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How to achieve less (leaflet)

We seem to spend most of our lives striving and yearning.

Striving to earn more money, gain more self confidence, be better parents, travel more, be more attractive, have better relationships - the list is endless. But why should we? Perhaps we’d be happier if we learnt to be happy with who we are and what we have.  This leaflet gives 8 ways we can take pressure off ourselves.




PDF leaflet - Click here to download (413 KB)              Full-colour 2 sided leaflet that can printed and used as an A4 poster.

Text version

1.    Rediscover who you are
Think about who you really are and what really matters to you.  Resolve to be comfortable with this and live in a way that is true to yourself - not how you think others want you to live.  

2.    Accept your limitations
If you want to change certain things about yourself, then do.  But don't set this as an obsessive goal for your life or see yourself in a negative light until you reach it (if you do) - accept who you are at this moment and be happy with it.  

3.    Don't strive for happiness
The ideal of perfect happiness is an illusion that the self-help industry has become rich on.  We all have difficulties in our lives and need resilience to deal with them.  Don't base your current happiness on achieving the goal of perfect happiness in the future - enjoy what you have now,  and you will be happier.

4.    Life is not a list
In the modern world, many people seem to evaluate the value of their (and other people's) lives by lists of things they have to maximise - the gadgets they own, books they've read, places they've been, experiences they've had.  Don't be one of these people -  these lives are generally shallow and unfulfilled.  Do the things you want to do and enjoy them for their own sake.  Don't let your life become a list-ticking exercise.

5.    Think for yourself
Resolve to not be influenced by external messages into unnecessary yearning or striving – whether it is someone’s opinion, a newspaper report or an advertisement.  If you feel a sense of yearning after receiving an external message, recognise it, recognise your reaction to it and  check yourself.

6.    Understand other lives
Try to see the reality of the lives of people that you might envy or wish to strive for.  Recognise the sacrifices and disadvantages of these lives - as there will be many.  Your life and choices will seem much better after doing this!

7.    Realise nobody's perfect
Recognise the reality of what goes on in other people's heads - especially people you admire and might strive to be like.  Although their issues may be different, realise they have as many insecurities, issues and fears as you - possibly more.  Perfect people and perfect happiness are illusions.

8.    Live your life - not someone else's
Overall, accept the cards you've been dealt in life, and realise that other people aren't holding all the best cards - despite what adverts, other people and other external messages would have you believe.  Take responsibility for enjoying and getting best use of the cards you have.

Life Squared 2011

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