Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life

By Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

At age 30, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on life’s most important aspects. And they never looked back.

This book’s foreword and first chapter examine Joshua and Ryan’s backgrounds, their troubled pasts, and their eventual spiral into depression. These chapters discuss why the authors didn’t feel fulfilled by their careers and why they turned to society’s idea of living: working ridiculous hours, wastefully spending money, living paycheck to paycheck. Instead of finding their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences, inducing a cocaine-like high that didn’t last far past the checkout line.

And then, after a set of life-changing events, they discovered minimalism, which allowed Joshua and Ryan to eliminate life’s excess and focus on the essential things in life.

The subsequent chapters explore their journey into a lifestyle known as minimalism and discuss why these two successful businessmen eschewed their excess stuff in favor of focusing on life’s more important aspects: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

The authors discuss how minimalism allowed them to focus on each area, citing personal examples of how they changed everything in their lives over a two year span, during which time they left their corporate jobs, got out of debt, changed their diets, started exercising regularly, strengthened their core relationships, established exciting new relationships, began pursuing their passions, contributed to more people, and found ways to be content and happy with their lives.

The final chapter, Confluence of Meaning, binds together these five dimensions and asks the reader important questions about his or her life.

This book’s content is different from the content at While the authors’ website documents their journey into minimalism and their continued growth through experimentation, this book discusses minimalism in a different way: it discusses in great depth the five dimensions of living a meaningful life. It also gives the reader much more insight into the authors’ personal lives, into the painful events that led them to journey into minimalism, and into their world outside the web.


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Audiobook: Audible | iTunes | Amazon


Publication Date: December 8, 2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Edition: 7th
ISBN: 978-0-615648-22-4
eISBN: 978-1-936539-67-3
Pages: 136


“This is the minimalism book everyone’s been waiting for.” —Intrepid Radio
“An excellent new book.” —Leo Babauta, Zen Habits