Each week we run an interview as part of our “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow in the Life of…” series. The interviewees share how their past has shaped who they are today as well as who they hope to be in the future. If you’d like to participate, just send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll send you a questionnaire!
Today’s interview is with Joshua of Becoming Minimalist:
1. Looking back on your childhood, what events do you think shaped who you are today?
My twin brother and I were born on December 11, 1974. 367 days later, my sister was born. With three children so close in age, my siblings certainly had a great influence over who I turned out to be.
My twin brother spurred a healthy (and sometimes unhealthy) competitiveness in all aspects of life. And I credit my younger sister for adding beauty and an appreciation for others.
My family moved 5 times before I entered 7th grade (and once more during the summer before my senior year in high school). Moving that often as a kid helped me become accustomed to change and not afraid to embrace it. It also gave me self-esteem as I had to learn the art of making friends out of strangers.
For my entire life, my grandfather has been a pastor at a church in Aberdeen, SD (even at the age of 90, he continues pastoring and preaching every single Sunday). My grandfather (and father) instilled a strong work ethic into me. But more importantly, they taught me about God and the relevance of a personal faith.
2. Were you always so minimalist?
No, I have not always lived a minimalist lifestyle. In fact, most of my adult life has been spent living a typical suburban lifestyle of chasing more income, bigger homes, nicer cars, trendier clothes, and cooler toys.
Minimalism was haphazardly introduced to me by my neighbor during a spring weekend in Vermont. The lifestyle immediately resonated with me and has answered some of my most fundamental avenues of discontent – that was three years ago.
3. How would you describe yourself today?
The healthiest I’ve ever been. The happiest I’ve ever been. And the most confident that I’ve ever been. While minimalism has provided the opportunity for those to be present in my life, the act of blogging and connecting with others online has given me the motivation.
The Internet has allowed me to meet many people that have inspired me in so many practical ways. It’s been a truly life-changing couple of years for me.
4. What do you most love about your life?
My wife of 12 years is beautiful both inside and out. She is loving, faithful, encouraging, patient, and a wonderful mother. My two kids (8, 5) are thoughtful, considerate, kind, and enjoyable to be around (for me and everyone else). They add a great deal of joy and depth to my life.
5. What would other people be surprised to know about you?
For my full-time job, I pastor high school students at a church in Vermont. Most people who know me online only know me from my blog, Becoming Minimalist.
I’m not very vocal about my full-time job on the website and try to keep my hobby separate from my work… even though there is some overlap. But I love my job even more than blogging. It provides great meaning to my life as it gives me the opportunity to help high school students think about life in spiritual terms – and pursue more than the visible things around me.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Good question. Becoming Minimalist started three years as only a hobby and personal blog to share with my family. But over the past year, I have become very passionate about its message and inspiring others to intentionally live with less.
I have seen the simple message of finding joy in less resonate with people all over the world through my writing and speaking. And over the next 5 years, it may become something that I pursue on a more full-time basis. In 10 years, my son will be graduating high school… and I would prefer to not think about that quite yet!
7. What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
That I was a man who loved God, loved his family, and loved others. I want to be known as a generous man who joyfully served others and willingly gave his life for others. And that I valued far greater things than what the world is peddling. That is the legacy that I want to leave for my children and grandchildren.
|Joshua Becker inspires and encourages others to live with less on his blog, Becoming Minimalist. He has also authored two e-books, Simplify and Inside-Out Simplicity. But more importantly, he loves his wife and two small children.|