Lifestyle Minimalism - Renouncing Your Busy Stupid Life

By Leo Gura - May 16, 2016 | 95 Comments

How to pace your lifestyle to double your happiness.

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Dave says:

Hey Leo..Amazing video as always..Just a quick one though.I spend all monday afternoon refreshing your site for the new video but this one was on YouTube already last night.Thought we might have been getting double helpings this week ha ha.

Leo Gura says:

The nature of the Youtube platform is such that videos get released there first before appearing here. It takes me a day or two to get them visible here.

Dave says:

That’s great news.I shall start searching you tube then a couple of days earlier

David says:

Leo, how do you reconcile the Harvard study (followed same people for 75 years) with this idea? The main conclusion was that quality of relationships are one of the most important factors for happiness/fullfillment in life.

Leo Gura says:

The levels of fulfillment a study like that measures pales in comparison to the true fulfillment possible through the contemplative path.

It would be like if Harvard did a 75 year study of a poor African village to track their levels of wealth acquisition, meanwhile ignoring the kind of wealth acquisition happening in Silicon Valley or Hollywood or Wallstreet.

Martina says:

I am thrilled, tears in my eyes. I am 22 and have been listening to you for about 1 year. thank you so much! life-changing

Reader says:

I have a new suggestion for your research!!!
Have you known about highly sensitive persons? I have listened to a lot of your videos but never saw anything about the HSPs.
I found the book by researcher Elaine Aron, I read the stuff but still curious. I would gladly find out more, particularly how successful a highly sensitive person could be, and what strategies one should apply to live a happier life.
Looking forward to an answer !

Leo Gura says:

Yes, I’ve heard of it. Haven’t looked too much into it.

Tony says:

Hey Leo

. I’ve been thinking of wether I should live a more minimalist life or not. The problem is I took your life purpose course and decided I should go back to school and get a grad degree. This would not be minimalist. It would be years of tons of work. Interestingly you did mention life purpose here. Now I could see if your purpose is to be an ascetic and get enlightened then ok this aligns with life purpose. And I’ve considered that being my purpose instead. A lot.

If I do the school thing, get a nice job, hot trophy girl, I think that will take a lot of doing. but I believe that this is closer to my purpose because I love learning crap.

I also think about working part time and living somewhere cheap so I can meditate a lot. The thing is meditating is not intrinsically motivating to me otherwise it would be my purpose. I do it because I know the benefits. The stuff I would do in school and afterward I believe might be intrinsically motivating. I’ll enjoy that purpose. Is it possible to have a purpose that will take a lot of your time and also do this? I feel like maybe not.
But if I go the other way I’ll get some part time job just to pay bills and do all the meditsting to get enlightened someday and I feel like it takes away from a persons purpose unless you make meditating and enlightenment your purpose. That would be great but like I said I’m not intrinsically motivated to meditate. Enlightenment just sounds awesome. Can I do my purpose and what you describe here? It seems I won’t be able to as well. But the other way I have a better chance of getting enlightened but I won’t be doing my purpose. I mean I realize working to see Truth is a great purpose but do you at least kinda see what I mean?

Thanks a lot,

Leo Gura says:

If grad school is your goal, then I think you can still make that minimalistic. My college life was pretty focused. I did nothing but philosophize and study. I had lots of free time to think and meditate, although at that time I wasted a lot of time playing video games. But if you don’t party too much or waste time on internet and video games, you can do grad school in a very focused way.

Eric says:

Hey Leo, thank you!!! I’m 52 I’ve been watching your videos for over a year now. Every time I watch a video I think this guys the best, but today was truly the best yet. I have felt that I have been in that gerbil wheel for a long time. I have used that phrase frequently to describe my life. I thank you again I needed to hear all the words that you said today. Life changing moment!!!!!

Karen says:

Loving your videos!

Cristina says:

It’s funny to hear you have a bunch of useless things, when I perceive you as a very minimalist person maybe cause of your appearance and simplicity. Always thought men are more minimalist than women cause they tend to be more rational and practical.

Anyway being minimalist keeps your mind focused and organised, and in consequence your life,house,relationships etc. organised and simple. Maybe that’s why people that seem to never hurry or worry, have always enough time for everything and since their lives are simple they’ve got it all in their mind. If I tell someone I haven’t called them cause I didn’t have the time or I haven’t made something cause I lacked time, that’s definitely a lie which I am not necessarily proud of, but honestly I always have the time for everything even though I am so slow. I am very minimalist and practical and always finish things quickly and well cause I don’t hurry and I’m not superficial. I realized that when I am doing things in my mind beforehand, I tend to be faster and more efficient when actually doing them, especially when I’m late or under pressure.

If I was a millionaire I would have an even simpler life than I do now. I would focus only on screenwriting and travelling, nothing else. Friends and other stuff will be there only to fill the gaps.

When I cook for example, I like to put the “right” music, the “right” clothes, make the “right”atmosphere, I love to enjoy the moment. Before I go out I always choose a playlist on my phone to listen on the way to the store or something like that.

