43 Minimalism Quotes to Read for A Simple Life

We live in a materialistic world where we are always looking for the next shiny object in town. And as a result, we end up piling on debt since most of the stuff we get is beyond our means.

Most of us cannot imagine leaving a simple minimalist lifestyle. The things that we buy are like our “drug.” We cannot imagine not buying the latest iPhone, car, etc. even though we do not really need them.

The danger of all this becomes known during a recession such as the one we are facing now when millions have lost their jobs and therefore cannot afford to pay back their loans.

We are all right with accumulating credit card debt just to be like other people. Getting the latest television sets, etc.

It is in thinking of all this that I selected the following minimalism quotes.

43 Minimalism Quotes

  • “Having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions or even relationships. The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside.” – Tenzin Palma.

This minimalism quote is really spot on. You cannot get your happiness and peace from the abundance of your possessions. Real happiness starts from within. You have to decide to be happy and at peace regardless of what happens outside.

  • “Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” – Leo Babauta

This is perhaps the best one sentence answer on minimalism. This is exactly what you need to do to be a minimalist. You first of all need to need to identify your needs or essentials. Secondly you get rid of everything else.

Sometimes we forget that fulfilment in life is not about the amount of money or property you have. You can have all the money in the world and still be the most miserable person in the world.

The reality is that the less goods you have the less stress you have about losing it. You have more time to enjoy life and less time worrying if your stuff is going to be lost or lose value.

As a parent you will not lose your temper if your child accidentally damages one of your gadgets.

  • “Collect moments not things.” – Paulo Coelho.

These are really the things really matter in life. The moments you had with your family on that dream vacation. The moments when you celebrated their trumphs. The moments when they came through for you in your most difficult times.

Have the finer things of this life won’t give the satisfaction that matches the moments above. The more property you have the more you will want. You may have the top of the range car and think everything is until your friend buys an even better and more modern one. And all of a sudden your toy is no longer the shinnest in your area.

  • “Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something.” – Nicholas Burroughs.

Minimalism is really a choice. You choose to have only the essentials and not because of poverty. This is what makes life more fulfilling and exciting. When you stop competing with people and just concentrate on what you really need.

It is about choosing to ignore the latest iphone as you already have one that is doing its job.

  • “Minimalism is about an intentional search for happiness.” – Melissa Camara Wilkins.

This is really true. Minimalism is a choice. A choice to search for the elusive happiness that is missing for millions who while having all sorts of gadgets still find themselves not at peace.

  • “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” – Joshua Becker.

It is sad to see people choose a lifestyle that costs them more than 90% of their earnings. A lifestyle that leaves nothing in terms of savings for the future. It is time we got rid of all these distractions that we really do not need. Why have a four bed house when you really need a two bed house.

Albert Einstein: Make things as simple as possible (Minimalism quotes)
Albert Einstein
  • “Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.” – Albert Einstein.

There is always a temptation to complicate things when you don’t need to. Minimalism is about living a simple uncomplicated life.

  • “I make myself rich, by making my wants few.” – Thoreau.

To be honest being rich is relative and dependent on your perceptions and the perceptions of others around you. A rich person in African may be considered middle class in America.

You can ignore other people’s perceptions and choose to see your life differently. As Thoreau says above you can make yourself rich by minimizing your wants.

  • “If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital.” – The Dalai Lama.

I am not into Buddhism and the like but I agree with the Dalai Lama here. I have seen westerners get surprised the abundance of smiles on people in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Contentment does not come from the abundance of your possessions. It comes from within. It comes when you decide to be satisfied with whatever you have. Or when you decide to make your life simple.

  • “Minimalism is asking why before you buy.” – Francine Vay.

This is yet another one of the best minimalism quotes you can ever get. This is really the essence of a minimalism lifestyle. A minimalist does not just buy anything he wants, he has to be convinced that it is what he really needs. It is about only buying the essentials of life.

  • “I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” – Brian Gardner.

Most people don’t ask the “why” question. Why I am I owning two cars instead of one? Why do I need a five bedroom house?

You really don’t have to be a minimalist to ask yourself these questions. It is because we don’t ask ourselves these questions why we are now as westerners steeped deeply in credit card debt.

If there is one thing that everyone can learn from a minimalist lifestyle. The question of why is perhaps the most important question you can ever ask yourself.

