Love People, Use Things Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Love People Use Things conceptualizes the idea of living a simple, minimalist life while focusing on what’s important, such as the people next to us, and making the most of every moment spent with those we love.

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Love People, Use Things Summary

You’ve probably heard this in your life before – money doesn’t buy happiness and having more items doesn’t guarantee that you’ll feel more fulfilled. In fact, the more items you own and the less minimalistic you live, the more you’ll feel responsible for taking care of them and producing more. 

Love People, Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus teaches us the importance of minimalism and accepting life as it is without trying to inflate it with items, instead of positive emotions. The book will renew your relationship with things in general, and make you adopt a healthier outlook on life, relationships, items, and groundedness.

Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:

  1. Consumerism is holding us back from living a truly happy life. 
  2. Living minimalist implies decluttering your mind also, not just your home.
  3. Whenever you feel like making impulsive decisions, think about your core values.

Further in the summary, we’ll explore each lesson in detail and learn the secrets behind a minimalist, yet happy life!

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Lesson 1: Buying more things will enhance gratification on the spot, but hurt you in the long run

We live in a world that praises consumerism and everything that comes with acquiring more and more things. In fact, the advertising industry alone made billions out of our psychology of consumerism. In the hope of a more fulfilled life, people everywhere are even going into debt for houses, cars, fancy clothes and accessories, and whatnot! 

Once they have everything, you’d think that they can finally settle and live the happy life they’ve been promised. Wrong! A mentality obsessed with acquiring more things will only work to purchase even more, and that’s what consumerism is all about. 

To change our perspective on life and feel more fulfilled, we have to shift our focus from material things to the complete opposite: emotions and moments. If we live in the present and learn to love our faith, our perspective will change for the better. 

A life lived loving yourself, those around you, and more importantly, life itself is the key to happiness. It’s all about shifting the perspective. Whether we have more items or not, the choice to love life belongs to us, so why not make the best of it while we’re here? 

Instead of chasing items, start focusing on what’s truly important: accumulating unforgettable life experiences and loving those around you while working hard to be the best version of yourself and living a decent life.

Lesson 2: Minimalism is about positive psychological changes too

When you start becoming a minimalist person, it means that you’re transitioning to a simpler life. It all starts with getting rid of things you don’t use or need by throwing them away or donating them. Surprisingly, you’ll learn that most of your stuff is disposable and that life is truly much simpler, yet richer, with fewer items.

Having fewer things to take care of enables a sense of freedom and alleviates part of the responsibility you have to maintain them or buy new ones. Great for you! Now, minimalism implies psychological changes too. If you want to be truly happy and live a fulfilled life, you’ll have to declutter your mind also.

Poorly maintained relationships, toxic friendships, or even soul-dragging marriages are all better off left in the past. A minimalist person knows the importance of living life joyfully and making the most of every moment. Therefore, engaging in toxic commitments is against the nature of this concept.

When you declutter your home, you should be decluttering your mind too. Letting go of lies we tell ourselves just to keep the status quo can be challenging, especially if we’ve grown into them.  However, facing negative emotions must occur at some point, so it’s better to rip off the bandage sooner than later.

Lesson 3: Make choices based on your core individual values, and you’ll find yourself buying less

Impulsive buying has led many people to buy additional items that they don’t need due to momentum and instant gratification. However, these financially poor decisions often end up being detrimental to ourselves and benefit only the sellers. 

To stop impulsive buying and tell which things are truly good and useful for you, and which aren’t, always think about your core values. Here are the four categories of values:

  • Foundational
  • Structural
  • Surface
  • Imaginary

The first category is all about the basic things you want in life, such as health, marriage, or anything that sets the foundation for your life. The second category is more personal, representing things you want to embody, such as independence or kindness. Surface values are hobbies and interests.

Lastly, imaginary values are ordinary things that may look important, but aren’t, such as your favorite Netflix series. Next time you go shopping, try to think about these four categories before you jump to make an impulsive decision. Does the item that you want to badly align with any of these? Is it more about a surface or imaginary value? If so, feel free to drop it.

Love People, Use Things Review

Love People, Use Things teaches its readers about the importance of valuing immaterial things such as living in the moment, loving those around us, engaging in spiritual endeavors, rather than focusing on materialistic things. By talking about consumerism, the philosophy behind impulsive buying, and how faking a perfect life affects us, the book touches on common subjects that speak to all of us. Therefore, when we learn how to let go of all the things that hold us back from living a simple, yet meaningful life, we’ll become free and fulfilled with ourselves, which is the core message of this book.

Who would I recommend the Love People, Use Things summary to?

The 45-year-old who has it all, yet feels unfulfilled on a personal level, the 30-year-old person who just quit their job and embarked on a spiritual journey, or the 27-year-old who wants to live a more minimalist life due to financial and spiritual reasons.

Last Updated on October 6, 2022

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.