Young top Director gives up 6 figure salary to live minimalistic life

Created on: 5th February 2014

Joshua Fields Millburn, who at the age of 27 became the youngest director of operations at a large telecom company in the Midwest, gave it all up to embrace a life of minimalism. It all started two years ago when his then boss asked him to close eight retail stores and terminate 41 workers. This was followed by his mother passing away and the dissolution of his marriage in the span of a month.

Suddenly the life that he’d worked so hard to obtain meant nothing to him, his six figure salary, impressive title, and big house filled with stuffed closets meant nothing in comparison to what was important in his life.  Instead he said he felt a great deal of heaviness by all the things he’d accumulated and gained little satisfaction from his job which saw him working 80 hours a week and left him trapped in a cycle of consumerism.  In addition to this his lifestyle had him living in debt to the tune of $100 000.

Millburn came across the idea of minimalism which involved him clearing the clutter out of his life and making room for the things that were truly important. He decided to give it a try and over a period of eight months, he stopped buying things he didn’t need, gave away most his possessions and moved into a one bedroom apartment in Dayton, Ohio. He said:

“Once I shed the superfluous things I owned, it led to other parts of my life: my health relationships, work.” “I had wrapped up my identity in my career and status, but started to realize that it wasn’t in line with my beliefs.”

Millburn now has a career in writing and says that he’s paid off all his debt as well as lost 80 pounds. He’s launched a website about his journey, called and recently published a book, “Everything That Remains.”

His website points out that living a minimalistic life doesn’t need to be drastic, it can be as simple as keeping an eye on what you buy and how you spend your time, ask yourself why it would be better to have fewer possessions, aim to get rid of one think each day for a month and recruit a friend to help you through the process.

Posted by Amanda Hopkins 

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