WWL>Topics>>2-4-14 1:10pm Angela: on minimalism

2-4-14 1:10pm Angela: on minimalism

Feb 4, 2014|

Angela talks with Josh Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, authors of Everything That Remains, a book about their journey from wealth to minimalism.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Let me be very grey out there but let me tell you there's sunshine in this room. I'm sitting with two young men I have really looked forward to meeting up for a multitude of reasons but I think you -- to. It is a subject that is near and you're two down and they're here to share it. And for -- to learn. Do you ever think all the things you own are owning new. Do you ever look around at all your stuff and ask why I need all this. Our two guests today did just that. Josh Milburn and Ryan -- and Venus has all the trappings of wealth but found their lives empty. They unloaded the stop of their lines and found meaning. They became minimalist. Josh and -- here for the whole hour to talk about an -- is -- very difficult thing for such an important simple word. And I want you to feel free to call any time and talk to them ask them you'll have to agree with them. What ever you know the number 260187. I'm looking at their book it is called everything remains a memoir of the minimalist. And you were here in town you're gonna have a book signing we're gonna talk about that. But this is sort of a movement I think that you didn't start. That you learned about and now you are -- it. Deaths you know so someone today said there were messengers and -- -- word because I'm not trying to. Proselytize. But I really -- and sit and sharing our recipes some of the things that weren't really well for both of -- and we've seen work. While for other people with families and and children in different situations. And this thing called minimalism has really helped me live more deliberately. OK so let's take it from the top. About exactly what it -- it sure. Yeah you know people ask you set all the time right you're minimalism and you think. Of people you know ethical types of different things around everywhere from having stark way lows and owning nothing and no electricity in morning roads. You know added the definition varies somber you know really. For me and for -- Josh would agree that it's about living deliberately it's about really making choices that are the best for you. It's asking. You know. If I buy this thing or if I bring this relationship and in my life or if I spend my time doing XYZ. Is that going to add value that's really what it's about it's about you know just living deliberately. In in asking the important questions. Josh you were you had gone through difficult time went through a divorce and at the same month it would lose your mother and pretty profound offense in anybody's life. You are moving into a new apartment because you renounce gang wars and it actually -- I loved that first ball I love how you right. It's not here a year ago. I am reading this because I think a lot of people so I appreciate it I'm Asomugha. So you start out and you had your little things that you brought from your home and you're leaving them. The relationship. So I still needed for -- -- -- you know the basics food hygiene projects a shower curtain towels bed. Well when he couch and matching leather chair in a love seat and land at a desk. And a desk chair in another land for over there and yet don't forget the side board that manages to desk. An address for the bedroom of one minute to collect coffee table and a couple and tables and a TV Stanford TV. I still need to -- me. And I -- -- I remember I read that twice I went oh my gosh. Ryan yeah it's weird because I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with any of those things the problem was I was an even questioning the stuff -- bring into my life. I was buying things. Because I was supposed to have them in -- I don't problem with consumption. My problem was the compulsory consumption in the fact that I was just accumulating things because that's what your quote suppose to do. And and I had to change their mind frame and you're right those two events sort of led me down this path of looking for warm meaning because. As you mention my mother died in my marriage -- both in the same month I was 48 years old. I had everything I ever wanted. I had a six figure salary. The luxury cars the big house with more bedrooms and inhabitants the basement full of stuff entertainment room the two living rooms the fancy appliances -- goes on and on and on and on. But none of that stuff was actually making me happy in fact a lot of that was doing the opposite because even though I was making really good money. I was spending even better money. Equation is doesn't work it's I was in debt. I'm stressed out those working seven near eighty hours a week at a job that didn't really aligned with my values or my beliefs. And my health suffered my relationship suffered the threes in my marriage ended. And I really wasn't doing anything I was passionate about and so have a look around after those two events and pages. Asked myself the question. Is this what you've been waiting for your entire life. And clearly it wasn't because I was discontented. And -- a new and in the mix and changes and and I knew that a lot of things needed to change. You similar place you're just watching your best friend goes