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A Brief Guide To Life

A few strong instincts and a few plain rules suffice us.’ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life can be ridiculously complicated, if you let it. I suggest we simplify.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote, which I’ve stolen as this site’s subtitle, is the shortest guide to life you’ll ever need:

“Smile, breath, and go slowly.”

If you live your life by those five words, you’ll do pretty well. For those who need a little more guidance, I’ve distilled the lessons I’ve learned (so far) into a few guidelines, or reminders, really.

And as always, these rules are meant to be broken. Life wouldn’t be any fun if they weren’t.

The brief guide

less TV, more reading
less shopping, more outdoors
less clutter, more space
less rush, more slowness
less consuming, more creating
less junk, more real food
less busywork, more impact
less driving, more walking
less noise, more solitude
less focus on the future, more on the present
less work, more play
less worry, more smiles
breathe

About the author: Leo Babauta is the author of The Power of Less and the creator and blogger at Zen Habits, a Top 100 blog with 130,000 subscribers

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About Leo Babauta

We are publishing some of the better blog posts from Leo Babauta. Leo has a very popular blog called Zen Habits, which is very worth visiting and reading if you get a chance. Leo has done an amazing thing which is to allow any of his posts to be used by anyone else. So we have chosen to share some of the ones that we really enjoyed. Please visit his blog to read more of his wonderful posts. Here is his brief bio from his own website. My name is Leo Babauta, I’m married with six kids, I live on Guam, I’m a writer and a runner and a vegetarian and I love writing Zen Habits. Zen Habits covers: achieving goals, productivity, being organized, GTD, motivation, eliminating debt, saving, getting a flat stomach, eating healthy, simplifying, living frugal, parenting, happiness, and successfully implementing good habits.

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2 comments

  1. I completely agree with every item on that list — particularly “less noise, more solitude”. It constantly baffles me why we have to have some kind of artificially-generated noise going all the time. I relish quiet moments 😉 Simple Living is a priority to me, which is why I write about it =)

  2. More walking works for me. Recently, I started walking only about 1 mile a day. It gave me an excuse to stop a minute and do something for myself. I’ve been walking for about 6 weeks now and I’m up to 8 miles a day. I love it. It clears my mind and calms my nerves.

    Less consuming and more creating is another great way to spend time. Favorite creative pasttime? Outdoor decorating! And happily, creating forces me to slow down as well.

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