I just can’t understand people who say they have not enough time (and obviously don’t enjoy life cause they’re crazy) or the ones saying they are bored. I never get bored, not for a minute and still I have a simple life, have no husband (yet) nor children, no “problems” to solve. I may say I’m never busy, and man I love it. I just don’t get it, why would someone choose to live a shitty life that only brings them illness, stress, misery, etc.

I am only 27 and sometimes I find myself looking at the old people in the park, I just sit there and look at them, and feel old. I feel like them. They just sit and watch others, children playing etc. Sometimes I feel like my life has finished before starting and that I now have time left to enjoy it, sometimes this feeling makes me sad, sometimes I feel weird and sometimes I just feel I entered a secret garden and I am old and have all the time to enjoy the rest of my life. I have all the time in the world and still big dreams to accomplish, but I just don’t hurry, even when I walk I walk so slowly, I don’t know why. And trust me I am really ambitious, maybe cause I’m a leo I don’t know, but I dream to sell my scripts to Hollywood, I have been working with a professional script consultant for the last 5 years and won some script contests. I have huge dreams, I am not a lazybones but I won’t die in the race, I don’t see the point. I always check my pulse, my speed, I hydrate, enjoy the ride, enjoy the sun on my skin, always in touch with myself and I know I’ll make it to the finish even if I’ll be the last one,but I won’t die on the race track that’s for sure. My parents always tell me I’ll never accomplish anything in life cause I am so left behind, almost all my friends are married and have kids and “adult problems” and that really hurts me. I don’t feel like a loser, I feel good my way.

People complicate their lives and then complain about how many problems they have. Are they stupid or what?
Why have 3 children when you obviously are incapable to take charge and have to hire a nanny, pay a housemaid and a therapist to ease your stressed mind and tiredness of sleepless nights? Why you need 3 apartments for your 3 children when they’re only 5 years old, and make a bank credit to buy them and rent your life to the damn bank for your next 25 years? Why are you so damn neurotic and then complain about how hard life is?

I clearly see these people are miserable,but still feel like I’m missing the point, I am missing something important, cause everyone is so hurried and I am so left behind, but don’t really want to have their lives. I am confused. Am I missing something? Am I the silly of the class?

Alex says:

Look at actualizaed forum topic

Lindsay says:

Thank you for this one. It illuminated exactly what needed light in me today.

So Leo, I am 70 this year. I am watching you and you are right on course for me. The wife and I are going our separate ways because we have grow apart. I prefer all that you are putting out and my wife is the other way. I did not see where you mentioned any other things like what the GOV is denying with respect to other then earthly people. I have seen many things that cause me to think there are many things to meditate upon. So, what is your take on this idea I am putting down? Thank you in advanced, Ray

Rami says:

Thanks Leo, you’ve put me back on track with this video. It is a conclusion of the biographies I have been reading for the past few weeks and what I have been going through the past few years.

sushanta says:

I stumbled upon your enlightment videos once by chance and since then i have changed my life, rather life has chosen its own course. I desperately wait for your videos and really feel hungry to grasp as much as possible.

Rick says:

Thanks Leo, I prod of you and I will make you prod!

Marcy says:

Hi Leo,
I wanted to say thank you for sharing your passion and wisdom. Your ability to provide life style improvement through video hits home with me. I am 48 and about 4 years towards this journey after major life changes of getting my counseling degree at 45, ending a 20 year marriage with a multi million dollar life style, nurturing my life purpose with my counseling and life coach practice. My story includes some very big scary “No’s”. My spiritual practice was truly my North Star when everything was so dark. Now I spend 2-3hrs every morning learning meditating and slowing down before I begin my day. It’s been the most fulfilling, soulful part of my life. I would never let this journey go and feel grateful for the shift. You are another affirming gift to my morning and I just wanted to say thank you! We travelers appreciate our companions

Lindsay says:

Wait a second….isn’t this a philosophically biased list? (i.e. Eastern-centric). For example Judaism teaches people to prioritize prayer and learning but also family, tradition, charity, and community. French thinking would probably have freedom and pleasure on the list of requisites for a fulfilling life. Surely many people have led great and fulfilling lives, and did so without giving any thought to enlightenment or meditation in the eastern sense. Also, if everyone focused on meditation and enlightenment and finding their life purpose, the world might be more peaceful but it would probably be messed up in other ways, I.e. How much less food would be grown and fewer medical treatments available if the farmers and doctors and nurses were all busy meditating and contemplating their purpose? It’s a lame example but ultimately your list of priorities does not encourage any focus on the needs of others / self sacrifice…and that is problematic in the larger context.

Leo Gura says:

Eastern-centric is what you want. The West has gotten fulfillment and lifestyle very wrong.

The ultimate self-sacrifice is realizing there is no self.

What people normally call “self-sacrifice” is actually neurotic egotism and produces much suffering in the world for you and for others.

I guess according to your logic, Leo must be having a pretty negative influence of people, because “your list of priorities does not encourage any focus on the needs of others.” If that’s the case, then how come my inbox is overflowing with 100s of emails from people who say things like, “OMG! Thank you for changing my life”?

