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Why I Am Vegan (and how to make it easy)

My wife Eva and I have been vegan for over 11 years now, and we love it. I don’t talk about veganism a lot on Zen Habits, but today I’d love to share a little about it, if you’ll indulge me. Let me start by talking about why I’m vegan, and then I’ll share a few tips on how to make becoming vegan as easy as possible, in case you’re interested. So the first thing is that veganism, for me, is about compassion. Yes, it has a huge environmental impact — probably bigger than anything else you can do, including ditching a car or going electric vehicle...

How to Address What’s Really Causing Your Avoidance

When we are procrastinating, avoiding exercise or some other habit we want to create, or avoiding taking on a difficult project … the underlying cause is rarely what we think it is. We think that all we need to do is do the thing we’re avoiding, and stop procrastinating. Simple! But then when we fail, we wonder what’s wrong with us. The problem is that we aren’t really addressing the real cause. We’re addressing the symptom, and while there are tactics that can help with the symptom, they rarely last for very long. So what causes our avoidance?...

Slow Down to Fall in Love Again

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”~ Thich Nhat Hanh Recently I got a running watch, and have been keeping most of my runs below a certain heart rate, to build up my heart’s aerobic fitness with lots of slow running. The pace of my runs has been incredibly slow for the last month. It’s helped me to fall in love with running again. I’ll share more about that, but it has me wanting to share a more general thought: slowing down can have us falling in love with anything if we let it. Let me share a few examples: Music: Often we listen to music while ru...

Become Quiet So You Can Listen

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” ― Rumi There’s rarely a moment in the day when most of us stop moving and stop the noise. For most of us, we’re working, we’re moving, we’re driving, we’re listening to things on our headphones, we’re watching things, we’re filling up the little spaces by checking our phones. This isn’t wrong — it’s a very human tendency to want to be busy, productive, filling every space with something useful or entertaining. But what if we could let ourselves become quiet? What happens is something magi...

The Joys of Getting Organized

The last couple of months, things have piled up on me: emails, tasks, random notes, a bunch of browser tabs with things I’m interested or need to do, financial stuff, etc. For the past week, I’ve been allowing myself the joys of getting organized. It’s beautiful, and I just had to share with you. Let me say a few things first: you don’t need to be organized all the time, or at all. This isn’t a “should” to add to your list of things you’re not doing. Also, there isn’t one way to do this, and my way isn’t the “right” way. Finally, this is about ...

Cultivating Stokedness

How many days do you wake up excited for life, stoked to be alive and take on the day’s challenges? If your answer is “often,” then congratulations! That’s an amazing way to live life — but you’re in the minority. Most people are unenthusiastic about their lives, not looking forward to what the day has in store. That’s not a bad thing — if that’s how you’re feeling, it’s just how you’re feeling. There isn’t a “right” way to be. That said, if you’d like to be more stoked about life, then there are ways to cultivate that. We’ll explore some of th...

Start the New Year with Our Uncertainty Challenge in Fearless Living Academy!

Happy New Year my friends! Today I’m going to talk about how to start the year off right, with the Uncertainty Challenge we’ve created in my ​Fearless Living Academy​ … If you’re feeling the New Year energy — which I love because it’s a chance at a fresh start — then the question is how to do you leverage that energy to the best results? I love the mechanism of a monthly challenge. We’ve been testing out monthly challenges in ​Fearless Living Academy​ for more than a year now, through our Uncertainty Challenge, and it’s working incredibly well!...

Essential Zen Habits of 2023

It’s the end of 2023, and I’ve just finished my 17th year of publishing Zen Habits! What a journey this has been so far. As usual, I’m going to run through some of the highlights of the year for me and my business, and then share the best Zen Habits posts of 2023. Let’s look at some of the highlights of the year: Zen Habits Podcast — the biggest accomplishment for me this year was the launch of the Zen Habits Podcast! I’ve been wanting to create one for years, and now finally have. Season 1 was called Joy + Fear, and was about resistance around...

Running & the Challenge of Pushing at Your Edge

I’m not the world’s greatest runner, but lately I’ve been challenging myself to stay at my edge. As I was running at my edge the other day, it occurred to me that this is a useful practice in many areas in life. Learning to play at your edge is a challenging practice, but pays off in so many ways. If you learn to play at your edge, you learn to stop shying away from discomfort. You grow and learn in new ways. And you develop a confidence in yourself that is hard to do when you stay in your comfort zone. Let’s explore this challenging practice. ...

Mastering the Inbox as a Spiritual Practice

Earlier today, my email inbox was overflowing like never before. I’m taking this month off (mostly), so I haven’t been checking and responding to email as I normally do. This led to a super full inbox! When our inboxes are overflowing, we tend to feel some anxiety, and respond in one of a couple ways: We get overwhelmed and ignore it, allowing it to get even more overflowing, and getting more and more behind on replying to people.We reply as fast as we can, often a bit frantically, feeling pulled in a zillion directions, and our day becomes swa...

