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The cherry blossom falls after its short beautiful bloom. It floats gently down to earth. Its life is over, but the limitedness of its existence is one of the biggest reasons the blossom is so gorgeous. If we knew that the blossom would last forever, it wouldn't have the same poignant beauty, and we'd take it for granted.
If only we could get others to be more considerate, less annoying, more diligent, see our point of view ... How often have you wanted to change other people so they'd be better? Better spouses, kids, roommates, coworkers, employees?
And this choice, to dedicate your time to helping others, relieving their suffering, making them happy ... this is the motivation you can use for doing great things, for building something useful, for creating and working and being a good parent. It's not about increasing your own happiness, but the happiness of others.
One of my favorite habits that I've created since I changed my life 9 years ago is having a decluttered home. I now realize that I always disliked the clutter, but I put off thinking about it because it was unpleasant.
What parent hasn't lost their temper when a kid misbehaves? A parent who hasn't lost his or her cool is a mythical creature, probably riding on a unicorn over a rainbow right now.
A reader asked for advice for people who are looking for love, trying to meet people, dating. The "looking for love" part of life is definitely trying, and I have to admit I'm no dating expert. I got lucky with Eva, finding her relatively easily and somehow convincing her that I'm dateworthy.
Manytimes when we try to make a good change in our lives, it gets derailed early on by something out of our control. Let's say you start a diet, and your daughter makes some great vegan cupcakes and you want to support her efforts, and so you eat some ...
We've all heard the phrase, "No regrets!", usually uttered when about to do something a little unwise perhaps. And yet, as alluring as the "Living Without Regrets" philosophy sounds, it's not always so easy. We regret missed opportunities. We regret things that made us feel dumb.
I've been a father for more than 21 years, and have 6 kids altogether, and have loved every messy minute of it. And now I have a young brother who's becoming a father this month, and is deeply scared by the prospect of fatherhood. He's not sure if he'll do a good job, worried he'll fail.
The biggest obstacle to a wonderfully minimalist life is advertising. Let's think about that statement for a minute: what is a minimalist life, and what stands in our way from reaching it? How is advertising involved? A minimalist life can be many things, but at its heart is becoming conscious about what we have in our lives.
'The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.' ~Moliere There's something in all of us that seems to want the changes we're trying to make in our lives come as soon as possible. If we're trying to lose weight, we want those abs to show up within a week or two.
My month without food reward, which was the May challenge in my Year of Living Without, was a rousing success. That is, a success if the idea was for me to learn from my failures. Which it was.
In the final month of my Year of Living Without, I've decided to live without procrastination. Procrastination is a friend (or a beast, depending on how you feel about it) that we all live with. It lurks behind us constantly, insinuating itself into the crevices of our mind, intimating its will through malevolent hints and obscure looks and barely audible whispers and glancing allusions.
'When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.' ~Marcus Aurelius When I wake in the morning, my mind slowly gathers, and I begin to move, the early morning light just starting to seep in.
The shootings near Santa Barbara on Friday night hit too close to my heart: my daughter attends college at UC Santa Barbara and lives in Isla Vista, minutes from where this tragedy happened. She's safe, but shaken not only by the nearness and severity of this hate crime ...
How many times have you read a great article, or had an idea, or wanted to make a change ... but then didn't? It's one of the biggest frustrations for people who read this site: people blame themselves for not implementing a plan to change habits. It takes a switch in gears.
I set myself a challenge recently, and I've been failing at it. I decided to only eat bland food, with no variety. The month is only 2/3 over, but I've struggled much more than I'd anticipated. It's such a minor setback, but it's made me feel depressed, and I've wanted to quit more times than I'd like to admit.
Three people are given a magical gift by a luminous, kindhearted fairy. The gift is that for just one hour, they get to experience magic and wonders. This limited time is filled with visual delights, food of the utmost deliciousness, amazing people with incredible talents, and love.
I had a 15-year-old write to me and ask about figuring out what do do with her life. She writes: 'As a high-school student I'm constantly being reminded to figure out what to do with my life, what career I would like to have and so on.
When my friends Joshua and Ryan took their new book on minimalism on a huge tour, one of the most frequent things they heard was, "I could never be a minimalist because I have kids." To which they'd respond, "Our friend Leo is a minimalist ... and he has six kids."
I've been happily married 11 years, and I'm still as in love with my beautiful wife Eva now as when I first fell for her 13 years ago. That's not to say we don't have our problems and arguments, but we're getting better and better at making it work.
For the month of May, I've decided to take my Year of Living Without challenge to a new level: I'm going to go without food reward. Basically, I'll be eating the same very bland foods over and over again, with no variety.
Today marks 41 years of wonderful life that I've lived, and as a birthday present to all of you, I'm publishing a free ebook: The One Skill: How Mastering the Art of Letting Go Will Change Your Life.
Let's hypothesize that there's a substance that's been irritating you and causing problems in all areas of your life: it causes you to be unhappy, to be stressed, to procrastinate, to be distracted, to be angry with people, to be dissatisfied with your life, to be overweight and unhealthy, to not exercise or eat healthy, and much more.
Writing something big is one of the things people tend to procrastinate on the most. It doesn't matter what the writing project might be: writing a novel, a non-fiction book, a long article, a thesis paper, a bunch of pages for a website. Whatever it is, the writer will find a way to procrastinate.