When you master yourself, helping others becomes natural and effortless.

Brian says:

You didnt answer her question fully Leo… A minimalist lifestyle would not have advanced us to technologies like the computer you are using to get your message out. At least it would have taken a great deal more time.

Brian says:

Also, what about a single mother who has 4 children and has to work a full time job? A minimalistic lifestyle would be somewhat complicated for her as well. I, for instance, am launching a major health website soon with many hundreds of pages of content, redoing a book, putting together a program,formulating a supplement, working as a personal trainer, nutritionist, health coach to make ends meet, have my 4 year old son every weekend that I am very attentive to, I meditate, read articles constantly, make all my own meals because the food is so toxic in most food establishments, meditate, and exercise 6 days as I am a trainer. I dont believe you have any children Leo, am I right? It certainly changes things when you do. I am a consciously awakened being and have been doing inner work for many years. I am a diligent co-pilot of my lifes journey. I am truly connected, working with the Universe to express my talents and gifts to help others advance on their journey. I get affirmations all the time from My Higher Power that I am on course so to speak.

Leo Gura says:

Hehe, well, and what about a mother of 8 who also wants to climb Mt Everest and become president of the United States?

You can fill up you life with monkey business enough for 5 lifetimes. The question is, are you conscious of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it?

The more conscious you become, the less meaning external activity has for you.

We have more than enough technology. The modern obsession with technology is very unhealthy and neurotic. Technology cannot save you from yourself.

Stefano says:

Good morning leo!

First of all congrats for the quality of the content you are providing.

But I was thinking about what you said, and it’s for sure an interesting point of view… The lifestyle you are describing seems to be the consequence of the realization that success by itself shouldn’t be the aim in life. And I actually agree logically on that. But back to what spyral dinamics teaches us, shouldn’t I experience success broadly to really come to the realization that it’s not what really matters?
It seems like, if I would start right now living this simple life, I would almost be skipping phases.

Let me know what you think!

Gillian says:

Hi Leo, I have been following your blog for well over a year and I have found it to be life-changing. I am a nurse and have been for over 30 years. It is only through minimalism, meditation, mindfulness and contemplation that I am able to serve others, as inner work gives you the energy and awareness to lead a fulfilled life and be of service. So I agree with you 100% and want to thank you for your honesty and hard work. I recommend you to all my friends and family.

Thomas says:

thanks Leo amazing stuff again and perfect timing for me personally as well, because this stuff is hard sometimes. Renounce and enjoy, it really works!

But who cares these days? Almost nobody here in open minded Holland listens to me or even hear me out. We are so fucking logical all the time in the west it seems, so afraid of not knowing the answer every now and then.

great episode!!

Kathryn says:

Dear Leo
A harsh video, you surprised me……but, I’m always busy and I know why I do it. When I was younger being alone and quiet was over whelming. Businesses helped me to not think. Fast forward 20 years and I actually find that being alone and quiet is ok. Being off work sick has happened a lot recently, colds, pneumonia. Even my body is saying stop and I recognise that. I’ve also noticed that when I do nothing ie: sit on an aeroplane or just sit in the garden my mind opens up and just flows with creative solutions to problems. I’m not saying I will go quite as far as you suggest but I will give up 1 superfluous hobby at a time and have more time in my life to just be.
Thanks for the video

Elisabeth says:

I too think this is philosophically biased. May be an excuse though. I dare not.

Leo Gura says:

Of course it’s philosophically biased.

Philosophy — properly defined as the love of wisdom and seeking of truth — is the highest quality lifestyle. That’s what a sage/monk is, a philosopher is the truest sense.

The important thing is aligning yourself with truth, and you cannot do that unless you discover what the truth is, and you cannot do that unless you stop distracting yourself with materialism and relationships.

Self-actualization IS philosophy in its original sense.

Jess B says:

i find my self always asking questions that i might or might not ever know the answer to; some purely philosophical, some impurely philosophical… …but then that’s life? Thanks for the video, i don’t quite know why i watch your videos except that they are perspectives that many have had trouble with, including myself; that i think that such a life as described here in your video(s) would be “boring” but perhaps oddly (or not oddly perhaps) pleasant all the same– something to look forward to. Monk out.

Hasan says:


In existential mathematics that experience takes the form of two basic equations: The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.
Milan Kundera, Slowness.

You may want to read Slowness by Kundera; very short and interesting novel!

I watched your video two times; and it’s quite hard to explain how much it resonated with me. I wish I had access to this information in my twenties. I’m now 30 and I still find this information quite amazing as I can see that it can directly influence some major decisions that I am going to take in future.

Your last few videos were so freaking awesome! Keep it up man!

Danny says:

Hi Leo,

I have A question about lifestyle and fulfilment.

See, I think it’s very probable that the happiest man on earth and the most depressed one, share what may look as almost the same lifestyle.

The most depressed one is probably some poor unemployed fellow with no property, no social life, no sex, and no reason to get out of bed in the morning.

The heppiest one may be a siddha living under a tree in India, with no work, no friends, and nothing to live for.

my question is, can the poor fellow become the happiest one, whiout making the journy of getting the things he thinks he needs, and learning the hard way that there is no fulfilment in them?

