A Simpler Life

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This book explores ideas around minimalism, simplicity and how to live comfortably with less.

The modern world can be a complicated, frenzied, and noisy place, filled with too many options, products, ideas and opinions. That explains why what many of us long for is simplicity: a life that can be more pared down, peaceful, and focused on the essentials.

But finding simplicity is not always easy; it isn't just a case of emptying out our closets or trimming back commitments in our diaries. True simplicity requires that we understand the roots of our distractions - and develop a canny respect for the stubborn reasons why things can grow complex and overwhelming.

This book is a guide to the simpler lives we crave and deserve. It considers how we might achieve simplicity across a range of areas. Along the way, we learn about Zen Buddhism, modernist architecture, monasteries, psychoanalysis, and why we probably don't need more than three good friends or a few treasured belongings.

It isn't enough that our lives should look simple; they need to be simple from the inside. This book takes a psychological approach, guiding us towards less contorted hearts and minds. We have for too long been drowning in excess and clutter from a confusion about our aspirations; A Simpler Life helps us tune out the static and focus on what properly matters to us.


The School of Life is a global organization helping people lead more fulfilled lives. Through our range of books, gifts and stationery we aim to prompt more thoughtful natures and help everyone to find fulfillment. The School of Life is a resource for exploring self-knowledge, relationships, work, socializing, finding calm, and enjoying culture through content, community, and conversation. You can find us online, in stores and in welcoming spaces around the world offering classes, events, and one-to-one therapy sessions.

The School of Life is a rapidly growing global brand, with over 6 million YouTube subscribers, 351,000 Facebook followers, 218,000 Instagram followers and 163,000 Twitter followers.

The School of Life Press brings together the thinking and ideas of the School of Life creative team under the direction of series editor, Alain de Botton. Their books share a coherent, curated message that speaks with one voice: calm, reassuring, and sane.


  • I. Simpler Relationships
  • i. Becoming more straightforward
  • ii. Simpler dates
  • iii. Simpler relationships
  • iv. Simpler families
  • II. A Simpler Social Life
  • i. What others think
  • ii. How many friends do we need?
  • iii. How often do we need to go out?
  • III. A Simpler Lifestyle
  • i. How to live in a hut
  • ii. How to enjoy a provincial life
  • iii. Why we need quieter days
  • iv. How to go to bed earlier
  • v. How to be a modern monk
  • vi. Good materialism
  • IV. Work and Simplicity
  • i. Thinking rather than doing
  • ii. Voluntary poverty
  • iii. The terror of simplicity
  • V. Culture and Simplicity
  • i. How to be less pretentious
  • ii. How to read fewer books
  • iii. How to care less about the news
  • iv. How to travel less
  • Conclusion

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    A Simpler Life
    A guide to greater serenity, ease, and clarity
    E-Book (epub)
    The School of Life
    Digitaler Kopierschutz
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