Zen Habits: Most Popular Posts

Want to get started with Zen Habits, one of the most popular blogs on the Internet? Start with these 20 posts, chosen by the author, Leo Babauta as the best for getting started.

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  • the top 20 posts from Zen Habits, all written and chosen by Leo Babauta
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  1. Breathe.

    Breathe. Breathing can transform your life. If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions. If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.

  2. Be Still

    Be still. Just for a moment. Listen to the world around you. Feel your breath coming in and going out. Listen to your thoughts. See the details of your surroundings. Be at peace with being still. In this modern world, activity and movement are the default modes, if not with our bodies then at least with our minds, with our attention.

  3. A Brief Guide To Life

    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

  4. The Best Goal Is No Goal

    "With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson The idea of having concrete, achievable goals seem to be deeply ingrained in our culture. I know I lived with goals for many years, and in fact a big part of my writings here on Zen Habits are about how to set and achieve goals.

  5. The Lost Art Of Solitude

    "I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers." ~Henry David Thoreau You don't need to be a monk to find solitude, nor do you need to be a hermit to enjoy it.

  6. The Elements Of Living Lightly

    "Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it." ~Eckhart Tolle Today I'm going to suggest a small change in mindset that could change your life. I won't keep you in suspense. Here it is: think of nothing that happens as either good or bad.

  7. The Zen Of Doing

    "Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water." ~Zen proverb In the chaos of the modern world, there is a beauty in simply doing. We're buffeted wildly by whatever emails, conversations, news, events, demands, that are going on around us.

  8. The Ultimate How To Get Lean Guide

    At the moment, I'm in the last phase of my Bellyfat Challenge - I've lost a good amount of fat but I have about 10 pounds to go (or so). I'm enjoying getting lean, but those last few pounds are always the toughest. And so, I've called in some experts.

  9. Simplify, And Savor Life

    'The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.' ~Thich Nhat Hanh These days we have an abundance of luxuries, but I've found that excess actually decreases my enjoyment of life.

  10. How Not To Hurry

    "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~ Lao Tzu Consider the above quote from Lao Tzu, (perhaps mythical) father of Taoism: how can it be true? Is it possible to never hurry, but to get everything done?

  11. Email Sanity: How To Clear Your Inbox When You're Drowning

    The beauty of an empty inbox is a thing to behold. It is calming, peaceful and wonderful. An inbox that is overflowing with actions, urgent calls for responses, stuff to read ... it's chaos, it's stressful, it's overwhelming. A friend recently posted: "Help! I'm drowning in email!"

  12. The Barefoot Philosophy

    "Empty-handed I entered the world Barefoot I leave it. My coming, my going - Two simple happenings That got entangled." ~ Kozan Ichikyo Yesterday morning I ran a few miles in my Vibram Fivefingers, designed to mimic barefoot running (see my guide to barefoot running).

  13. The No. 1 Habit Of Highly Creative People

    "In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for contructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone." ~Rollo May Creativity is a nebulous, murky topic that fascinates me endlessly - how does it work? What habits to creative people do that makes them so successful at creativity?

  14. The Little But Really Useful Guide To Creativity

    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." - Albert Einstein It's easier than ever to be creative, to create, to imagine and make what's imagined become reality. It's also tougher than ever, with distractions surrounding us in ways never before imagined.

  15. The Simple, Ridiculously Useful Guide To Earning A Living From Your Passion

    So you've followed the Short But Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion, and have chosen something you're passionate about. Now you need to make it a career - but are perhaps a bit lost. I have to admit I was there, only a few years ago, and three years later I've successfully done it, even if I'm a bit battered from the attempt.

  16. 10 Benefits Of Rising Early, And How To Do It

    "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" - Ben Franklin, famously "Put no trust in the benefits to accrue from early rising, as set forth by the infatuated Franklin ..." - Mark Twain Recently, reader Rob asked me about my habit of waking at 4:30 a.m.

  17. 20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out In Life

    "Everything has been figured out, except how to live." - Jean-Paul Sartre I'm nearly 35 years old, and I've made my share of mistakes in my life. I'm not a big believer in regrets ... and I have learned tremendously from every single mistake ... and my life is pretty great.

  18. Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ideas To Simplify Your Life

    "Simplicity is the peak of civilization." - Jessie Sampter A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending your time doing what's important to you.

  19. A Guide To Creating A Minimalist Home

    I can't claim that my home is completely minimalist, but it surely isn't cluttered, and most people I know would call it a pretty minimalist home. One recent visitor saw my kitchen and remarked, "I've never seen a kitchen that looked so clean, so clear of stuff!"

  20. Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways To Get Motivated When You’re In A Slump

    Even the most motivated of us - you, me, Tony Robbins - can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive changes seems too difficult. But it's not hopeless: with some small steps, baby ones in fact, you can get started down the road to positive change.