How to Put Life on Easy Mode

By Leo Babauta

The other day I was having such a chill, easy day despite doing all of my usual work and chores and workout activities – the phrase, “Life on Easy Mode” came to me.

The rest of the week, I kept the question in my mind, “What would it be like to have life on easy mode?”

A lot of answers came to me, and I’ll share some of them below. But the biggest answer is that you can do all your normal activities … but your day can be one of ease, peace, and contentment, no matter what you’re doing.

You can try it right now:

Keep reading this article, but see if you can do it with a feeling of relaxed effortlessness. Of ease and peace.

You might relax your muscles, breathe deeply and smoothly, smile very slightly, and feel a sense of appreciation for being alive in this moment.

What is that like for you?

That’s the essence of life on easy mode.

Let’s talk about some things you can do to access this during your day.

Easy Mode Mindset

Imagine that in any moment in life, you could access any kind of experience: happiness, joy, playfulness, sadness, anger, peace, awe.

That’s not how we usually see it – we think that other people, and external circumstances, cause our internal states to happen. But what if we imagined that we can access any state, no matter the external circumstances, no matter what someone else is doing?

So with this in mind, imagine that you could access peace and easefulness in any moment. A sense of contentedness. A sense of loving life, and appreciating every moment.

Try it right now. What does it feel like?

Now practice it while doing something: drinking a glass of water, washing a dish, reading a message. Same mindset, different activities.

This ease is available in any moment. We just need to be willing to access it.

Things That Make Life Easier

You don’t have to do anything different to live life on this easy mode. That said, here are some things I’ve found to make life so much easier – there might be a lot here, but think of these as ideas you might try one at a time:

Again, this is a long list, and it can be overwhelming. So pick one thing and try it! These are simply ideas that I’ve found to be incredibly helpful.

Let’s talk a little more about the last item on the list – doing things as simply as possible.

Simplifying When We Overcomplicate Things

We’re pretty much always making things complicated. It’s our wonderful brains, always thinking. This tends to make life more difficult than it needs to be, a lot of the time.

Here are a few examples of how we overcomplicate things:

These are just a few examples, we’re doing this kind of thing pretty much all the time. We overthink, worry, and complicate, and life is no longer in easy mode.

When we’re doing this, we can simply notice. And instead of beating ourselves up about it (which complicates things), we can simplify the moment. What’s the easiest thing you can do right now, the simplest? What’s the least amount of thinking you can do, so that you can simply do or be?

When people say or do things, prefer the most straightforward interpretation. The simplest meaning.

When you’re going about your day, think about the simplest thing you could do right now that would be helpful. Then savor that simplicity.

What Life Can Be Like on Easy Mode

I’m not saying life will always be easy, nor would we necessarily want that. But it can be easy a lot of the time.

If we’re always stressed, always on difficult mode, we’ll get exhausted. Then when something really requires our full effort, we might not have the energy.

If we cruise along on easy mode for most of the day, when something requires us to put in a tremendous amount of effort, we’ll be ready to spring into action.

For me, life on easy mode is relaxing. It’s simple. It’s washing a dish, writing an email, having a conversation. It’s enjoying the exercise, taking care of myself, enjoying space and silence and breath.

Life on easy mode is flow. It’s a tai chi sequence. It’s smooth and fluid and lovely.