through -- difficult time. You know Obama was very similar plays Josh and kind of climbed the corporate ladder together. You know we work -- -- for 56 revenues -- and I was in a situation where. You know if you would tell my eighteen self my 28 year old self was in I would then the most excited eighteen world. Worked so hard to you know accumulate as much as they could to make as much money. And that saying. Yourself and up and -- that's exactly where it was just felt overwhelmed by everything. And all of that -- that I got myself. And so -- -- your friend who has lost Mary mother. And -- which are starting to see him change he that was interesting so. I noticed that Josh was happier that he was. Kind of taking these two events the most difficult advances that happens life. And he was kind of getting through it easier than I expected to in fact he seemed happier than -- And you know Josh and come to me and say I'm a minimalist I'm getting rid of all my stuff you should be in minimalist to. I just noticed this change his personality in his demeanor and I asked him. He's so happy you you you have had these. Crazy things happen in your life and you seem happy to me right now what is going around with you and then that's where Josh introduced me to this thing called minimalism talked about how we spent the last few months. Getting the clutter out of away simplifying his life making room for the things in his life that were true import. There's a great chapter on. Going through your -- Yeah well which prisoners small. At some point you said fine and let me try yet so he. Talk to me about the -- on minimalism and and he introduced me to an entire community of people. Who were doing similar things. And there is this guy named Collin right the 24 year old entrepreneur over who travels to new country carrying with him everything audience -- you -- fifty things. And at first I was late. Do you know I don't wanna just in fifty things that that seems a little trouble in place that seems a little little. Little too extreme and mean of the then there's people like Joshua backers 36 year old. Husband and father of two who had a caller in full time job and house in suburban Vermont so. Communities -- this community people who have had. A lot of different situations -- different circumstances but they had few things in common noticed the first thing. Is they were leading deliberate meaningful lives were passionate in purpose strip. They seem much richer. -- in the so called rich guys who worked with in the corporate world. And they attributed their meaningful lives to this thing called minimalist so -- -- in the problem solving that I am. I thought okay great element out of do this call just shut them minimalist. -- -- -- That at you know I'd wanna spend months paring down my possessions like he had that was great for him but I wanted past results so. We came up with the idea of a packing party. Be fair account idea that. The -- credit the rank with the idea party book if you throw you know party at the end of anything makes some fun. So and we did a phone with it took us about. 89 hours to pack up everything in my 2000 square foot three bedroom. Two bath room to living room Condo I have no idea -- single guy needs to living rooms. That account yet. Katherine. You know I have something from the Adam wanted to. Because this was very interesting the dynamics of your friendship and you're now saying I'm going to be in the middle -- minimalist and yes. I want to do this but the reality. -- the boxes now start telling them. And there was a great great line and there are elements -- Well Josh is Roland stuff you don't know. -- -- it's so much easier way other people stop right and -- someone else's stuff that's really the. The idea was to put everything in boxes and ultimately as you needed them you would extract them with the concept than -- maybe you would never need the but all of a sudden Ryan walks and and it goes duck pitch this reaching into the half full trash bag pulling out in mucus colored -- With the world's number one granddad. Access across the side in. In this comic -- really I didn't know you -- grandfather. You know while I might need it and v.s don't throw out these extra cables. Extra cables what are -- four. I don't know but I might need them some -- -- let's hold on to them. Why just in case. And that's the bottom line why all of -- -- -- an extra set came just in case. Important. Yet you know those those three words very intimate relationship with those three words we -- to in the hold on the things just in case and but I realize is that anything that we hold onto just in case. We almost never needed but if we actually do end up needing it we can replace a recount of this rule wall along the road. Twenty minutes. Less than twenty dollars. Any -- that we need just in case. We've been elements to make it work and we live in Montana. So in Montana we can make it work pretty much anywhere else in the country you can make it work though. Stay with us we're gonna continue our talk about. A real discovery by these two young men who've written a book everything remains. And again if you'd like to talk to them it's. 286187. -- I'm Angela under the WL. We are talking with the authors of everything that remains. On memoir by the minimalist. And they are Josh and Ryan and we can't thank you enough for being here. There this is the fifth