Redefining luxury with Minimalism
I'm from a middle-class family and I have always enjoyed luxury since my childhood. Initially, the definition of luxury was based on more things one could own. But last year I came across this new word Minimalism which brought my attention. I started reading about it, got more curious and researched through videos. It drastically changed the way I used to think about my needs. My purchases got significantly reduced. Being always an admirer of luxury I started reassessing my definition of luxury.
Let's start with the definition of luxury by Google
“A state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense”
Let's focus on the first part "A state of great comfort". I always used to see luxury as more money to buy more expensive things which will make my life more comfortable.
But will that be a state of comfort? Really?
I'm a logical person and I'm always curious. When you are a curious personality, I'm sure that you love facts. So let's talk about facts here.
As per Wikipedia,
Comfort (or being comfortable) is a sense of physical or psychological ease, often characterized as a lack of hardship. People who are surrounded with things that provide psychological comfort may be described as being "in their comfort zone"
A comfort zone is a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and (perceive they are) in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress.
Let’s take a scenario now. Suppose you have 10 pairs of jeans. You know those two pairs in which you feel comfortable the most. But because you have this notion of luxury which is more expense driven than comfort you might end up picking the jeans which might be not comfortable. You have wasted a lot of time in decision making which was causing high stress and due to peer pressure, you end up in an uncomfortable pair of jeans which you didn’t want to pick in the first place. The same happens with the other clothing materials, shoes, watches, etc. You always have your favorites. At the back of your mind, you always know that they give you comfort.
The more things you own, the less comfortable you will be around them.
The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them
Let's talk about another scenario. Let's talk about big homes. Big homes are always a symbol of luxury. If you are living alone, a two room apartment would be enough for you. But you have this definition of luxury which you relate with the size of your home you might end up with having a mansion. But does that mansion really give you comfort? You will still have 3 or 4 favorite spots where you spend most of the time and one favorite room and your favorite bed. You always pick comfortable places to sit but having a place that has so much extra space that constantly gives you stress as space requires its own maintenance.
Luxury is not buying expensive stuff that you can afford, luxury is being surrounded by things that give you more comfort. If things are expensive and yet do not give you comfort, you might still not pay attention to the most important part of the luxury.