There are two completely different connotations to the word ‘minimalist.’ The older connotation is a negative one and refers to someone who ‘just wants to get by,’ who puts out the minimum amount of energy and does the least amount of work. It refers to someone who is essentially lazy and self-involved. On the other hand, the more recent connotation of this word is a very positive one, and refers to someone who does not believe in wasting resources, including time, money, energy, food, and other commodities. Mahatma Gandhi has been referred to as a minimalist.

The ultimate minimalist is one who is completely self-contained and does not seek happiness outside him-herself. Such a person is a true minimalist. A true minimalist is not inclined to waste energy by amassing objects of enjoyment or trying to please uncentered people for the sake of emotional gratification.