It took Lao-Tzu 5,000 words to complete his manifesto on the Tao. He explores every aspect of getting your life right with the Tao and how to live a better life. Here are his top 10 ways to make it happen taken from the Tao Te Ching: The Old Man’s Guide to the Virtuous Path. He tells this story that illustrates his views on a simple life. He says: There once was a small country, with very few people. They had machines that made their work faster and easier, but they did not use them. They had a healthy fear of death, and did not wander around looking for it. They had boats and carriages, but no occasion to use them. They had arms and armor, but no occasion to use them. They spoke plain words, they ate plain food, they dwelled in plain huts, they were content and happy in their simple ways. Across the way, however, was another state with bright lights and barking dogs, but the people had no interest in it. They stayed at home, grew old together, and died. They got it right with Tao.
Here are Lao-Tzu’s top ten ways to simplify your life.
10. Do not make yourself all shiny and new,
Instead, make yourself ordinary
9. Do not think about yourself.
Think of others first.
Be kind to the good,
Be kind to the bad,
Thus kindness multiplies.
Be faithful to the faithful,
Be faithful to the faithless
Thus faithfulness multiplies.
8. Do nothing.
Act without striving.
Do not work so hard to do it.
Learn to appreciate the everyday things.
7. Empty your head.
even when ten thousand things are going on.
6. Don’t spend your time thinking about stupid stuff.
5. Be true to your own nature and you will succeed.
Live out each day, really live it up,
and in the end you will have really lived.
4. Simplicity without a name is freedom.
3. Live by what is real and ignore all the noise.
Ignore everything else, focus on Tao.
2. When the Simple hear about Tao,
They follow Tao, they practice Tao,
And get right with Tao.
1. In the pursuit of Tao, something is let go every day.
Do less and less until you come to action without striving.