In other words, how can we disattach from something in a
non-self-munipulative way (“Oh, I am so spiritual now, I don’t really want money…” yada yada yada)?

Leo Gura says:

There’s some truth to that broadly speaking.

Although in practice, if you had enough wisdom to become a sage, you would have no problem furnishing yourself with the necessities of life. Success is WAY WAY easier than enlightenment.

Can the poor fellow do it? Technically yes, but practically no, because he has no sense of wisdom, knowledge, and self-efficacy — which is why he’s poor in the first place.

It’s best not to conflate material success with inner development at all. As soon as you create a link in your mind, it opens the doors all sorts of misguided logic.

You don’t need to be poor.

Ash says:

I love all your videos and your new subtitles are very good….. But 30 seconds into it they do say “your too hard dick” I don’t think that’s what you meant

Leo Gura says:

Those subtitles are automatically generated by Google algorithms via Youtube. I don’t create them. Don’t expect the algorithms to be accurate.

Mayur says:

Thank You Leo

George says:

Hey Leo,

You talk about minimising your relationships, and I can see how cultivating a few, great relationships is better than lots of crappy ones.

But I just got a girlfriend recently – Am I supposed to feel guilty about that? You said you had a girlfriend yourself at the beginning of the video.

I suppose the main question I’m asking is; Are some relationships important things to focus on in life, in addition to the seven key things you mentioned?

Leo Gura says:

You’re not supposed to do anything. You were merely given some ideas about what a profound lifestyle looks like.

Now it’s your job to reconcile that with your objectives for life.

Making yourself feel guilty isn’t necessary, and is in fact a sign of neurosis.

I see my girlfriend a few times per year.

There is no one right way to live.

George says:

Cheers Leo

Asaiah Powers says:

Leo,You once said that happiness is 50% genetic… how?Like how is ones psychology hereditary,are the instructions of a damaged or nerotic brain get passed on in our gametes somehow?Isnt it like in human nature to be egoic because it maximized the survival of our offspring more than other individuals in the past,but how to psychological ailments get passed on if it only diminishes ones ability to survive or find mates,are these ailments somehow being weeded out within the species?

Brandon says:

I hike a lot. Is that a hobby I have to give up?

Leo Gura says:

You don’t have to give up anything.

Some of you folks are taking my advice too thoughtlessly and too rigidly.

Brandon says:

Yeah, guess I am

Ross says:

Wouldn’t seeing a girlfriend few times a YEAR be too little time to spend energy on a relationship. Shouldn’t you see your partner once every week Leo…

Leo Gura says:

It’s a long distance relationship and that’s what we’ve decided upon.

I’m not saying your relationship needs to be the same.

Lindsay says:

You mention that contemplation/introspective is one of the seven essentials. How do we tell the difference between good contemplation/introspection and navel gazing, rumination, or other neurotic forms of thinking about oneself and ones life? I’m an INTP so I have no problem being introspective and analytical. But it doesn’t always seem to payoff.

Leo Gura says:

Yeah… that can be tricky business, contemplation.

I’m developing a course on how to reprogram your subconscious mind using various mental tricks, and how to contemplate fruitfully.

Jess says:

This is Monk again. Looking forward to those courses! Thanks again Leo. Till then, “no life’ is more than just here…

Sharon says:

Success may not mean fulfillment. Brilliant insight. Definitely agree 120%!!!!

I have hugely successful friend who is definitely the 1 percenter financially, yet my friend is not happy. The constant busy schedule until late night crashes one’s life spirit!

A few may thrive on constant working like the Trumps, most people need a balanced life! I myself learned the joy of slower pace and quiet time, from my former high pressure ambition.

Thank you Leo!!!!

Annie says:

This video is the solid brilliant insight I have never got from any other place!

Simply the best!

Leo, bro, your teaching is my bedrock for my thinking over life’s meaning!

Ryan says:

Hey Leo, but can I just ask though also this question that has been playing on my mind lately all the time.

What do you do if you have no money, and no food and you live alone (i am 19) , you’re highly ambitious, have a vision, SMART goals, and are highly strategic?

Do I go and find (I am currently trying daily) a 9-5 job in hospitality or a hotel again, even if it sucks my soul out, just to get capital? D:

Here in England there is hardly anything to do with deep meaningful work or opportunities like their is in the United States.

I hate the idea of being a victim, I have gone out there and taken full responsibility, I know it’s not determined by anyone else I am 100% responsible for the quality of how my life goes

BUT besides victim stuff, what legitimate options do I really have, I am trying to start my business, find a soul leaching job to live and buy food

I am a self help junkie now everyday chipping away but the no food or money is a real distraction and it makes me emotional and confused about what to do..

see this is why I want to self actualize more and move to freakin Canada eventually when I have the savings and more opportunity. England sucks for opportunity seriously : ) sigh!

No Food and bills rising are the cost of fully honoring my authentic self right now.

