I just finished reading a wonderful book, Zen Habits: Mastering the Art of Change, by Leo Babauta.
Leo has written, in many ways, what I have envisioned as a possible follow-up to Six Simple Rules for a Better Life.
I wanted Six Simple Rules for a Better Life not to be another one of those books on your bookshelf, calling out to you every time you walked by, “Why aren’t you following my instructions?” So, in addition to making sure my ideas were practical and achievable, I provided a game plan for making changes that stick (breaking down goals into smaller pieces and working on them one at a time, for the 21 days it takes to form a habit.)
Since the time I published Six Simple Rules for a Better Life (late 2011), I’ve read other books and blogs which reinforced, and even proved, my method for making changes that stick.
I came to understand more about why habits are the key from Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, why it’s so hard to make changes that are too big from John Tierney and Roy Baumeister’s book, Willpower, and the inner workings of the brain in habit change from the work of Denny Coates (a wonderful man I became friendly with through the blogosphere and through his business partner, Meredith Bell; and I interviewed Denny here.)
Since the book was published, I’ve become a blogger as well as an avid reader of blogs, including a bunch which espouse similar approaches to change.
The best is Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog. Shortly after my book came out (which he has probably not read), Leo began to talk about how to make changes that stick, and rolled out the Sea Change program to help people make those changes.
I’m often asked if I’m writing another book. I’ve been doing so, on and off. I’m not sure what I will ultimately do. If I do, it will likely focus strictly on making real, positive, lasting change—or said more simply, changes that stick. It would expand on the powerful, not-so-secret sauce message found in the introduction to Six Simple Rules for a Better Life.
And now Leo has written Zen Habits: Mastering the Art of Change, likely the closest thing to my second book until such time if and when I write my own.
That said, Leo and I are different in many ways. For one thing, he’s a much better writer. I’m not being modest. He is amazing. He’s also more immersed in mindfulness and shares great ideas in his new book. (No surprise here—he’s had a blog for many years called Zen Habits).
One way we are alike is we are lifelong learners. In his book’s opening pages, he says he stole all the ideas in the book. I think he’s not giving himself enough credit, but I understand what he means. Six Simple Rules for a Better Life is filled with ideas I learned from others. Like Leo, I like to synthesize the ideas from others, and am driven to help other people to lead happier, healthier, better lives.
I’ve said a lot here, and given a lot of links. Next week I’ll share some of the highlights from Leo’s book.
Until then, please join the conversation with your comments…
All the best,