell you. Not even Solomon with all his money was dressed like one of these flowers.”

Voice 2  

Living with less can change a person’s life. Courtney Carver spoke to Today.com. She explained,

Voice 3  

“I am more present and connected to my family than I was when I was working so hard. Now we all see that there is great opportunity for happiness in living with less. We live small so we can live big.”

Voice 1  

Do you think you would like to be a minimalist? Are there things you could never give up? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 2  

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Living with Less’.

Voice 1  

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Are there things in your life you could never give up? Your mobile phone? a piece of clothing? Write your answer in the comments below.

Join the discussion

45 comments
  • This is a great way to live our lives , not just about own material things , but also about desires ,extrem ideas and belong to any kind of ideological concepts.

  • Hi I think it is minimalist greet thing but let think for reel!! rich people can do that and both .. but poor people thay can’t do it because the live the hard live so

  • Yes, I think that all people have things can’t give up, about myself mobile phone so much hard because become offers things like training courses

  • In Islam, one of the famous thinkers (ibn taimiah) before 800 years ago said:-
    Take the things which allah love not what you love.
    or in another way:- All that helps you to obey allah,(god) keep it with you.
    our prophet muhammed peace be upon him said:- Renounce the world and allah will love you and renounce what the people possess and the people will love you.

  • Yes, I have many things I can’t never give up. I think all the people have things never give up with it and it’s important in thire life.

  • It’s great idea for poor people or people cannot work but for me I don’t like to be minimalist because I always dream to be a rich women and I wanna live in a big house and buy all of things I want and I will achieve my goal soon.

  • This way is beautiful live to lives, I can’t give up my phone because it important everything inside in phone but a piece clothing i could give up

  • Yes. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up my mobile phone. It hasbecome an inseparable part of my life. There are many people, including the majority of parents, who believe that mobile phones are only used to access the internet, Facebook, and other social media sites, but they are capable of much more. Naturally, mobile phones are used to communicate with everyone and to receive notifications from the university or college. When I go out, I always bring my phone with me. When I go somewhere for the first time, I use the directions app on my phone, and I use it almost every day when I move to a new city and need to find my way around the city.Nowadays, a smart phone can assist you in making payments for any transaction that does not require cash. It is tremendously convenient! I also make money online when I have spare time by using my smartphone, albeit a small amount.] In addition, one of thereasons why I will never give up my phone is that I use it to listen to music all of the time, whether I’m waiting for the bus, studying, cooking, or even taking a shower. What would my life be like if I didn’t have music? It’s unthinkable. It’s a nightmare! I feel like I’m someone who can’t live without music

  • I think I am not a minimalist, I am worry about many things. But, After reading this topic, I think I must change. Worry about many things that make me so tired and headache. Sometimes, when I was sleeping, my dream was appeared its. So, living with less is my decision to impove my life.

  • Yes, I agree that living with the less lets person remember other who do not having things even, and this feeling is enough to bring joy, and one more value of living with less is about health which is prophet Mohamed pointed out and other religions and ancient thinker in many places including not limited .

  • Thank you for the great effort
    I heard the concept of “minimalism” two years ago
    Then I started applying it to my life
    Eating, materials, relationships, shopping
    Really great!

  • Yes , there are some things that i can’t give up , like my phone and think .
    Iam using my phone to apply to work and searching about jobs , and if i forget thinking in some important things , i will be lazy , and i will just sit down at my room without thinking about my future and my dreams

  • yes it there some thnigs in my live i can’t never give up for excample my family and study and drink water and deep sleping \ of coures my mobile phone it is vere imprtent in my the day \yes my new cloths keep it

  • I like minimalist because when you want more never you arrive to that and always you see what people have it, but you forget your life and your property.

  • When I was kid I thought that it’s important to have many clothes but Now I realized that it doesn’t matter at all you just need some good clothes also I stoped wasting my money

  • I like minimalist, yes, of course, I have many things that I can t never give up like my family and my love, especially my phone I can’t give up it but I know that it spends my time, we know that when we want more we cant live comfortable because we compare our life with others.

  • I agree with living with less  ‘relationships’ and less ‘ people’ actually my family and one friend is enough for me. But i always want more efforts in studying , and other things i think its good when you want more in studying and learning .

  • I can’t give up my mobile phone because I use it a lot like know what time it is, communicate with other people , for entertainment and to waste time. Everyone has something they can’t give up.

  • Yah , i have a lot of things i can’t get rid of it , especially i’m a emotional personality so i have feelings to my things .
    It’s great idea to live minimalist but i think it’s very difficult in the same time , maybe i will be minimalist in the future but now I can’t .

  • Of course, there are many things i cant replacing it like; mobile, laptop and car….if these are with me …i can live anywhere

  • Yes there are, The mobile taking most of my time but I will limited using mobile soon to find space for myself and family. Moreover, to complete the pending businesses.

  • Everything except your religion you can give up, that’s what I believe
    I have a laptop, mobile phone, my own room many things but if I had to such as difficult living conditions yeah, I could give up.

  • yeah I do I think there are a lot of things I can’t give it up for example my bear , my books , my bloc notes and some clothes .

  • Good voice and script thanks for this advice and this will help to the people who think they would be happy only when they buy more things

  • Thank spotlight for this huge amount of informations. This is a great item we need to discuss and talk about in these times.
    Laterly, we see that People guess they can be happy by owning a lot of things : clothes, money, much purchases and etc. But, these spends don’t buy or pay for happiness. These material things do not make up the advantages of relationships, Tranquility and peace of mind, because the human is social in nature.
    Our latest prophete Mohammed (SAAS) lives with less, during his life even if he was a empror of Islam religion in average 1400 years.
    He prefers living with less to get the highest grade of heaven like reward in our lives after death.
    So, living happy with less is a good thing then being Wealth without happiness.

  • There is many thinks in my life I could never give up like mobile phone I use all the time in the study, also in free time it’s important in my life this is materialism life. As for the morale life I can’t give up parentes because they have a high place for my heart and they important thing of my life, In addion, I can’t give up prayers and keep qouran because this works Bring me closer for god this work make me happy and l’m proud of it. Because obedience to god it’s the principale thing for our life.

  • I can’t give up my mobile because it has important informations which I keep in it.
    I have a lot of things like clothes and litters from special people I keep it as memories which I can’t give away.
    It reminders me good events and good people in my life .
    I think a tiny house is a great idea.
    Because I don’t have enough money to pay a big house, it is easier to clean , it costs less money to built and it spends less time to clean.
    I might be a minimalist person in a future, but when I get a good job I will be not.
    I want to pay anything brings joy to me like expensive clothes and luxury cars.

  • In my simple vision I think the majority of people around the world living with minimalist style but I think if you have potential you don’t need try this way because the life is once not twice .

  • yes there are things that i can’t give up . but when we toke about importing things ,like family i can give up for things like mobile in family time .

More from this show

Episode 3