How can a finite amount of anything contain an infinite amount? This seems a contradiction of terms. Yet, when we start thinking outside standard parameters, the above becomes a distinct possibility. If we limit one category finitely, then another category can be permitted to expand, possibly infinitely.

For a concrete example, let us look at the situation of limiting one’s possessions. In a stereotypical American approach, the theoretical limit to this is infinite. However, the expansion of one category, namely material possessions, to an unmitigated degree forcibly leads to a reversely limiting effect on multiple categories. In this example, the categories pushed in to increasingly finite circumstances include the following: free time (due to maintenance, management), finances (due to initial purchase, subsequent expenses of support material), and available space (due to storage, organization). The permission of one category to expand infinitely requires sacrifices out of other, usually multiple, categories. Such sacrifices are acceptable in certain situations, yet commonly become more extreme than initially intended.

Conversely, one can choose to intentionally limit a particular category to a set finite limit in exchange for greater flexibility with other categories. In this example, limiting one’s extent of material possessions permits an expanse of categories such as the aforementioned free time, finances, and available space. The infinite specifically enters in to the equation when approaching from the direction of intentionally limiting one category, as each individual is able to choose where the newly available flexibility would be best spent within their specific interests. Therein lies the infinite which is born of minimalism. Therein lies the freedom to each live a personalized form of minimalism, specifically tailored to one’s own interests.

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