How can this be solved, I am 19, I used my 3 free education years on stupid art classes which I realized I hated afterwards..I have lists and lists all organised of my values, my strengths, my vision, my SMART goals, my short term strategies/plans

Yet I am still here with no money or even 9-5. shit, but is the 9-5 going to kill me on the inside 5/6 days a week, It’s necessary but I nobody will hire me right now, I have exhausted my entire town

These are my conflicting thoughts on a Minuit to Minuit basis when I feel stuck

This is when I feel secure ” Life is beautiful, I do not need anything besides food and my business, and self actualization” everything is just BEING and perfect just the way it is, look at those tree’s there, WOW”

You may think guys, “you’re a freakin weirdo” but I am just good at expressing my feelings through writing, always have been..

I feel confused and stuck, I am still self actualizing and doing the inner work though just no food, got lots bills, no money, no job

I love life, it’s perfect, yet at times like these my psychology is fundamentally FUCKED ..i have too much potential and I try but what?

Imma keep trying now, peace!

Leo Gura says:

England sucks for opportunity??

Tell that to Richard Branson or the many other self-made millionaires of England.

What a load of horse shit.

There are people all over the world who would give anything to have British opportunities and freedoms. With your kind of attitude, you wouldn’t succeed in America either.

Ryan says:

Damn, Leo Man. You hit me hard on this, it’s what I needed. it’s funny as I it is so rare for me to be pessimistic and that was the one and only day I was feeling like a stupid victim

Damn, I love my self and I am totally grateful after all to be in England as a British citizen, I mean, this makes me realize, wtf..I am in a great, awesome place now in my life for opportunity and that is why I am beginning in my business from here..

What was I thinking that day? D: Shiiit. I got the old job at the 5 star hotel back, Luton Hoo Hotel and now I can have the capital to live my dreams, nothing can stop me, I go ToastMasters International and a class and I am pretty much the most confident and outgoing speaker. Everybody knows me for my smile which doesn’t come off me

I love who I am! &I am so grateful for everything, Exponential growth is happening year after year. I can just see it now…

England I am sorry

peace friends! time to be a creator Leo! My attitude sucked that day Yes but now the real me is back on through pals!!

Brett Miller says:


Everything Leo said is right on here. He diagnosis an attitude problem, that’s for sure.

If you are anything like me (and especially as I was at your age), you are hopelessly stuck in content (of reality), being fueled by reaction, rather than source.

Sometimes (in my exp.) the breakthroughs occur when I succeed in “geting out of the way” so to speak, so that the real creation can take place, or seep out in short bursts. That’s the way true deep success feels, almost like I tricked some boss to shut the fuck up for a nanosecond, and that creates an opening to some kind of — fertile void. It took me a while to develop a taste for this, but the violence of ego still often drowns it in cacophonous noise floor.

Plus, the negative kind of ego/self survival program function can manifest in either polarity: Victim, or Victor.


Yann says:

Sorry to judge. Hope it helps: You love way too much to listen to yourself. You are a self-complaisant, egotic dreamer. Fix that first !

Yann says:

it was to Ryan

Alex Dail says:

If you understand us as being in a sense nothing do you see existence as having a broader purpose than experience? Stated differently, is awareness an end in itself or does awareness fulfill a greater purpose?

Ser says:

I’ve always had a very deep nature and have been very observant and sensitive. You’re talking about nature here, not about options. A shallow person will never get you. You show it to them but they don’t see it. It’s like trying to get them into the dream, but they just can’t fall asleep cause they can’t even sit for a moment. I read a comment of someone saying that when they sit in a plane they start thinking (cause maybe they ain’t got something better to do anyway) and she got into business to stop thinking. I was like wtf??? One should always be in contact with the self, otherwise you’re just sleepwalking through life. How can you just not stop? People are turning into zombies and then you wonder why the hell are there so many wars and terrorist attacks, and poverty and famine and all the shit that happens in the world? I recently made a research about the illegal organ trade and I am so in shock about what I came to learn and so emotional impacted about where this world is heading to and how low the consciousness can get. You just go to shop and people bump into you cause they just don’t see you, they are sleeping. Some live like those kids that watch TV while drooling on the couch, so damn unaware. What scares me is when the consciousness will get so low that this world will finish by destroying itself and there will be no one to stop it. I can only hope I won’t be here to see that happen. We are definitely going down. The misery and drama people create in their lives will end up destroying all the planet. There’s no turning back.

Mina says:

Hi Leo
My name is Mina Arroyo. I just want to tell you how much you have changed and impacted my life. I listen to you every single night as my daily personal development routine. (My boyfriend jokes about it saying “you going to bed with the other bald man tonight?” Lol )

Anyways as part of my 12 week fitness and mindset transformation program for my clients in Bikini Breakthrough, i require that they download 2 podcast, #1. Wayne dyer and #2.

I truly can’t wait to meet you someday. Please if you do any live seminars, I would love to come meet you!

Thank you for being so real and sharing your journey and knowledge on how to rock this awesome life.



Leo Gura says:


Nice website. I was in San Diego last weekend. Not for seminars, just for fun.

Mina says:


la Jolla cove is beautiful. right by me.

When are you doing a live seminar?

