I never told you the full story. I wanted to begin now just to make it clear. I started writing in the middle. I wrote about theories, I applied and wanted to apply. I wrote philosophies I’m pondering and applying. I wrote about experiments. I somehow forgot to share the details of what matters. Let me tell you how I started. I’ll share the story and my challenges. I’ll let you see further in to my life and I hope it makes more sense for you. If you’re new, you made it just in time. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, here are some things I haven’t shared. As I changed my theme, I’m changing to a new chapter in my life and as I let go of the past, I wanted to leave a part of me that I hope to be useful with your journey.
I started Minimal Changes because I wanted to deal with overwhelming forces in my life. I had a lot of clutter. I had no time. I spent too much and had no savings. I was in debt. I was super unhealthy and unproductive. Everything for me required too much effort and I gave effort to it. Despite that I saw nothing significant that I’ve done.
Everything I did overwhelmed me. I was thinking a thousand thoughts a second and is always spaced out. I hated cleaning up and I had too much.
I started a telemarketing job for a local recruitment company where I was doing lead generation for corporate clients. After a few weeks my boss told me that since I already understand how the transactions happen I’m now also the sales person in place of the CEO for presentations for clients. As I started forming partnerships, I also became the account manager.
In the past I only did the first part mostly. I was given a nice desk and lots of files. This was something I wasn’t used to. Since it was a small company, they aren’t giving me an assistant to do all these things.
That week I was at Morong, Rizal with Ish, looking at a book called minimalist design as we were looking for ideas about our future home. I liked minimalist houses. They looked so clean. It’s the exact opposite of my living setup and looking through pictures of minimalist houses had a relaxing effect on me.
That same week I started accumulating lots of paper and files. My office started looking like my room where I live. I wanted a clean desk and I was googling two things. How to clean my desk and minimalist design. I ran in to Merlin Mann’s blog. I ran in to LifeHacker. I ran into Leo Babauta’s blogs mnmlist.com and Zen Habits. I ran into some forums about a minimalist lifestyle.
I found it disgusting. My mindset then firmly believed that minimalists are lazy. After all, why do less? Instead of less shouldn’t you work hard for more? That’s how we grow right? These bastards, like the Christians are lazy, only working for enough and missing out on life’s pleasures because they are lazy.
I was naive back then because I didn’t understand. Leo’s post on pocket’s like air hit home. My pockets were always full. I went to work with two full bags when I felt lazy. Ish told me more than once I was like a cartoon character who had lot’s of items in my pockets.
I didn’t see anything wrong with it then. I was thinking “what if I needed something?” I wanna be armed to the tooth.
This mindset had an impact on everything. The reality is that I was tired. Somehow, effort and will power wasn’t an issue then. I feel like I was too inefficient and disorganized and I’m looking for answers.
Leo’s posts kept me reading. I hate minimalism but I felt that I could pick up useful things by reading about it.
Ish seemed to enjoy reading my notes when I attended business trainings. I thought to myself, what if I write something original. All these guys were writing about clean up so I decided to write privately and showed them to Ish. She said she liked it and if I started she’ll be my first reader. I started writing during the long commutes to Morong.
At night, I woke up and felt the urge to write. I wanted to put my thoughts to paper. I was thinking of names. Leo had the feel of a zen monk and he talked about habits. I guessed that’s why he’s Zen Habits guy. I was ambitious and aggressive. I was thinking if he’s a monk then I’m a ninja.
Here are some topics and titles I thought of:
Habit Ninja - I wanted to form new habits and I want to do it really well. Like a ninja. Duh.
Minimal Manila - I want to write about how I’m exploring minimalism. I still hate it but what if you apply it in Manila? How would it be like? If Leo tried minimalism in Guam, what if I applied it where I am?
Change Ninja - I’m going to make some changes. Hopefully I wanted to inspire some changes. Friends always asked me for advice. I figure, what if I put up the blog so I can ask them to just read what I wrote instead of explaining?
I asked Ish which one. She said she’ll support me no matter what I picked. I was broke those days. I only had budget for one site. I feel wanting to contribute all topics at once. I came up with Minimal Changes because somehow, every significant change in my life happens slowly and since I wanted to hold off from buying, I coined the term: Use what you have. Do what you can.
I got the name registered and started the blog. I wrote long posts about things I wanted to change and things I’m considering. Feel free to go back in time to check it out.
I’ll write more for you soon. This journey started with curiosity, pictures from a book, a messy desk, unsatisfied goals and someone special I wanted to write for.