Creating a Slower Holiday Season

We’re in the midst of the holiday season, and with that can come a lot of abundance: Busier schedules, holiday parties, travelMore eating, more drinking, more excessMore shopping, more spending, more financial stress It’s a beautiful season, but it can be a lot! In this article, I’m going to share some thoughts on creating a slower holiday season. Imagine a season of reflection and slowing down. A season of connecting with others but also finding solitude. A season of festivities but also quiet. A season where you increase your resilience inste...

Transforming the Constant Feeling of Being Behind

You start the day with the feeling: there’s a bunch of things I need to do right away. Then the rest of the day, you’re driven by the feeling that there’s so much to do, and you’re behind on it all. You finish the day with the same feeling, and it carries over until tomorrow. The constant feeling of being behind — it’s something so many people can relate to. So what can we do about it? What we usually do is either be driven, driven, driven by this fear … or we conclude that we need to abandon everything and start with a fresh slate. With this f...

How I Get Things Done

People have often told me that they’re surprised by how much I get done during the week, from team members to clients. I’m not saying that to brag, but to relate that I forget how much work I’ve done to be able to make a bigger impact in the world. So in this article, I’d like to share some of my secrets. In truth, they’re not really secrets, but things you’ve likely heard before. That said, I’m hoping that something here might be the inspiration you need to put a key idea into action. I’m not a member of the productivity cult — getting stuff d...

How Simplicity Reveals Life

This morning I was eating a really simple meal, with minimal seasoning, and I savored its deliciousness. Often I go the opposite way: I eat too much, too quickly, with an overwhelming number of flavors. And I barely taste any of it. This is how I sometimes experience life: I do so much, so quickly, and have an overwhelming amount of stuff going on. So much so that it’s hard to really experience any of it fully. When I simplify, it’s not necessarily about getting rid of stuff — it’s about letting fewer things really be experienced: When I have f...

Transcendent: Take on Work & Life from Another Level

The way most of us take on our work, or anything else in our lives, is that we do it because we’re supposed to, we have to, we’re obligated to, we’re expected to, we should. What this creates is a life of obligation and burden, of churning out things just for the sake of churning them out. A life of pointlessness and exhaustion. What if life could be transcendent? Alive? Expansive? Lit up? While there’s nothing wrong with always having our nose to the grindstone, and having every day feel the same as the last … what would it be like to open to ...

A Powerful Uncertainty Challenge

A year ago, my team & I started a grand experiment in our Fearless Living Academy, designed to create the best training possible for learning to face and deal with uncertainty in our lives, especially around habits and purpose work. We call it the Uncertainty Challenge. It’s a 4-week challenge that we’ve run 12 times so far, with astounding results. Seriously, I didn’t know what to expect, but people have been doing things in these challenges that’s just blowing me away. Results like: Finally stopped procrastinatingMade more progress on a p...

How to Create, When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Our days can be overwhelming, and because of this, many people put off their creative work — it just doesn’t feel possible. If you’re in this camp, one or more of these will sound familiar to you: I’m too busy right now, I can always do (insert creative work here) laterThings have to be just right before I can do (creative work)When things are settled, that’s when I’ll startI need to clear out my desk, my office, my life before I can start Of course, the time never comes when you’re feeling settled, when you’re not busy or stressed or overwhelm...

Learning to Surf the Uncertainty of Life

When things are changing rapidly, and an overwhelming number of things are coming at you … it can be tough to navigate. Anyone who is up to anything big will have a lot going on. Lots of emails and messages, lots of tasks, lots of meetings and calls, lots of things changing every day. Lots of uncertainty. How do we navigate the uncertainty of all of this? The visual metaphor that works for me is surfing. I’m going to talk about how to surf uncertainty, and how to learn to surf uncertainty. What we really want is a simple, straightforward path. ...

Letting Go of Heaviness

A lot of the people I work with feel a lot of heaviness in what they’re taking on — whether it’s work, their finances, relationships, health, etc. We often don’t even realize we have heaviness about something — but other people can feel it if we talk to them about it. Things feel really hard, overwhelming, discouraging, frustrating, pointless. If you’re feeling heaviness about something … that’s OK! You’re human, and you are allowed to have heavy emotions. Giving ourselves full permission to feel whatever we feel is a powerful way to be. That s...

How to Stick to Long-Term Changes

If you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, you can work really hard at it for a week … and see no change. The same goes for learning music or a language, or creating meaningful change in the world. It’s hard to stick to long-term changes when you don’t get very immediate results. Seeing progress quickly can be very encouraging — so how do we find encouragement when we don’t see that quick progress? Over the years, I have been able to stick to some big long-term changes: losing weight, working out to gain strength, training for marathons, c...

About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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