store struck -- city on a 100 city tour. And done tomorrow at maple street -- 630 630 tomorrow maple street bookstore and you. Get to meet them also get to get through book and I wanna say again how much I enjoyed reading it it's just beautifully written and it just. You make it real and you. Told the real story of two people who sort of as you call it a journey but it was a real transformation. You know from corporate America to. A life if you -- better lift. Not to knock all corporate America personally view all that just wasn't it. I think what startled me because frankly your young. And to have had this sort of understanding I think the older people get myself included. You tend to look at things and -- business beautiful thing. Not necessary drive and or or you know the value you have on other things and it just changes with age -- you're young and you got it and. We're both 32 and and this happening sort of -- -- late twenties you know getting to a point where we really. In jury to. Our lives took a point where we weren't very happy with our allies NC as you said it was definitely a transformation and it's like it happened overnight -- But I also agree with you on the corporate side of things in finals there's anything wrong with working in nine to five in just happened for me that. I was working seven year eighty hours a week and all of my focus was on something that didn't the line with my values my beliefs and once I realized that. I realize that I needed to restructure my life I still work a lot now like humans were 200 city tour. But it's so in line with what I believe it's so aligned with what I value as a human being. And then I feel great about doing it as opposed to getting drained from from doing. You know you brought up -- about a college. In the book they as you are Josh looking up on the Internet what does minimalism. And you you're fine mission on man who is ultimately is on television one Australia New Zealand and it has fifty things shocking news and I read that too. Helen and I -- I work with. And -- had fifty things when -- fifty things in my purse. -- these things under the sink in the bathroom and sure fifty thing you know he is one kind of minimalist there are others yes. The I'm still I'm still and you got to meet him. Correctly we actually you'll find some -- we in the becoming business partners on. That -- the publishing house so. We who we've known each other become really good friends and and he still travels to new country or four months and he still owns about fifty things basically. He adds he owns a bunch of things and and -- in his life. And my day when -- in my life is different you know I like having things like your kitchen table or silverware. Or you know plates for guests to come over and have dinner. But for him he really values traveling all the time he goes to new country reform once he does -- -- the country he he goes to. To wherever his readers vote for on the -- and -- Which sounds really cool but that's not for me and so I think as you mentioned that's that's the really cool thing is. Minimalism has all these different flavors -- Ryan mentioned judge -- -- who has couple kids or is Leo about so we talk about the book is six kids and was in San Cisco. According carver she's forty something with a teenage daughter who's in college now and all these people live. Pretty different lives but they're all minimalist because. They questioned the things that material possession. Yet it's funny you know that minimalism really it's for me it's not about. The things you know that was kind the initial bite the apple for me. I'm I could have very easily ran to the dumpster and threw throw everything away that that I found. And then miserable and salt in my energy content. On it really that packing party unpacking things as I needed I did it over three weeks so everything was packed you can imagine that first night I packed my toothbrush some bad bed -- clothes for work the next thing. The TV. The modem for the Internet you know furniture actually used so after boost when -- -- days of doing man. I had 80% of my stuff left in boxes. And really that was the lightbulb moment that's really where I started thinking differently here were all these things that I. Had purchased. Had reported to be happy to make me happy and over the history weeks they would really weren't doing their job so again you know the things part of minimalism there is no magic number fifty is in the Mexican calmer than I -- there is no specific memory effect Josh and I couldn't tell you how many things -- -- -- it's just what I need I don't have a number on it it. Minimalism religious helps kind of ask the news questions is important questions asserting with the things kind of gets you going down the road and asking what really is important because. It got to a point where I did know was important anymore it's been so much time. Just getting all of these things getting this job on you know racking up huge credit card debt. And I just -- -- it was important anymore but that -- party really helped me kind of start asking great questions questions to find out what was important. So you -- job for one moment at what point did you start on tethering. So for me I took about a year and a half. It's you and -- from the job. I was actually layoff but I had. A plan where I'm eventually I was gonna leave the job and which is an -- sooner than I expected but. The cool thing about being a minimalist as you don't have that many bills so as you know prepared for. For that happening. Insane -- it took me about two years to. To pay down over 100000 dollars and that and so. I called the Rama noodles -- -- -- -- -- through every extra dollar and -- that that because I knew that freedom was on the other side of his son -- mile common and really focus ordinance for about two years panel 80% of my debt. Before felt comfortable with. Was sort of going in different directions which for me originally was was writing fiction -- never written nonfiction before. But after Ryan's packing party can mean today. I think other people might find value in the story has been really valuable for me. So we do it any two guys who do we thought the -- with a -- and -- And you know called the medalists and we just talked about our individual journeys and how we are no longer. Possessed by our possessions. And those really beautiful thing because. We could still talk about like the things that we find value in today you know everything that I -- -- -- the long plenty of things. But it has some sort of functions some sort of purpose or brings me joy. And the cool thing about that is I don't think you ever get somewhere -- -- -- -- I -- -- 57 things -- -- hundred things or whatever and I'm done. -- changes at all to fall because we all grow over time. And so the things that -- in my life today. May not add value to my life tomorrow -- to keep asking that question does this thing and die it's my life. And so when -- bring something new in the mile lives and they knew them and give value from. I've asked that question over and over and over. You know there's just such tremendous. Pressure. And in our society in every time you turn around by. Yeah that's by guess yeah we are faced with about a half a million bits of them put every single day in it is definitely a lot to filter through. For sure okay -- about that latest now on out there we're gonna take a break we're gonna -- the newsroom but. If you have any -- answer any questions about this give us a call at 2601870. Financial on WL -- let's go to Crist in the news. Josh Milburn and Ryan that that could famous in their late twenties have sort of the world by the tail. In corporate America making six figures. All the wonderful things that money can buy. And not a great deal of happiness and from that became the process. Of change and for them it was what is called minimalism. And each probably took a little different path but the bottom line is is that you have very fulfilled lives right now. And I know we're jumping huge -- because this really is a process and for somebody out there listening thinking. Well you know I'd like to -- my stuff but I can't or I have responsibilities. -- and neither of your married with kids right now so. That's a -- something via. Then we. I would say it you can run a dumpster of throwing yourself -- that but for me that wouldn't -- worked their -- too much stuff. -- I had an emotional attachment sentimental attachment to. I think we all know and apparently that money isn't gonna buys happiness or the things we have are gonna make us happy but we're told over and over and over. That -- well through marketing messages or really slick looking TV shows or whatever. And we start to believe that overtime you're told something enough even if you know it's not true your tone and a -- you start to believe. But we also are taught to believe that the more you have the better you -- mountain you know you are a better person you -- this is your identity mrs. Not always yes and you know can we were talking about for the break Powell. Advertising tells us that you there is a point where advertising fulfilled. -- need and now it creates the need. And it's certainly can be overwhelming. When you're going through this your other friends. Were they mostly thing you know. Charge onerous thing what the heck is happening to you. It's funny when you call yourself the minimalist it's you find out really quickly who your friends are. But the effect we don't recommend anyone it's -- is that the commitment is. But -- -- working in that environment. Where everyone was all about big salaries and having nice things and you know working. 80607080. Hours a week. People who thought. My friends. Quickly found out they were my friends and they weren't supportive. Some people -- in. Which are getting off the track they were you and and I think really it was there was this feeling they had of us may be judging him in you know we don't judge anybody -- this if anything we relate but you know all of a sudden people -- willow. I have all the things that make me about person and in no it doesn't it's it just depends on the what are you putting first in your life. Let's say my mother called me on she used -- a month after we sort of the web site. Mean and she's a son hasn't gone Cologne but what's this minimalist stuff and all you must on the website is an intolerant and really had. B 52. Visitors. First market. I think my mom was off 52 visits Florida. But no it's usually you know what is this I was minimal since you were born you know kind of give -- rats in the little bit and she asked me and it's at a point. So does this mean that I can't buy you things anymore does mean that you don't want me to get union birthday gifts at Christmas gifts