The Minimalist's War On Wardrobe by Jennifer Chan

There is a crusade, led by conventional minimalists, that need to be stopped. The mission is not focused on a sole person, but rather an idea: clothes are bad. I’m not sure how it exactly started or why it grew steam, but one of the core tenets of minimalism is to pair down all of your clothes into a capsule wardrobe.

Undoubtedly, this was popularized by Courtney Carver, an inspiring woman who, after being diagnosed with MS, reduced her stress through living with less. Project 333, an initiative she started, has been featured on The Today Show, O Magazine, the BBC, and other mainstream media outlets. The premise is that we often only wear 20% of our wardrobe, and we can easily get by with owning 33 items in your wardrobe.

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(No) Buyer's Remorse by Jennifer Chan

A few weeks ago, I bought something that I didn’t need but I wanted. I didn’t realize when I made the purchase but the decision was rooted in aspirational living: I saw someone else had it, thought it would improve my life, and I went out the next day and bought it. Although it didn’t make or break my budget — it came to about $50 — it was still enough for a nice dinner with my girlfriend, a couple of books, or an extra payment towards my student loans.

The problem wasn’t my impulsivity. It’s what happened next.

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I Turn 28 Today: Here's 28 Lessons About Work, Money, and Life I Learned Over the Past Year by Jennifer Chan

I’m officially in my late twenties. Like many other bloggers, I’ve decided to review what I’ve learned over the past 365 days. I created this blog, adopted a Texan dog, began ghostwriting for a client, started a small podcast, moved into a new apartment, read some life-changing books, and paid off most of my student loans. It had much more ups than downs.

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Sorry, You Can't Be An Influencer by Jennifer Chan

I don’t mean to crush your dreams.

It’s not that I have anything against influencers or am slighting their talents. The problem that I have is that people are attracted to their job because it seems glamorous.

You mean I can take beautiful, curated photos and companies will pay me thousands of dollars? You mean I can work whenever and however I want, and show off my creative side? Where’s the dotted line that you want me to sign?

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It's Time To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is by Jennifer Chan

I don’t hide the fact that I’m economically progressive. I’m fine paying my fair share of taxes. I’m grateful to live in a country with universal healthcare. And I’ll sleep just fine if major corporations were forced to pay higher taxes.

While I’d like to consider myself a principled person, I’ll admit that I had neglected to think about how spending and managing my money could be in more in line with my values. For the longest time I parked my money in a major bank, bought cheap clothes at places like H&M and Forever 21, and always made financial decisions that padded my bottom line.

But, of course, the most convenient or lucrative decisions don’t always coincide with your principles. And betraying your principles for the sake of money is hardly a way to live.

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You Weren't Made to Do One Thing by Jennifer Chan

No one emerged from the womb assigned with an intrinsic purpose.

The doctor did not take one look at you and say, with confidence, “You will be a fine race car driver!” or, “I am looking at the forthcoming Youtube sensation of 2030.” Life doesn’t work that way. No baby, child, teenager, or even adult, knows for sure one thing that they are destined to do for the rest of the life, and if they say so, they are deceiving themselves.

The reality is that we make our purpose. It evolves as we get older, acquire more skills, experience more things, and form our values and beliefs.

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How Not to Become a Zombie by Jennifer Chan

Sometimes, I feel like a zombie on autopilot.

But instead of looking to feast on living, unsuspecting humans (or suspecting — a zombie isn’t picky), my sole mission is to optimize every facet of my life, as much as possible. Dead from the inside out, roaming the scorched earth in search of life hacks and self-help advice to make me better, stronger, faster.

Want to reason with me? Good luck. Convince my boss to let me take a week of vacation? Sorry, that won’t satiate my appetite. Gift a pair of tickets to my favourite band? I might blink twice to let you know that somewhere, underneath the rot of my exterior and the stench of death, a part of my consciousness is trapped inside—but that’s all you get.

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Minimalist Living by Jennifer Chan

“We’re so caught up in trying to do everything, experience all the essential things, not miss out on anything important...We can’t read all the good books, watch all the good films, go to all the best cities in the world, try all the best restaurants, meet all the great people...Life is better when we don’t try to do everything. Learn to enjoy the slice of life you experience, and life turns out to be wonderful.” ― Leo Babauta

Minimalism comes in all shapes and sizes. For Colin Wright, that involved selling most of his belongings and travelling around the world. For Courtney Carver, it was embracing a minimalist lifestyle to improve her health (she was diagnosed with MS in 2006). For me, my focus is not so much on eliminating physical clutter - although that’s certainly something I’ve done - but also incorporating a form of mental minimalism into my life. A lifestyle that takes into account all the distractions, interruptions, and needlessly complex processes that I encounter over the course of my day. It’s about simple, deliberate living.

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