Minimalism vs Essentialism
The minimalist preaches the intentional removal of all physical and non-physical items, or persons, which do not serve nor help to create the life he/she desires.
Avid minimalists practice as actively promote the reduction of certain possessions and surroundings as a way to reduce distractions, improve financial health and overall quality of life.
The Minimalist invests in experiences and memories, not items and things.
They optimize time, choosing to have less material items that weigh them down.
They choose less, in order to have time for more — more family, more money, more…time.
They emphasize both the practice of a saying a graceful ‘no’ and asking ‘do I really need this?’.
Essentialism is a subcategory of minimalism that focuses on quality, not quantity.
The Essentialists also opt for less, but focus specifically on better. By engaging in fewer activities, they optimize their performances and present-moment awareness.
Instead of asking, ‘What do I have to give up?’, they ask: ‘What do I want to go big on?’
— Greg McKeown
They’ll buy clothes, but clothes that will last decades. They will make sure the pieces are functional in accordance with their lifestyles — and their lifestyles are simplified.
When they take something on, they will do so fully and invest themselves in doing it well.
When they tackle a task head-on, they choose to – they don’t have to.
When they examine problems and trade-offs, they ask themselves ‘Which problem do I want to solve?» instead of ‘How can I make it all work?’.
You can safely assume most minimalists are essentialists, but not all essentialists are minimalists. The slight difference in detail can certainly be left up for debate, depending on biases, interpretations, and viewpoints.
When boiling down similarities, both place a high focus on intentionality and the power of choice. Both are simultaneously ways of thinking and being. Both schools of thought emphasize the practice of saying no, in order to say yes to things that actually matter, and to yourself.
Finding essential intent is hard. It requires lots of courage, insight, and asking tough questions.
And what matters? That’s for you to deduce. We all have different priorities, wants, and needs — but adopting either lifestyle will help you get there.