The Minimalists

The Minimalists is a pen name of two childhood friends, Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus who write about living a meaningful life. When they started in 2011, only 52 people visited their website in the first month. Today, they have helped 20 million people living deliberate life with less through their website, books, podcasts, and documentary.

As the continuance of the concept of answering the universe, this writing serves as an another example. In the previous illustration of the late Ingvar Kamprad, we saw a person who had fulfilled his role that was given by the universe. Meanwhile, The Minimalists are still in the middle of accomplishing all the things the universe had to offer.

The Minimalists are in their journey of answering the universe.

Their story

Joshua and Ryan were living the american dream. They were on track to reach the top of corporate ladder. They had everything they always wanted. A six-figures salary, a nice car, a big home -with more bedrooms than people-, the latest gadgets, closet full of clothes, and all the stuffs that suppose to make them happier.

From outsiders point of view, Joshua and Ryan’s life looked successful and happy. Ironically, happiness was not there.

Instead of happiness being derived from all the stuffs, Joshua and Ryan found themselves in debt. They spend more than what they earned. In the pursuit of American dream, their life were filled with stress, anxiety, and discontentment. They felt miserable. They did not feel like they were successful.

Both of them found a void within themselves. The void that made them unhappy. Attempting to buy happiness, they accumulated more stuff only to find the void widened.

They ended up buying more stuff, going further into debt, working hard to buy things that won’t makes them happy. Hence, these cycle went on for years.

Let’s pause awhile and think. Look around us, isn’t it so familiar? Aren’t we doing the same thing?

The pairs’ story began to diverge.

Joshua had this huge event in his life. In the late 2009, his mother passed away and his six-years marriage was about to end. He started asking his heart about his entire life. Things that did not bring happiness to him.

When he began to listen to his inner voice, things did change. Joshua went on to find a guy named Colin Wright (another inspiration for this blog). Colin adopted minimalism in which allows him to pursue what he is passionate about. He is an author and a blogger. A full time traveler, he owns all the things he possessed in this world inside his backpack. Looking for answer, Joshua embraced minimalism to start simplifying his life and began cultivating his passion.

It works really well for him.

On the other side, Ryan was still struggling to find his way to happiness. He turned towards the alcohol and became an alcoholic. Still happiness can not be found. He started doing drugs. Questioning about happiness had been inside his head for months.

One day, Ryan came across Joshua at work. There, he found in such a long time, Joshua was happy. Like other best friend out there, he asked “Why the heck are you so happy?” Then Joshua explained to him about what he just found. Minimalism, simplifying life and live a meaningful life.

That’s when Ryan found what had been hidden inside his heart. “Maybe the answer is not about material possession”. He then agreed to try this new lifestyle. Both of them embraced minimalism.

Since they see value in it, they want more people to get the benefit. The pairs then launched their blog and together they write books to spread the message.

Their story began to converged again.

The common theme from Joshua and Ryan’s story is that they disregard the so called success template that had been propagated, and start listening to their own inner voice. When they looked inside, the voice wants them to live a life that focus on the important thing in everything that remains. To find a meaning in their life.

The inner voice is what the universe trying to communicate with you. Joshua and Ryan both listened. They answered the universe.

Once they give their answer. The universe revealed the roles that they need to fulfill.

Truly, Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus have authored 3 books, hosted up to 121 episodes of podcast, toured cities around America and Canada, produced one documentary film, created 10 episodes of web-series, spoke at TEDxTalks two times, invited to mainstream Television channels, featured in the likes of Forbes and Wall street Journal, and write tons of essays on their blog. All in lights of spreading the message of living a meaningful life. They did inspired more than 20 millions people.

In their own words, “Minimalism is about figuring out what is important in our lives.”

It’s always okay to make a mistake. Like Paulo Coelho said, “You will only learn the language of the universe by making mistakes and paying attention of course”.

Answer the universe and fulfill your destiny.


Learn more about the minimalism: What is minimalism?

About Joshua and Ryan : The Minimalists

The Minimalists’ Books :

Everything That Remains

Minimalism: Living a meaningful life

Essentials: Essay by The Minimalists

Listen to their Podcasts: The Minimalists Podcasts

Watch their documentary : Minimalism: A documentary about the important things

Follow Joshua on Instagram @joshuafieldsmillburn

Follow Ryan on Instagram @ryannicodemus

The Minimalists are currently filming their second documentary film on Less is Now tour.

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