Leo Gura says:

I don’t do seminars.

Southern Cali has some great coral and fish stores.

Tina says:

Hey Leo,

Great video, & it really gives voice to the kind of lifestyle I’ve been living for a few years now.

Many years ago, I was into lots of socializing, spending lots of money on myself, clothes, cars, dinners out, etc.

Fast forward to recent years, and life is so much simpler, slower paced, & more quiet for me. This is due, in large part, to finding the Buddhist teachings & implementing them by meditating, questioning needs vs. wants, looking at the motivations behind doing things, and finally reviewing my life thus far & realizing that nothing that I’ve ever done socially or materially has ever brought lasting happiness or true self development.

Another wonderful result of this is that I’ve been out of debt for some time, I’ve been able to save money consistently by not wasting it on crap I don’t need, and I can do this without needing to have two jobs. I live in a costly area of the north-east, & because I don’t live large, I’m able to do it all on under $28,000 a year.

A life of inner peace allows so much freedom. I can attest to this! The more you reduce your dependence on externals for so-called happiness, the less you need to work/earn, & the more free time, less stress & happiness you will discover.

– Tina

Ahdriam says:

I remember the day I got out of the army, where at times you literaly don’t have one free minute a day. It was such an explosion of thrill and excitment I simply couldn’t walk on the street, I had to skip, the feeling of no obligation, no responsebility, no expectations, no future tasks that need to be considered.
Just watching the clouds and feeling the wind….
It sure would be great if all days where like that.

Mark says:

All your vids are incredible Leo, but this one…wow. So inspiring. It’s just pure gold. Truly life changing, man. I can’t thank you enough for your incredible insight and one hell of an important kick in the ass.

Ernest W says:


Around 23 minutes in, you mention about needing to say no when people come to you with distractions. It is a very strange phenomenon that I have noticed in life several times. I will give you some examples. Maybe there is a name for it?

Let’s say you are a smoker. I was at one time. If you smoke casually, and you take off a few days, nothing happens. As soon as I made a conscious decision to quit smoking, that’s when temptation set in. But here is the weird part. The temptation to pick up the habit again didn’t come from myself! It came from other people, even people I never knew, or coworkers I wasn’t normally friendly with. They offered me cigarettes! And I said no thank you. Call it what you will, it’s like some force was manipulating people around me to try to make me backslide.

I have seen this happen more recently with finances and business. I used to go out party a lot. There were times (this is related to your Lifestyle Minimalism video) when I really rather to stay home and relax but I felt like I had to maintain the relationship. I thought if I said no too many times I would not be invited after a while. So I would end up going out for a meal, drinks, etc. and spend more money than I planned.

Since starting a business, the money went out very fast, purchasing equipment, tools, etc. I found it to be impossible to get a loan or line of credit, so I had to purchase business expenses on personal credit cards. Now for two years I have been making an effort to live frugally (again, lifestyle minimalism) and focus on the business and paying off debt quickly.

Now here is where is gets strange again. Two years ago when I started the business and moved back home to save money, the behavior was normal. Now in the past two years the friends who I used to hang out with are more adamantly inviting me out to party for every little life celebration you can think of, turns into an all-night restaurant/bar-hopping binge. So I’ve had to say no to pretty much every invitation (couldn’t squeak out of the weddings, sadly). It just drains resources and takes so much time.

Would you believe the requests have not let up after 2 years of saying no 95% of the time? Maybe there is a name for this situation for when you try to quit a behavior and specifically external influences are drawn in to tempt you to backslide? I cannot think of any other way, unless I am just noticing it more. Maybe you can do a video about it?!

Leo Gura says:

That’s not some random force. That is YOU! That’s what your mind does! It finds sneaky ways to maintain homeostasis. It will change what you are aware of to bring the right things into your life to maintain the sense of identity you have. That’s what EGO is for. That’s it’s job.

There’s nothing external about it. It’s all internal really, when you look under the hood.

Raphael Miller says:

I like this video. I am used to being by myself, no friends, no relationships. Then I started getting some friends when I started developing myself. Now this video says to go back to not doing much. LOL Life is strange. I need to work always on just being cool by being by myself.

David says:

Hey Leo, I love this video and totally agree with lifestyle minimalism. But I think you take it too far when you talk about renouncing worldly life entirely. What about a scientist who develops cures for cancer and disease and who ends up benefiting millions of people? His work was a worldly pursuit so should he have renounced all that crap and spent his life in pursuit of enlightenment instead? I believe in more nuanced MIDDLE WAY in which we renounce everything except what is most meaningful to us personally.

Leo Gura says:

If you ever becoming conscious enough to realize that life is just a fictional story, you’ll understand. And you’ll have the biggest smile on your face.

Until then, you won’t. You’ll argue and resist like a stubborn mule being pulled to a glorious banquet.

Absolutely, the scientist should pursue enlightenment, as should everyone. Because it’s the only thing that’s real. Everything else is just silliness. Children playing games in the sandbox.

There is no person! There is no you! There is no meaning. Nothing personal is real. That’s just a hallucination from which you’re meant to wake up.

