what are the zenhabits?

To best understand the concept and ideas behind ZenHabits.com — perhaps we should first dissect its component parts.


Zen is.

Zen is not a religion.

And, really, it is not even a philosophy per se.

Zen might be best regarded as an experiential awareness and personal awakening designed to emphasis one’s personal intuition, strengthened via deep reflection, meditation and with an ever-present appreciation for unity — all, without judgement.

[Learn more about the history of Zen here on wikipedia.]

Habit, the word, derives from the Latin root, Habitus meaning condition and / or character.

So, when you consider the significance of the origin and meaning of HABIT, you quickly realize habit is both responsible for what we are (at this present moment AND our results) that is, the quality of our character (at this moment).

Consider how you are regarded by your peers and it can only be a REFLECTION of your repetitive choices, actions (thoughts) and behaviors (HABITS).

Of course, there is no single ‘thing’ more responsible for your individual, enduring success than habit.

BTW: For a deep and helpful investigation of habit you may find it worthwhile to check out, The Habit Factor (book). There are iOS and Android apps with the same name to help you develop supportive Habits for your Goals.

The Combination:  =  ZenHabits.com

/ [fu·sion/ˈfyo͞oZHən/]

Noun: The process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity (unity).
So, what are we left with when we fuse the two words, ideas and concepts together?


Like Zen itself, this result ought to remain as fluid as possible. So, when this name, concept and idea of “zenhabits” originally sprang forth (way back in 2005) what it meant and what i’d hoped it would represent and stand for was the embodiment of Zen coupled with the mindful crafting of those Zen-like habits. These would be habits of THOUGHT (first) then, of course, supportive behaviors.

Interestingly enough, there are always a few seemingly “hard-line” Zen folks (note: the irony of course is Zen is anything but “hard-line”) who think these two terms/words (Zen and Habits) can not or should not be together. They might tell you (as though they are the guardian of the English language) that Zen is about mindfulness and to couple it with the word and concept like Habit (mindlessness) is silly (if not stupid).

The rebuttal: (if i must)

ZEN THRIVES WITHIN PARADOX. Lao Tzu once said, “Find the paradox, find the truth.” It’s paradox that uncovers and highlights unity. So, it is entirely fitting to put these two concepts together based upon that idea alone. However, there is much more to it. Consider for a moment that to mindfully craft a habit that will support you mindlessly is, in many ways, the ultimate mastery of the human condition.

A contemporary and famous author recently shared with me that he didn’t “believe” in habit. I suggested to him that I’d like to say I don’t believe in the moon, however, it does exist— and, so too, does HABIT. To discount or try to ignore HABIT— a reality that is responsible for more than half of our daily AND therefore lifetime behaviors would be fairly dangerous.

Therefore, you might want to regard the concept of ZENHABITS.com as an ideal destination for personal fulfillment and awakening. That is, the mindful development of habits that carry one effortlessly toward their life’s objectives, goals and desires.

Did someone just said, “Zen should have no goals!”

Sounds like another great paradox. For those of you clinging to a “no goals” philosophy, just realize that to have no goal is to have a goal.

Humans are goal achievement beings and it is through this mechanism that we serve our fellow humans! Don’t be seduced by this fallacy of a life without goals. If you are following someone who puports a life of bliss without goals — I would first recommend you inspect their own work carefully and my guess is you’d find it replete with examples of goal achievement. Just guessing…

More:  Understanding ZenHabits.com
(the original—zenhabits)

Be like Water…..
When you consider our human nature and nature itself— it’s very hard to ignore the significance that WATER plays in our world and life. And, upon further review, what you are likely to notice is that the highest and most notable Zen traits very closely mirror those of our most valuable and notable natural element— WATER. H2O = 2-H, 1-0 (2.1)

To be Zen-like is to embody the characteristics (the habits) of water.

Water and Zen are:

balancedadjusts to pressure/ environmental influence always finds equanimity. perfect ph balance
it’s strength on a molecular level and supernatural level is legendary
water always find a way. relentless and persistent
soft – very soft
no harsh edges (how’s your character hard/rigid?)
transparent –
truth is always ultimately apparent. clarity provides focus
slowcan move quickly but it’s nature is slow, steady
deliberateno confusion of it’s intentions
consistentwater always behaves in the same manager
formlessadapts to surroundings. is flexible and malleable… gas, liquid, solid
naturaldoes not try to be anything other than it’s own true nature
cohesive – it’s sticky and strongest when bounded with like substance. recognizes the value of teamwork
solvent – simply known within science as the universal solvent
effortless – may be the most powerful and persistent natural force yet accomplishes everything with natural ease

The Original • ZenHabits.com
(be like water. since 2005)



“The only true aristocracy is that of consciousness.”  ~D.H. Lawrence