A minimalist’s goal is to cut noise from their life. Stress, distractions, societal pressures, false obligations, toxic relationships etc.

When we lose ourselves in work obligations or the trappings of modern life, it is all too easy to lose sight of our priorities. For me, that’s my wife, my family, my health, and my connection to God.

It is the goal to discard the excess and embrace what is meaningful and wholesome.

In moments of solitude, before the noise creeps back in and tries to steal your focus once again, use the quiet to realign and renew your priorities.

Escapist Listening

When I’m on public transport I use headphones, as many do, to block out the noises around me. While I do sometimes listen to music, I often prefer to put on some calming nature sounds using an app on my phone, waves lapping or leaves rustling – that sort of thing. Initially, I had only really thought to use them as a sleep or study aid, but it has since become a form of light meditation for me. London can be a loud, stressful place and so they regularly soundtrack my commute.

The app features various man-made sounds too such as: noisy airport terminals, cafes and food courts, washing machines in a laundrette, the indistinct chatter of people passing by etc. Until now, the sole reason I used this app was to try and block out sounds such as these, and so it baffled me as to why anyone would want to listen to them by choice, or why they were on there at all.

But right now, after a month locked indoors from the ongoing pandemic, I would like nothing more than to sit in a busy cafe, to hear coffee machines grinding away, air-conditioning humming, cups clinking together, and the mundane gossip of nearby friends. Ironic, I know.

At the moment this app is the closest I am going to get. I long for the noise of the outside world. I never thought I would miss it so much. When this is all over, I don’t think I’ll ever take it for granted again.

What is Truly Important?

With an international lockdown well under way, many of us are starting to find a deeper appreciation for some of the simpler things in life, things we had taken for granted under the conveniences of the modern day.

Some of the most obvious and basic of necessities: access to healthcare and medicine, a reliable supply of fresh food, and physical interaction with our friends and loved ones, are no longer a certainty.

As the whole world is humbled by this pandemic, we as individuals are forced to pause in reflection, and ask – what is truly important in life? Everyone will have a different answer. But when we come out of this on the other side, and we will, we must not forget.