in this is something in my mother and I. Have always talked about please don't buy me anything -- to ten bucks she spends. You know cheap or cuff links I've never worker conflicts in my life she can do more that ten dollars and I'm never gonna do -- scuffling. And you know I said mama I'm always asked to do not by mean presence so I would appreciate if you didn't mean mother I'm gonna buy -- things anyways. Which supposedly he has -- but you know I said mom if you do buy something forming. And I can't use it I'm probably. Going to end up. Finding someone who -- giving it giving it away or doing something else with it which is not the thing to -- -- mother by the way. On the we kind of went back and forth with each other and eventually. -- you know -- a dissenter mom -- you love me of course you want to be -- -- which should be okay well if that's the case then. And you support me with this journey and that is it mean to you to change your life it just means deceptive at least -- support me like that really got through. So yeah when you're color yourself minimalist -- colors of the minimalist he certainly don't have conversations like that and people. Who. You know. About that the first time you brought a girl back here. Minimalist partner. Yet that the united beat this thing would be the the stuff was was as Brian mentions the outward manifestation. Of a deeper problem. Where. The reason that -- so much -- because there's so much meaning of getting rid of that stuff Colombians are focusing on things like relationships. And people that -- allow more road is it hard to date now that your minimal list and the answer is no because I get that people know my values are pretty quickly today and so if our values are in line. Then you know we we can go -- whether that's an intimate relationship ports of friendship for whatever. They get it let's skip pass the the small tall -- of it -- relations and you can. Move towards something more meaningful. In that department but when you're talking about finding friends on the line yes. And because. Your your findings like minded people rate cut into the chase there were no longer relegated by proximity. Or buying. Convenience. I found that most of my relationships. Who were dedicated most of my time back in and my Taiwanese was. With people who were my primary relationships that were co workers spent a lot of time than you know an office number. On people who were networking buddies or balances just because they were around. And I for -- -- the most important people in my life line closest friends like Brian Greenspan -- on the other. -- the clothes from my marriage. My family members because. I -- didn't have enough time consulate on the -- you know it's the only resource we all have this same exact amount -- real laws in 24 hours in the day. And I chose to spend it on people who were. Okay people when they are values and didn't O line at least the line. Yeah of for me you know I think. Any girl has been taken back by apartment yet. -- yeah I give you came the came to its in my house -- Billick this guy's a minimalist. You know he's really type hitter -- -- thought on what to stuff but I have actually serve a purpose. You know Helen who has of one of our producers was saying that after Katrina that really was in of people lost everything and so many people lost him so it was a matter of you know starting over again and I can't tell you the people I have talked to who very much like -- sank. You know this go around I'm not junk -- not my place. I'm gonna you know that the sun and little things that were lost can never be replaced right but the other stuff became what. You know really join me for chairs are too. Right and when we're -- museum does seminal things that for me was it was very difficult but there's a part in their -- -- getting rid of my mother's stuff after she passed away. And I realized very quickly that the memories aren't in the things collect the memories and yes. And there are some things can trigger memories you can take pictures of stuff and we talk about doing that and pictures -- purpose but -- need that things. Because that's not where we hold our memories. Yes it's funny when I was going to the sentimental. A park where I was trying to get rid of things I came across this. On just great handmade cards and my little niece made me you know you're the best uncle over I love you so much and who resists is a really -- court. I probably had looked at in the year a bullet came across an endlessly Alia remember this this is curiously -- minimalist in the I'm gonna throw it away and -- it was really difficult that first piece of sentimental. That property that I had to get rid of and I thought you know it's a picture of it. A console look at it if it if I really wanna go back to Minnesota -- -- computer. And I threw away and that first initial letting go. Was so difficult but the next morning I woke up and felt fine I -- you know I was still still. Have the memory -- shared it with us again stay with -- they're gonna continue to share with this financial on dozens -- -- well. Josh Milburn and -- -- and -- have written a book called I love this. Everything that remains and it is about their journey to become minimalist. And I've loved everything you said I really -- you're going to be tomorrow night at the maple street bookstore at 630. You can meet them there and get their