The Best Thing I Read Last Week

I spent a serious amount of time last week going through the archives of Leo Babauta’s site, Zen Habits. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Babauta’s life story is great – 10 years ago, he was overweight, deep in debt, stuck in a 9-5 job he hated, was a chain smoker, and was generally living a dissatisfied and unfulfilling life. He turned it around, and every step of the way, he documented the journey on his blog. And he did it all while raising six children.

It’s a powerful testament to the impact of healthy habits.

I probably read 100 of his posts last week, but my favorite was, “Opt Out: A Simplicity Manifesto.”

With the availability of so much information and entertainment today, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and under-accomplished. But for many of us, the more we try to do, the less we feel we get done.

It’s such a simple solution, to opt out. I spent most of my 20s and 30s trying to acquire more stuff, to accomplish more, and to do more.

But the most powerful lesson I have learned in the last year is that I already have much more than I need, and that I will be happier if I learn to get by with less, rather than more. I don’t need a second home, or to read some book, or to run some race, or to accomplish some new professional goal to feel fulfilled.

In the United States, almost all of us already have more than what we need to survive, but we rarely appreciate our lives, because we constantly feel a desire to get something else, do something else, or compare ourselves to others.

It’s such a waste.

Zen Habits is a great site to remind yourself to stop playing that game – to appreciate life in the moment without the need for something else.

And that’s why it is the best thing I read last week.