Behind the idea of Fewer Better Things

How to Design Mindful Living in Harmony with People, Planet, and Technology

Thanks to everyone that supported the successful launch of the first Wednesday edition. It’s encouraging to see so many people interested in Fewer Better Things and the idea of designing mindful living in harmony with people, planet, and technology.

So what’s behind these very powerful words?

I define mindfulness as knowing who you are and why you are here – the two most important but also hardest questions we can ask and only answer ourselves. It’s when we know who we are and why we are here that we can create meaningful purpose in life. A person with these qualities is unbeatable; every fall only results in a stronger rise and resurrection.

And being in harmony with…

People means that we create healthy boundaries between ourselves, people, and society. Boundaries that we have to constantly enforce to make it clear who we are and why we are here. But it also means that whatever we pursue in life we should be conscious of the potential effects it can have on ourselves, people, and society. After all, we are part of something bigger than ourselves – humanity.

Planet means that we are aware of our negative impact on nature and just like Yvon Chouinard’s quote in the latest Wednesday edition, that we try to cause as little harm on our environment as humanly possible. It’s a new filter for many people, to also take nature into consideration when we make decisions. But we have to if we want our kids and grandkids to experience Mother Earth as we were fortunate enough to do.

Technology means having a clear strategy why and how we use these relatively new and extremely powerful tools. The digital revolution ushered in an era of never before experienced personal freedoms and access to everything. But there are many negative side-effects that we need to be aware of to navigate this new brave world successfully. Even the big tech companies are aware of these despite publicly holding onto their old mantra: “we just build the technology and are not responsible for how it’s used”.

Access to everything

So in a world where we can have everything and anything, we need to make choices, probably more choices than any other generation before us ever had to face. Are we physically and mentally equipped to make all these daily decisions? I don’t know, I just know that when I turn down the noise and turn up the music I feel much better.

“Deep and simple are far, far more important than shallow and complicated and fancy.” – Mr Rogers

The outside world can only offer us what’s shallow and complicated and it’s our own responsibility to create what’s deep and simple in our lives. If we outsource this to corporations we become lost. As much as I love what Patagonia is doing, it is I who create the real meaning when I’m using, reusing, and recycling their products.

Shit happens, deal, and move on

In the end of the day, we are the only gatekeepers for what we allow into our lives. And everything that happens to us just happens to us and it’s not who we are or why we are here. Shit happens, we manage to our best abilities, and then we move on courageously. Time heal all wounds as our brains create new neural pathways when we accept and let go. Every emotion is temporary and just energy in motion.

Simple words but hard to live by, right.

But this is not a publication about finding yourself. I’ll leave that to you and the self-proclaimed gurus and self-help coaches across the world. My mission is to conduct and share experimental and experiential research around how self-awareness, sustainability, and digital technologies change how we work, live, and learn.

On the verge of a massive revolution

We are only in the beginning of a tremendous revolution in digital technologies with extraordinary opportunities for humanity. Bigger than anything we have ever experienced before and with a little perspective and some inspirational examples I think we together can navigate the positives and the negatives successfully.

My story is simple: I worked for 15+ years in Silicon Valley, got tired and bored, went traveling and lecturing across the world, returned five years later to settle down in a surf shack by the beach to live my long-lost dream and to continue to explore and share my ideas and insights of the present future and technology. Nada más.

Experiential research that matters

I’ve worked with a lot of “experts” who study and talk but I actually do real hands-on research, experiential experiments, and then I share. Everything I talk or write about I have tried, from sustainable clothing and cryptocurrencies to living nomadically across the world. It’s not just an opinion, everything originates from real experience.

But let’s make it clear, I’m on this quest by curiosity and not righteousness. I’m not proposing the way, just one way of many possible ways. I’m not making judgements or arguing for a higher moral ground or virtue, just having fun exploring all the fewer better things in the world and trying to stay away from the lesser or potentially damaging. It’s the search for real lasting quality over quantity in everything.

So if you’d like weekly inspiration, tips, and tools on how to design mindful living in harmony with people, planet, and technology, subscribe today for the price of a single coffee for a monthly subscription or even better, subscribe yearly (40% off) for the price of a t-shirt.

Fewer Better things is now my full-time gig with two newsletters per week and a book in the making. Good research takes time and focus as does good writing. Thanks for your support.

Sunny greetings,

Per Håkansson

Encinitas, California