The Minimalist’s Guide to Happiness

The cult movie Fight Club was probably one of the first book-adaptations to take on consumerism and call it what it really is. Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is a soap salesman who meets the narrator (Ed Norton) to start an underground fight club, filled with those who don’t find happiness in materialism and the corporate culture. We are not getting deeper into the plot in case you’ve not watched the movie yet – we strongly recommend you do it asap. Entertainment guaranteed!

The significance of the soap here is that someone with a compelling personality can sell anything to anyone – and there are always buyers ready to shell out their cash. As compulsive buyers, we fill up our spaces with clutter.

The 2016 documentary, Minimalism (available on Netflix) adds great clarity to this concept of ridding yourself of clutter – thereby allowing you to focus on the things that matter the most. The interviews describe how we keep buying things to fill the void inside, thereby never allowing actual satisfaction.

Some of the highlights include living in smaller houses, having as few clothes as possible, not getting carried away with advertising and not being lost in our phones like zombies. The attitude and the minimalist environment brings real happiness – by allowing us to spend quality time with family, exercising and helping others out. “No one ever said on their deathbed ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’ ” — Harold Kushner.

Decoding Advertising:
When we started creating ad campaigns for US businesses in 2004, it was quite a revolution – especially for the real estate market. When an agent asks ‘what’s your budget’? The unsuspecting homebuyer is probably talking about the amount that the bank has assured for the loan. Potentially leading to the Great Recession, advertising might have made families overestimate their paying ability – even worse, making them think that they need those fancy houses, available at a bargain.

The way long-tailed Keywords are used, we add ‘related’ and not necessarily ‘relevant’ search terms in the campaign. This means that if you’re searching for a basic feature phone on a search engine, you might be shown high-end smartphones in the results page.

Also, if you’ve clicked on the ad, and decided not to purchase the product, there’s Remarketing which might show you the same ad later when you’re browsing something related on another website.

The objectives are not really manipulation of the masses, but making profits for an entity. This is the way a business works and marketing is a core subject in any MBA course.

Things to Watch Out For:
Buy More: If you’re shopping at Amazon, and made a purchase, does the page just say ‘Thank You’ or does it show more products with suggestions? If you’ve purchased a phone, you’re probably going to consider a leather case. You may not really need it, but it’s there enticing you anyway.

Save: And then there’s 999. Yeah, when you say something costs 4,999 does it really make you think it’s lesser than 5000 significantly? Understand that inflating MRPs, although illegal, is not something enforced strictly on online sellers. Some of them double the costs in the MRP, making a buyer think that the product is available at half the price.

Authorisation: As online sellers ourselves, we intend to educate buyers about making informed decisions. When we worked quite hard and spent a lot to gain a following and win the authorisation from our brand, there was a sudden influx of grey-market sellers hawking on our listing. They don’t have authorisation and won’t help with warranty, post sales. Many of them mislead customers just to get the sale over with – after the return period ends, the buyer is stuck with a faulty product with no way of getting it fixed. This is one of the reasons Nike quit.

As explained in one of our previous blog posts for the Amazon’s Great Indian sale, go ahead and add all the things you want to your Shopping Cart. Then, move them to ‘Save for Later’ so that your cart is empty. Come back later or after a few days to have a look at the list. Do you really need those items? You’re not only going to add clutter, but also going to end up with excess packaging material and plastics, even if it’s supposed to be a gift.

Look around and get rid of all the things that you can live without. You’ll be surprised how many there are. Give them away or discard it by careful segregation. The minimalistic surroundings would help with being mindful, thereby possibly making you happier in life. Mingyur, scientifically proven to be the happiest person on earth simply practices mindfulness meditation.

By the time you die, would you have made the world a better place? Are there people who have benefited from your existence?

We conclude with Fight Club’s tagline:
“Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.”