book and talk to them about these life changes something you just said in the commercial. As you've done tour is on another book that you did. That the eleven year old brought his father and the 83 year old -- great granddaughter. You know its interest and we find that this message is a -- what anyone with an open mind who who is looking to answer some more difficult questions in their lives. And and so yes -- in eleven year old show I'll bring his father in Albuquerque in Saint Louis we and 83 year old great grandmother. And they'll have to some that are similar outlooks on on life and terms of what questions are asking is manifest differently. Depending if you're if you're 83 your -- -- gonna ask that question slightly different from if you're eleven but ultimately -- for the same thing so live with more meaning -- with more purpose. And it isn't that the things you have mean even have a great many things and still have great meaning in life you can have very little in your life and and be missing things exactly have so it is how you look at what you have kids and how you react to that. As if you are happy if you are unhappy person that's when you may -- to look around and say what's going on there yes I might not happen. And it's several seeds of discontent in my life. The two biggest ones that stand -- time and it a -- getting control my own time because. I was working a job to buy things there weren't making me happy and and also. Because those spending so much money I've felt -- Mine and the other seeds of discontent was was money UN management money a group early form we talk about them in the book. But. I thought we report is in a lot of money when we we grope for because we made repeated bad decisions and because when I started making really good money. I still made those same bad decisions and so I wasn't very financially secure even though is making good money. I mean for a less money after walked away from the corporate world but I was much more secure because I was making. Better decisions. With my money with my time with how I spend a spent my time with other people. And I felt my. Richer. Than any of the rich guys that I worked with in the corporate world. The -- beautifully said. You know it's it's it's really important I think that you know people spend time on. Our focus on these five things -- -- that this -- level and through my injuries is. Focus on -- -- if you're unhealthy you're depressed. This is how it works and focus on your relationships who are the people you're spending the most time with Alec to say. That you wore the top five people you hang out -- in your role models. Do something you're passionate about you know have fallen may make time for yourself it's so hard to work. You know sixty hours -- -- -- -- 4050 -- week. A unity get up to go to work come home. You have dinner he go to bed rinse repeat throughout the week in and lift for the weekends -- not doing anything for yourself can can really be tiring. And in the last two things is. Growth the contribution they kind of go hand in hand -- all of us have this. Internal desire to grow this is why you know kids graduate high school go to college get their degrees and get jobs get promotions get married have families kids. Palestinian a bigger house go on vacation we all have this desire to grow and when I have found is a contributing to others and meaningful ways the best way. -- to grow. Boy you just hit right on the head that is that's it. That is an and it is everybody knows that if you give to someone else if you give contribute anything your energy your heart whatever and that is what makes that's the greatest source of happiness and finding something you love in the morning to share net yeah net. Fantastic. And things are just things that's all there. You have a thing and you're about to out work are the job isn't it and ultimately is it a passion -- You know I I think that question we ask each other all the time is an incredibly pernicious question it's. What do you do we as soon as we air induce someone that's a what are you -- and I don't think there's any malice intent behind that question. But our whole identity you mentioned -- in India earlier who liked and he gets wrapped up in that one little business card answer. And for me I had a very impressive answer to that for very long time so my identity was. I'm a director of operations for a 150 retail stores and while that sounds impressive and while I looked sensibly successful. I didn't feel fulfilled and so I wasn't really successful because I'm happy and I certainly wasn't contributing other people's Ryan -- wasn't adding value to other people's lives. And it turns out that when you add value. People want to news spread that message with their friends and their family and that's the reason we're you know we're here in town now. And I want to repeat again if you wanna meet these two great guys. It is tomorrow at six united for a progress tomorrow maple street bookstores 630. Their book is available they are available to answer any questions I can't tell you how much I enjoyed meaning I loved the -- makes you think. And make sure appreciate. And continued success to but the thank you so much we'll be right back. I want to thank Josh and Ryan for spending a whole hour with this love the comments on minimalism. Again tomorrow at maple street store now let's go to the newsroom.