Tiny Buddha By [post_author_posts_link]

Today I’m very happy to feature Lori Deschene. Lori is the founder of the hugely popular blog, TinyBuddha.com, and she has just released a book called Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions. I have read the book and can honestly say it’s one of the best books I have read this year – it’s insightful, personal and practical. I have two hard copies of the book to give away, but first I would like to share with you an interview I recently did with Lori:

1. What led you to write this book?

I run Tiny Buddha as a community blog, and I’ve published posts from more than 175 people over the last two years. The posts often explore similar themes—purpose, happiness, change, love, and uncertainty.

I wanted to write this book around those themes, because those are the topics that are relevant to all of us, regardless of our differences. In fact, they’re what unite us. No matter who we are, no matter where we’re from, no matter what religion we follow or what politics we support, we all deal with the same universal challenges.

Much like the community has made the site what it is, readers shaped this book. I started by asking nine questions on Twitter, including: What’s the meaning of life? Do you need money to be happy? How can we live each day to the fullest?

Then I wrote the book around those responses, exploring scientific, psychological, and sociological research to support those ideas and also including stories from my life.

My hope is that Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions helps readers discover the answers that are right for them individually. There are very few concrete answers in this world; there’s just so much we don’t know. Still, we can live mindful, happy, connected lives based on what we do know.

2. One of the things I love about your book is that it includes your personal story. What has your experience been with being so open about your struggles?

So far, the experience has been rewarding and just plain amazing. It felt liberating to open up about some of my struggles, and to know that I’ve been able to help people not just in spite of them, but also because of them.

3. You devote one chapter of the book to ‘Change’. What advice do you have for people who want to change their life?

My main advice is to develop incredible self-awareness.

That starts with understanding what causes resistance within you. You may be holding on to limiting beliefs about what you can do—or what you should do. These are subconscious ideas that can prevent you from doing things differently, or lead to self-sabotage.

For example, I used to hold a belief that if I showed people who I really was, they would reject me—which meant I shut down around other people for years, despite saying I wanted to develop strong friendships.

It also helps to identify the payoff in staying the same—why you keep doing what you’ve always done even though you say you want something different. It could be that you’re giving in to instant gratification, or it could be something much deeper.

Maybe you’re scared of failing, or rather scared of succeeding. If you understand why you’re resistant, it will be easier to dispute the thoughts that keep you stuck.

Lastly, take it one tiny step at a time—and be sure every day entails at least one. Focus on creating consistency and making progress, not being perfect or achieving a specific outcome. It might not seem like change is happening, but if you take it one step at a time and keep moving forward, even if you stumble occasionally, it is.

4. Blog posts, tweets, status updates….there is no shortage of advice on the Internet. Is all this information really helping people?

I believe it helps us at times and hinders us at others. It all depends on why we’re turning to our gadgets for advice, how willing we are to read and then disconnect to access our own intuition, and whether or not we utilize the two by choosing to act on them.

The web can definitely be overwhelming. But it’s not the overabundance of information that paralyzes us; it’s that we sometimes use it as a crutch to avoid looking within and honoring what we find.

The good news is that in an information-overloaded world, we have abundant opportunities to practice seeking the knowledge we need and then stepping away to reflect and take action.

5. Thanks for the interview Lori! Is there anything else you would like readers of The Change Blog to know?

I’d love to tell readers about the “Life’s Hard Questions” contest, which I’m running until January 15,2012. Anyone can enter by submitting a photo of themselves displaying the hardest question in their life at lifeshardquestions.com.

The winners will be chosen at random, though there will be a special prize for the most creative. The prizes include a Canon DSLR camera, two Kindles, and 10 free copies of my book. It’s just another opportunity for people to get involved and share a little of themselves.

Really, that’s what Tiny Buddha is all about: It’s a place where people come together to share what they’ve learned and learn from each other.

Readers can read more about me and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions at http://tinybuddhabook.com.

Thank you Peter!

Book Giveaway

I have two copies of Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions to give away. If you would like to be eligible to win please leave a comment below, tweet this post or share on Facebook.

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.