Zen Habits – 7 Little Things That Make Life Effortless

In Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits, he writes of his discovery of seven small things that can make your life easier, better and smoother. Without fighting each step of the way for control, you can stop, and learn to move with the natural flow of life.
1. Do less. By consciously doing less, you will force yourself to choose between what’s just busywork, and what really matters. Life then becomes effortless, as you accomplish big things while being less busy.
2. Having less is lighter. Begin by asking yourself if you really need or use everything you own or if you have it out of fear. Start by letting go of what you have and don’t really need. You will find this liberating and realize, it doesn’t own you anymore. When you have less, you feel lighter. It’s a wonderful feeling.
3. Let the little things go. People in the midst of struggle often fight over little things and obsess over things that really don’t matter. This creates more resistance and struggle instead of letting things glide off us. Be aware of these when they arise and let the little things go. Breathe and refocus your attention on more important things.
4. Clean as you go. Instead of letting your household chores pile up, put things away when you are done. Wash that bowl, wipe the counters as you pass them, and clean the dirt when you notice it. By cleaning a little bit at a time, as you make the messes, cleaning becomes easier, more efficient and less time consuming and is never difficult. Apply this rule to everything in your life, not just cleaning.
5. Make small, gradual changes. You may feel impatient reading this right now and think you don’t have enough time to follow these simple steps or want to try and tackle it all at once. Too often, we feel we have so many changes to make, but we don’t wait for it all to happen. As a result, we set ourselves up to fail and then feel badly about it. The other scenario is to not start at all because it requires too many changes to our existing habits and it seems overwhelming. Small changes are incredibly powerful. They last longer and gradual change will lead to big change. By starting slowly, the changes will become part of your routine and will happen without conscious awareness of how the change has become norm. The best part of this process, it’s effortless.
6. Learn to focus on the things that matter. This is so important it requires special emphasis. Using the analogy of a task at hand, it is best done when you perform only the steps that matter and eliminate the extraneous ones. Stop struggling and concentrate on becoming more efficient and fluid. This is accomplished by learning what matters, and eliminating the wasted activity.
7. Be compassionate. Compassion makes dealing with others much more effortless and goes a long way to helping you feel better about yourself. You will improve the lives of others as well as yourself. Practice compassion in dealing with everyone you meet in every type of situation you encounter and you will find the benefits are returned greater inner fulfillment.

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