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The Little Book of Contentment: A Guide to Becoming Happy with Life and Who You Are, While Getting Things Done

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  904 ratings  ·  76 reviews
One of the most important things I’ve learned in the last 7 years has been how to find contentment.

It’s been a long journey, but I’ve enjoyed it. I struggled with feeling bad about my body, feeling insecure about myself, doubting my abilities to make it without an employer, doubting myself as a writer, not believing I had discipline or the ability to change my habits.

And a
ebook, 112 pages
Published May 2013
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  904 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
If you have read anything on the subject of contentment before, you will quite likely find this book a bit full of waffle and twaddle. The text repeats itself quite a bit, and most of the action steps boil down to 'noticing how you feel'. The contents of the entire book could be summed up in five words: Stop making yourself feel bad. Well, that's easier said than done, which is why there are so many books available on the topic. Still, there are a few nuggets of gold here, and anyone with a norm ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a lovely little free e-book from Leo Babauta, the creator of Zen Habits and one of my favourite simplicity/mindfulness bloggers.

I struggle with contentment in various areas of my life, particularly FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), and Babauta's book has given me some great insights into how to deal with various levels of discontent, including many mini mindfulness exercises. I really enjoyed the re-cap of certain sections at the end, and the inclusion of blog readers' questions in a Q&A secti
Mathew Blackburn
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's the secular version of Buddhism. You're unhappy because you cling to things and vices. Pretty common sense stuff to me, but some people may find it useful. ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every now and then, we all need to get out of our own heads and get over ourselves. Sometimes a little book like this can coach us on how to notice and release our internal judgments, comparisons, ideals, fantasies and expectations.
Sean Goh
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read. Implement. Enjoy.

Reasons for unhappiness:
not trusting yourself
judging yourself (comparing to unrealistic ideals)

And that way, you can offer yourself to the world and do great works in the world, but not necessarily need that to be happy.
Even if for some reason, your work was taken away from you, you would still have that contentment.
notice your fantasies.

Love your body, all of it, without judgement, unconditionally.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to do things that are healthy — eat hea
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
I must say that I was somewhat excited about this little book ... the subject matter, contentment, is a battle that I constantly fight ... and lose. And it infuriates me when all these so-called "teachers" can seem to tell you to do to is just to be content ... what the heck does that mean! And okay smarty-pants, how do you do it!!! So I was so excited about this book that I pushed it ahead of about 10 other books that I had already lined up and waiting in the wings ... I was prepared to be WOW' ...more
Mario Tomic
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book on balancing self-improvement with being content with what you have now. The authors is Leo from ZenHabits and if you've been following his stuff for a while you know he always delivers in value. This book is available for free to download at and it's truly a life changer. The ideas from the book will give you a very clear understanding how to find that happiness with yourself while still working hard to achieving more. I won't go too deep into be ...more
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I already knew and liked Leo's writing, so I was not surprised to like this book as well. Some parts of it are a bit too zen for me - such as the "the other person isn't the problem" thing - I guess it will take me several decades to reach this level of detachment - that is, if I will ever reach it (which I seriously doubt). But most of the book is more down to earth and I found a series of good advice in it, as well as several "techniques" that I already use, although I didn't actually realize ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is a refreshing summary of quite a few books on the topic of relationships (with others and self). Depending on what you are working on in your life some parts will jump out more than others; for me, it what stood out most were the references to co-dependency, and the book "I'm OK, you're OK".

As a stand-alone book, it is probably a bit superficial (by design), but when combined with other books on the topics touched, it is a priceless asset!
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Leo is a life-changer! Even though he writes in the self-help genre he is never preachy, patronizing or annoying. He is on the journey with you, because "we are all learning." There is a lot of good material in this book to guide you on your path to contentment. Much of the content will be familiar if you are a zenhabits follower. ...more
Jessi Payne
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. I loved every page of this book.

Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it
you can read this book here:

The Little Book of Contentment

Contentment is just an interesting topic. The writer emphasizes the idea that the roots of our problem come from discontent with ourselves. There will always an aspect in our life where we discontent and unhappy about, and the essence of this book really talking about the key problem associated with discontent:

1. an ideal or fantasy we are holding onto
2. Unhappiness with who we are
3. Lack of trust or confidence in ourselves
4. Seeking happ
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Very insightful collection of guidelines on how to become happier with yourself and those around you. Although I don't believe they're as easy to implement in your daily life as the author thinks. That said I highly recommend it to anyone that feels overwhelmed with FOMO and the feeling that life isn't fulfilling enough ...more
Shawn Mcdowell
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Little Book of Contentment

This short ebook is a must read for anyone who truly is wanting to make a real change in themselves. I have learned a lot from this ebook and I am happier for it.
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great little read. Helped me to look differently at some things especially how I judge myself harshly. I also realized that I don’t always know I’m being discontent, this book opened my eyes to many ways we express our discontentment.
Emily Waterman
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very soothing book! I recommend picking up K. Neff's "Self-Compassion" for a more detailed look at this topic, then listen to this book for another take. ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-health, 2017
Short & sweet little book. This is one I think will be a good reference tool from time to time to remind me to be more kind/patient with myself (and others)
Oleg Paralyush
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The most actionable approach to live a happy life.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Light read, enjoyable and essential.

Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A one to revisit
Navya Agarwal
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is a good book. Read it when you feel depressed and you are definitely going to find a way. Overall, it a quite satisfying read. :)
Christian Jespersen
A great little reminder

Definitly a book worth reading.

Like a pocket friend who teminds you about all the great things you have in life.
Maria Andreina
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, simple and practical

I loved this book. It’s easy to read and has specific exercises that you can do to work on yourself.
3.5 stars
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
A quick read about contentment. Nothing too extraordinary, just a reminder that it is important to live in the moment and be content with whatever we have.
Stephen Heiner
Leo is this great balance of GTD (getting things done) and zen. Normally we think of these things as opposed, but Leo gives us an example of someone who can be organized and check things off a list, all while not letting the list run his life or overwhelm him.

I'm starting to allow Kindle to suggest books to me, as it has enough history to figure out what I like and don't, and this was a good suggestion, so thanks, machine!

The start of the book sums up what this book is about and the fruit you mi
Dominika Górska
The easiest possible (and free) read about finding happiness. Full with simple rules but if trying them out the results will surprise you! I will definitely read more from this author. I liked it. 4/5
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book a few years ago and gave it four stars. At the time I forgot to write a review, but I re-read it this week, so here's one now. ;-)

A small word of caution: this book is more or less a compilation of blog posts, so the writing style is more similar to a blog than a regular book. In some places in the book, this reads a bit weird.

Aside from that, I thought this book contained some wonderful advice for life. Sometimes you have to read through a few pages of examples (or repetitions)
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Babauta reminds us "that we are all learning"; don't take others' actions personally. The other person is never the problem, but rather our reaction and action based on that reaction. Give your reaction some space.

A solid relationship is 2 whole people coming together because they like each other's company.
Each is happy and love themselves first. Don't look to the relationship to make you whole.

Skills of contentment: awareness, acceptance, let go of comparison, compassion, appreciation, love y
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderful free e-book by Leo Babauta, who explains freely how to be more content in life. A step-by-step book trying to explain where discontent comes from, and how you can reach contentment even (especially!) when things are not going the way you'd like them to go.

Babauta - in his book - actually gives a summary of Buddhist and Zen teachings about the misconception we have of our 'self' which blocks us to reach happiness/contentment. Also, he tackles the question how to attain contentment and
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Leo Babauta is a simplicity blogger and author. He created Zen Habits, a Top 25 blog (according to TIME magazine) with 260,000 subscribers,, and the best-selling books focus, The Power of Less, and Zen To Done.

Babauta is a former journalist of 18 years, a husband, father of six children, and in 2010 moved from Guam to San Francisco, where he leads a simple life.

He started Zen Habits to

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