Martin says:

Careful Leo, you’re moralizing. Who knows what we are “meant to” or “not meant to” do?

Marlen says:

I’ve been watching your videos. I’ve been learning a lot. This one though has me scratching my head. In one video “how to get a bf” or “how to be attractive” you say to “get a life” and in this one you’re saying to not have a life. If having a life is attractive and attracts the opposite sex, then should we say that this video assumes that we don’t put s value on attractiveness or attracting the opposite sex? Or are you simply saying that they go hand in hand? Perhaps minimizing our lifestyle can also be attractive?


Leo Gura says:

This video deals with an issue far deeper and more important that mere attraction.

But also, having a minimalized life IS having a great life. And it will be attractive to developed people.

Do you want to date a guy who’s busy 24/7, running around doing stupid stuff? Or a guy who has all shit handled and basically has free time to connect and relate with you and it’s distracted by anything else?

Marlen says:

Good point Leo. Thanks for the clarification, insight, and for all your amazing videos!

Bernardo says:

Hi irmao, i relate the letting go of carnal cravings and a bunch of distractions because the same as you, my life gravitaded towards that and a very strong sense that life is NOT a business is within myself.
It remembered the section of depression on The Road Less Traveled on Scott Peck’s book which goes on the “withdraw” sintoms (depression itself) and gives a list of outdated visions on reality to give up on life. The self is the last item on the list.
Im only 19, but it must be hard as fuck go to a path of excellence and recognition and renounce that but not your general purpose with the world, good luck with that situation. Thanks for the content. We’ll still meet one day and I assure you that it will of value and not take much of your time heheh cheers

Ed says:

Hi Leo,

I believe you’ve mentioned that you have a girlfriend. I’m curious how you are able to determine if this type of romantic relationship is a distraction or a tool that helps with self actualization (or somewhere in between). In this video you suggest extracting ourselves from most of our relationships. Is it possible to fit this strategy with having a life partner? Is it possible that a life partner can help with fulfillment and not become an unnecessary source of attachment?

Thanks for all of your insights.


Eve says:

You are great

Daniel says:

Hey Leo,

I really understanding what you’re saying here but have one concern.

Most of my life I’ve had difficulties with my passion, and sticking with it. I have this tenacity, and drive to be a Fitness Instructor but have emotional doubts to achieve it. You could say my people skills lack to some degree, only because I believe I see the world more spiritually and its hard to fit with the crowd. I’m afraid if I were to take on my passion, I’m just going to fall flat on my face.

So my question is, would it be right to be in a comfotable, mundane job and not be challenged, or follow meditation, being, and spiritual enlightenment, ect?

Daniel says:

What I really want to do is Travel!!! I want to see as many countries as possible, but the jobs I do are basic 9 to 5 day jobs that that make me angry and frustrated. I could be focusing more on changing the world with my passion through my job but always find excuses, and I always say I want to travel, and get a working visa in a foreign country.

Daniel says:

And, not or.

Kristy says:

I have just started watching your videos and I am so inspired by them. Thank you for sharing everything that you have learned. I have a question about this one in particular. You say to limit social events, friends, family. Isn’t human connection, sense of community, and helping others important? Am I taking this the wrong way? please clarify for me. Thank you!

Pablo says:

Just something anecdotical: yesterday (14-11-201 I complete watching this video. This morning I had a dream where I was planning my funeral, and somebody ask me what kind of flowers do I want for my coffin. This really shoking me, because put me in perspective all the meaning of useless activities in my life, and how much time I wasted on drugs, games, porn, and be lazy.

I want to thank you so much for this incredible job and your brutal sincerity.
Pd: I have 3 month practicing meditation every day, and is really good, that I recomended for every of my friends now.


gentoo says:

hi leo

many thanks for all your videos! watched a few of them and they are life-changing!

beginning of 2018 i embraced minimalism so got rid of lots of my possessions until there comes a point where you are wasting time obsessing over what things you should keep in your life – so it is possible to get to a point where you have minimised enough in terms of possessions, which i have done.

harder for me was to try to let go of the desire to ‘improve’, to stop searching for something to change my life.

also another thing i am trying to let go of is to stop looking for the ‘best’, ‘more efficient’ way of working – at the end of the day, you just need to be aware enough to know what the important things are and to do them – believe me you can waste a huge amount of time trying to be more efficient when actually the most efficient thing to do is to identify the most important things and to get them done.

a few weeks before i even became aware of your great website, a while ago i decided that in 2019 i needed to do 3 things – stop watching tv (except for dvds occasionally), stop going on the computer (and internet) at home – initially just for a year. this will generate the space i need to meditate, contemplate and slow life down, learn to enjoy life again.

i can’t remember how but stumbled on your website and your videos just basically confirm for me to live a more actualised life, thanks so much.

gentoo says:

i can also recommend your video on addictions, i have also decided not to eat after supper every night and to eat smaller portions. i know that 2019 will be interesting because i will be able to sit and experience what life is like not reacting to all my cravings, to see them all as just thoughts and see what is truly meaningful in my life.

