We’re born in this world with nothing at all. As we grow we get a few possessions like a blanket and some clothes. By the time we’re adults all we can think about is all the possessions we’ll one day have. Despite the thought that most of us have many valuable possessions, we still look to get more and more things. Most times we this comes at the cost of losing touch or the value we had for our other possessions. And eventually we leave this world with pretty much nothing at all again.
This is the reality of ninety percent of people in the world. We’re hardwired to obsess over acquiring more and more things. The sad part is how much emphasis and control materials have over us. It’s a sad reality because we know we don’t need all these things but we continue to convince ourselves of the opposite. The truth is we could survive off a lot less possessions than we’d like to admit. So ask yourself, “If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life except what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?
Here’s my thoughts on what I’d put in a single backpack above all other possessions.
This is a great thought experiment because all the things in my life I think I need, I probably don’t need. And the overall point is to think of all the things I could essentially get rid of if I just had the courage to let go. And I think of doing things like this all the time. I consider myself to be someone that’s easy to satisfy in most regards. I’m happy with what I have and only aspire for more just for the sport of it. So I like the simplicity of a thought experiment like this.
But it’s one thing to think about letting go ninety percent of my belongings. It’s a whole different beast to actually execute on the idea. And there a millions of people around the world that actually take that leap. They call themselves minimalists. They choose to live a life with a few things that add lots of value for them. Everything in their life from their belongings to their lifestyle is minimal and intentional. I admire the simplicity of living a life of minimalism.
So if I had to pick a handful of things to fit in a bag with me it would be very intentional. Because honestly, I could just say a backpack full of doritos and snickers bars. But that’s just being silly and not really improving my life in any way whatsoever. I think with the constriction of one backpack it’s an ideal time to embrace the minimalism movement. Everthing would be there for a reason. So while I can’t name every specific thing here’s a few I can guarantee would make it in.
Headphones. For some reason I’ve come to admire music more over the last few months. It’s such a powerful medium that has an unimaginable amount of influence over our lives. I think my whole life I’ve underestimated it’s value. Music is one of the purest forms of meditation. It can enhance or even create emotions in us completely from scratch. It’s insane. Take a week to be self aware of how different music in your life is affecting you or other people. You’ll instantly understand why headphones are a given.
Then I would want to bring a camera. This one is a hard choice because a camera doesn’t seem very necessary. I can easily live life without a camera and be perfectly content. But I’ve noticed that I cherish the moments of life more and more as I get older. I don’t want to forget the special memories I’m making everyday. But I know it’s bound to happen. Therefore, I find purpose in documenting life and the things I experience. One solid camera is all I need to document my now nomad-type lifestyle.
The third thing I would bring with me is kinda sad but it would be a laptop. This one like the camera seems very unminimalist. Truthfully speaking, I know it’s not the most intentional possession but I’ll take the heat for this one. I believe almost all the things I do digitally in the world can be done on a single laptop. I don’t need a desktop, speakers, playstation 4, and a journal when I can just keep one laptop and do it all. Furthermore, I want to forever create and give back to the world. I think a laptop would give me all the tools to do that.
Those are the things I would put in my backpack. Those three things would add a lot of value to my life. I could meditate to music with headphones. I could document my life with a solid camera. I could create and give back to the world with my laptop. Of course there’s so many more things I would bring like a cellphone, medicine, and a clean outfit. But the most pivotal pieces would be those three. What would you stuff in your theoretical backpack?