After a bit of a hiatus… hello 2021 and a book recommendation to boot!
I’d admit that it’s kind of strange to run a blog that talks about another blog, but let’s make an exception here. One of my all-time favourite blogs is Zen Habits by Leo Babuta.
Something you’ll notice immediately is how simple the Zen Habits blog layout is. It’s stripped back, minimalistic, and rarely contains any photos. Leo writes about mindfulness, simplicity, and how you can tailor your life to get closer to both. Interestingly, he manages to keep the content engaging. Every post is a breath of fresh air, even though the concepts he talks about aren’t new. It makes you want to come back for more.
So I was quite pleased to come across his book, The Power of Less. It’s not exactly a new book given its publishing date in September 2019. But it was probably a good one to read in preparation for 2020. (Cue: Less panic buying.)
Pandemic aside, lawyers need to read this book.
One paragraph at the start of Leo’s book struck me:
“We live in a world where, more often than not, more is better. … We consume more, and we produce more, and we do more than ever before. At some point, however, we run into limits. There is only so much we can do or consume. There are a finite number of hours in a day, and once we reach that limit to our production, we can’t do more. Many people see these limits as problems, while others see them as a challenge: How can I squeeze more into my day? If I manage my time effectively and learn to be more productive, can I get more done in the limited number of hours available to me?”
— Leo Babuta, Zen Habits, Chapter One.
You’ll agree that there are too many occasions where lawyers put quantity over quality, form over substance. Often it’s because we’re on auto-drive mode from exhaustion, which in turn happens when we try to do too much at once. I’m sure you can recall getting letters from your legal counterpart that had far too many pages and made as much sense as Latin. As a profession, we’re guilty of being the ultimate maximalists.
The Power of Less puts things into perspective and asks us to focus on what is truly essential. Leo provides useful tips on how you can find the essential in your life. He also encourages us to focus on building one habit at a time (not multiple) and to start small.
If there is nothing else that you take away from the book, Leo’s suggestion to focus on changing one habit a month is a good one to take up. That’s a challenge I’ll be taking up in 2021.