The Minimalists: Less is Now


Lindsay Boyette, Photographer

On January 1, 2021, Netflix released many movies, shows, and documentaries, one of the documentaries being The Minimalist. The Minimalist is a Netflix Original written by longtime friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who refer to themselves as “The Minimalists.” The Minimalists are authors, podcasters, filmmakers and public speakers. They have made it their mission to encourage the movement of minimalism and highlight the global problem of materialism.


According to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what is important in order to find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. Instead of finding happiness in things, people who identify themselves minimalists search for happiness through life itself. The concept of minimalism is particularly hard today, because the internet is an online marketplace where one can buy everything one needs (or just wants) with the click of a button. With persistent online advertising bombarding consumers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the temptation to buy nonessential goods has increased dramatically. It is to be expected that people are now starting to purchase material goods in hopes of finding happiness in items. The Netflix documentary, however, is an eye opener, encouraging people to realize that their wants are unlimited, and one cannot truly achieve happiness through “stuff.”


This documentary not only explores the lives of Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, but also other minimalists. Minimalists claim that minimalism has helped them live in the moment, pursue passions, grow as individuals, expand their creativity, and discover the real purpose of life. This Netflix documentary has brought the idea of minimalism to over 20 million people by persuading watchers to live meaningful lives with less, or at the very least reevaluate the role material goods have in their lives. With a new year, now is as good of a time as any to start minimalizing. Instead of continuing to buy, one should watch The Minimalists. The Minimalists gives tips on how to successfully start minimizing and makes viewers realize there’s more to life than materialistic things. Check out The Minimalists on Netflix or watch Millburn and Nicodemus’ interview with Hoda and Jenna on The Today Show on January 29th    for more minimalizing suggestions.