  • “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates.

Socrates who died in 399 BC is perhaps one of the most well-known Greek philosophers who is credited as one of the founders of western philosophy. You, therefore, have to listen when he speaks because he took the time to come to his conclusions.

In my little life on this planet, I am yet to see a greedy person who is also happy. How can he be happy when he is not satisfied with what he has and is envious of what others have?

Happiness is not a function of the abundance of your possessions. It happens when you decide to enjoy less as Socrates says.

  • “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis.

CS Lewis who died in 1963 at the age of 64 was a Christian theologian and apologist. He is the author of The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, Chronicles of Narnia, and others.

  • “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” – Vivienne Westwood.
  • “Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of your stuff, it’s about focusing on the things you love about your life.” – Unknown.
  • “Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance.” – Claudio Silvestrin.
  • “I am a minimalist. I like saying the most with the least.” – Bob Newhart.
  • “There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.” – Jackie French Koller.

Trying to get rich is just one of those stressfull things that people put themselves in unnecessarily. Happiness comes by being happy with what you have while working hard and smart. If working smart and hard brings riches then so be it. But worrying about it will just mess up your life.

  • “Minimalism isn’t just one kind of music. Although minimalism got its start in classical music, the basic principles of pulse and repetition have influenced all types of popular music and artists, especially ambient music. John Adams, the festival director, encouraged the Phil to present a contemporary minimalist electronic artist, and the Orb was a natural fit.” – Adam Crane.

It is interesting that the minimalist lifestyle is also affecting industries too. I never though that it can also affect the music industry.

  • “It depends on what kind of minimalism you’re talking about, ofcourse. I love both those artists – Brian Eno and William Basinski. I would say my minimalism references are early American minimalists from the 70s.” – Tim Hecker.

There will always be differences when it comes to the definition of minimalism. People are different and will always see things differently. What one considers minimal may be extravagance to another. It is what makes life beautiful, the diversity of opinions.

  • “Don’t confuse simple living with an easy life. It’s simply where the adventure begins. It’s where we find purpose, and in turn, the capacity to find what makes us come alive.” – Rachelle Crawford.
  • “Desiring less is even more valuable than owning less.” – Joshua Becker.

The desires of this life are the cause of so much heartaches. Heartaches that can easily be avoided.

  • “When given too many choices, people tend to worry that there’s something better out there than what they decided on.” – Fumio Sasaki.
  • “Minimalism is simply a tangible way of prioritizing your life.” – Faith Janes.
  • “A great principle of minimalism is using the minimum amount of resources, which accords perfectly with our present-day need for sustainability.” – Dr. Prem Jagyasi.

One thing that is sometimes forgotten in the debate on whether to follow a minimalist lifestyle or not is the issue of sustainability. The resources of earth are not limitless.

There is a limit to how much oil we can extract from the earth and so many other things. If we are not careful we deplete all the resources that are needed to keep things going on smoothly in our world.

The more you think about the more you will want to live a minimalist lifesyle. Besides the pollution consider the pollution that has been caused by factories churning out all these gadgets we use.

  • “I think ‘TRON’ is a good example of minimalism.” – Thomas Bangalter.
  • “He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.” – Swedish Proverb.
Minimalism quotes

Sometimes we need to pay heed to some of these ancient proverbs like this Swedish proverb. There is really no point in buying stuff we don’t need. As the proverb states it is like stealing from ourselves.

We are stealing money that we could have set aside for our children’s education. When we buy things we don’t need, we are doing it at the expense of other important things now and in the future.

  • “If you have clutter in your real life. Your tangible life. Then it really adds to the emotional clutter in your mind.” – Giuliana Rancic.

Some things that happen in our lives are a kind of a mirror of our own hearts. If everything is arranged properly in your heart it will show in your deeds. As the quote says, clutter in your real life only adds to the clutter in your mind.

  • “In a way, simplifying your life for vagabonding is easier than it sounds. This is because travel by its very nature demands simplicity. If you don’t believe this, just go home and try stuffing everything you own into a backpack. This will never work, because no matter how meagerly you live at home, you can’t match the scaled-down minimalism that travel requires.” – Rolf Potts.

Travel preparation really helps us understand that some of the stuff that we value may not be really valuable to us. It is just excess that we need to get rid of.

