zen habits : breathe

The Little Book of Contentment

‘He who is contented is rich.’ ~Lao Tzu

By Leo Babauta

One of the most important things I’ve learned in the last 7 years has been how to find contentment.

It’s been a long journey, but I’ve enjoyed it. I struggled with feeling bad about my body, feeling insecure about myself, doubting my abilities to make it without an employer, doubting myself as a writer, not believing I had discipline or the ability to change my habits.

And all this led to other problems: I sought happiness and pleasure in food, beer, shopping, distraction, TV. I procrastinated, I let my health get bad, I smoked, I was deeply in debt, unhappy with my work, never exercised, and ate lots of junk food.

Not a pretty picture. But if I’d never been in that place, I wouldn’t understand how to get out of it. And so I’m grateful I was there. I’ve learned a lot, about myself and about how to find happiness in who I am, what I have, who I’m with, what I do, and all that’s around me.

And now, I’d like to share that with you.

I’ve written a free book called The Little Book of Contentment: A guide to becoming happy with life & who you are, while getting things done. I share it with you today, in hopes that it will help a few of you, or maybe many, who struggle with being happy with yourselves and your lives. It’s a more common problem than you might imagine, and if I can help just a little, that would be amazing.

I hope you like the book.

Table of Contents

  1. The Agreement
  2. The Root of the Problem
  3. The What & Why of Contentment
  4. The Path of Contentment
  5. Contentment Isn’t Doing Nothing
  6. Comparing to What You Don’t Have
  7. Watch Your Ideals & Expectations
  8. Advertising & Fantasies
  9. Build Trust
  10. Love Yourself
  11. Trying to Find Happiness in External Sources
  12. Where Happiness Comes From
  13. Finding Happiness Within
  14. Our Reactions to the Actions of Others
  15. Don’t Tie Your Self-Worth to Others’ Actions
  16. Become Whole In a Relationship
  17. Self-Happiness & Meeting Others
  18. Jealousy of Others
  19. Techniques for Self-Acceptance
  20. FAQ
  21. Conclusion
  22. Summary of Action Steps

The book is uncopyrighted.

Download the Book

You can download the book for free in several formats:

Please note that you shouldn’t download this book unless you plan to:

  1. Set aside an hour to read this book. Not put aside, but actually read it. Close everything else on your computer and give yourself an hour of undistracted time to read this book.
  2. Put the method into action. Immediately.
  3. Practice the skills daily, just a few minutes a day. In a short time, you should have some basic skills that help you to be content, less angry, less stressed out.

Questions & Answers

Q: How much does the book cost?
A: It’s free.

Q: Do you give refunds?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I read it on my iPad or iPhone?
A: Yes. Download the epub version, then drag into iTunes on your computer. Then sync the iPad or iPhone with iTunes on your computer, and the book should now appear in the iBooks app on your iPad/iPhone. Detailed instructions.

Q: When & how can I get it on my Kindle?
A: It’s now available for the Kindle! (Download here.) To add it to your Kindle, first make sure your Kindle is connected to your computer via USB. Then, copy the downloaded file to the “documents” folder of your Kindle. It will appear on your Home screen.

Q: What if I don’t want to commit to an hour of undistracted reading time, or putting it into action?
A: You shouldn’t download it. I’ve written this book for people who actually want to read it and use it.

Q: Who designed the book? It’s brilliant!
A: I know, right? I did, and I will admit my design skills are best described as “humble”.



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