i also have had periods where i haven’t watched the news (or looked up any headlines) that has also been amazing – it allows you to just know the essentials – if it directly affects your life then trust me you will get to hear about it – it shows you that 99% of what is in the news is meaningless – not to say that all things are – obviously all the tragedies that happen aren’t and not to say that you can’t do what you can i.e. donate money or whatever.

another thing is buying less – for me this is more ‘food’ than anything else because i am a minimalist, thinking why do we buy things. in the past i have been addicted to buying lots of books or looking for articles on the internet on how to live a better life etc

i spend enough time on the computer at work, why do i need to be doing that at home?

re tv/internet – there is so much stuff out there – it would take you lifetimes to do it all – better to ‘find’ yourself (i.e. live a more mindful life and do the things that YOU want to do – it is an ongoing process, you never actually arrive as such) and THEN you can decide what you actually want in your life. beware of technology – i don’t have a smartphone – hopefully never will have to – simple is best, people close to you matter.

Riyaaz says:

Leave entertainment? well. I know that doesn’t fulfill me completely but…. every now and then it makes me happy temporarily at least.

Jacek says:

It occurs spontaneously as one’s consciousness grows more and more. But it comes via deep understanding and not via repressing or rejecting distractions and stupidities. If it doesn’t drop naturally, it means you not ready yet.

Dmitri says:

I am wondering if the purpose of life would be to remove all the military all over the world,then we don’t spend so much money on taxes and we just can give everybody a certain amount to cover those basic needs to get trancedential as soon as possible.How do you make a business plan for this ?

teenager says:

Why am I failing to sacrifice my external stimulation for being?

Why am I failing to do physical minimalism in my life while I am alive?

Why am I failing to do lifestyle minimalism in my life while I’m in autistic school!

Why am I failing to write on paper without worrying about saving money

Why do I feel regretful about my past inevitably no matter how much I meditate!

Why did I impulsively throw something expensive after I lost all my patience

no matter how long I sit alone isolated in silence

Obeying Leo’s instructions in Overcoming addiction

Why do I feel mostly unfulfilled no matter

Why do I always do things too much too fast

Why am I addicted to listening to inevitably naturally humorous boys more young

than me

no matter how many hours I

sit alone

do nothing

in pure silence

in pure isolation


I obey Leo’s instructions of

Overcoming addiction

teenager says:

What is minimalism

What is non duality What is premature birth What is generation What is an ego

What is confidential What is confidence What is withdrawal What is withdrawal

symptoms What are symptoms What is discernment What is discerning What is a

question What are problems What is an excuse What is deception What is sleep

What is laziness What is enlightenment What is being wise What is a bargain

What is wasting What is being wasteful What is judgement What is anonymity

What is ambiguous what is a language What is an alphabet What Is empty What

is full What is comfort What is opinion What is constructive What is construction

What is influence What is influencing What is power What is weakness What is a

hinderence What is a burden What is stimulation What is a positive addiction

teenager says:

What is virginity What is birth What is a gene What is relation What is blood

What is physical What is abstract What is tangible What is intangible What is age

What is better What is worse What is healthy what is teaching what is i


Genius man says:



















































Max Gron says:

I’m only happy to simplify my itinerary and not be indoors so much, without the doing nothing, it’s useful that there’s a time for your thinking and a time to be doing, but doing nothing? That’s asking for laziness, to which my dad will kick my arse. No, I don’t agree with “just being”, I’m “addicted” to Leo’s crap of inactivity, doing nothing, I say no, I should just be doing less, and along the line I should be exceedingly busy handwriting in my A4-sized notebook. No, I don’t agree with this being, if I was just being I would be nothing, I wouldn’t have me what I did in my flat a long time ago, spending late nights writing philosophy, no, this isn’t the answer, I was always being something, I always stood for something, I’m not some waste of breath sitting there lazy, and I’m not a waste of space filling up people’s time, I’m a hectic human being, taking that away would be a nightmare. I should be only spending time in the suburbs where it’s not so crowded drinking my coffee, then taking that to Dudley Park at the Greek shop eating hot chips and drinking iced tea, and I should be at the chicken shop as according to my plastic fantastic Madison Avenue mobile phone itinerary eating hot chips and drinking a secret stash of wine, and I should go to Wendy’s drinking a cold drink from the milk bar, with the exception that it’s non-dairy.

Max the Know better says:

Now that I changed my life over the years, this inordinary lifestyle is great, 5 years after this comment I’ll tell Leo all about my contemplative lifestyle he talked about and I won’t regret it. He’s giving all you want, rather that you lack, in an alternative lifestyle. My life currently is too much distractions from busyness, fast pace and confusion and success, in writing, drinking takeaway coffee and going out for pasta, and that sort of stuff like a mouse in a wheel, the same things, every week, fortnight or 2 months, it’s not getting anywhere. I should go out less, do less, and live this way of Leo’s lifestyle, not much of watching movies with popcorn, and live such a life, that’s the period from now to my death, it’s actually sad in comparison to seeing the big names, going to restaurants and holidaying far from home when, to save money, my holidays should be done at home, then I’ll have more fun.

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