Henry Ward Beecher - "It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich not according to what he has, but according to what he is." (Minimalism quotes)
Henry Ward Beecher
  • “It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich not according to what he has, but according to what he is.” – Henry Ward Beecher.

Very true indeed everything starts in the heart. It is where plans are hatched and it is there where we decide to take action. How life pans is just actualisation of that which was already in our hearts.

  • “Fill your life with lots of experiences, not lots of things. Have incredible stories to tell, not incredible clutter in your closets.” – Marcandangel.

We can sometimes be slaves of our own successes. I have been to houses with so much stuff that they cannot arrange them properly. There is all sorts of stuff on the floor and in other places. Maybe it is time to declutter.

  • “I’m a big believer in minimalism. Not materialist minimalism, although that’s part of it, but time and energy minimalism. The body is given only so much energy a day.” – James Altucher.
  • “Minimalism is not a style, it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction against noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance.” – Claudio Silvestrin.
  • “Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”Albert Einstein.
Albert Einstein : Minimalism quotes
Albert Einstein
  • “Minimalism and sustainable living are ideals that many of us strive towards because we want to cause the least impact on nature and create opportunities in life to live more simply.” – Masa Ofei.
  • “Minimalism is a more elastic concept than they think. You can have form and function. It can be simple, but also very layered.” – S. Russell Groves.

Maybe it is because minimalism is relative. What may be considered a minimalist lifestyle in the west, could be a life of luxury in some poor parts of the world.

The most important thing is to make your life simple. If you do it reasonable there will be nothing complicated or very layered about it as S Russell Groves says. I wish we all lived a simple life and shared the excess with others that are at the moment struggling to make ends meet.

It is sad to see millions struggling to put food on their tables in some of the richest countries of the world. Something needs to be done to sort these issues out.

  • “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”Leo Tolstoy.

Simplicity while not very popular is what makes the world a great place. Even in the world of technology consumers want simpler stuff and simpler ways of handling their gadgets.

I remember a time when surfing the internet on your phone was not as easy as it is now. It took people like Steve Jobs to see an opportunity to create a phone that made surfing the internet easy peasy.

And I can bet that no one looks at the iPhone and other cheaper ones that have followed or copied it to say that it is not a good phone.

Leo Tolstoy : Minimalism quote
Leo Tolstoy
  • “Digital minimalism definitively does not reject the innovations of the internet age, but instead rejects the way so many people currently engage with these tools.” – Cal Newport.

We westerners are tied to our gadgets. We surf the internet when going to work or other places. And when we return home we continue to surf the internet. All this at the expense of having quality time with our family members.

It is time we reassessed our priorities. Our first priority is supposed to be our family and friends. The less time we spend with them the worse it will be for the world. It is the family where characters of future generations are shaped and you don’t want the internet to shape that.

  • “Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius.

This reminds me of the movie, The God’s Must Be Crazy where a contrast is made between our modern life with primitive life. Life has become more complicated to support our modern lifestyle.

We now have to worry about electricity and most of us cannot imagine not having electricity even for a few hours. And yet for the primitive tribes, this is a minor issue.

Minimalism is one way you can try to at least reduce the complexity of life. It is time we simplified our lives for the sake of our sanity.

  • “I had a very different vibe then, I was very into minimalism. I was kind of obsessed with Helmut Lang and [Martin] Margiela.” – Rupal Patel.

Really funny minimalism quote.

  • “My feeling is that minimalists are people who know what’s truly necessary for them versus what they may want for the sake of appearance, and they’re not afraid to cut down on everything in the second category.” – Fumio Sasaki.

Life is really interesting. You see your friend buying a Tesla and you want it too. It is all about appearance. How people see you somehow is very important to most people. You don’t want to be seen driving an old model when your friends are driving the latest models.

  • “I have my own definition of minimalism, which is that which is created with a minimum of means.” – La Monte Young.

Minimalism is really about getting rid of extravagance and deciding to live with only the essentials of life. As La Monte Young says living a life made from a minimum of means.

There is really no good reason why we should be extravagant in our lives. It is this extravagant life that has led to all these problems of pollution that we now have. We have civilized ourselves to a point where we will destroy ourselves and the planet we live in.

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So this marks the end of our minimalism quotes list from people all over the world. Hopefully, this will encourage you to consider the minimalist lifestyle..