As time allows, I'll be writing short essays, accompanying the sixty tips. I'm closing in on sixty tips, and if it weren't for the contributions of some good friends, I'd have quite a bit fewer. So if any reader has some suggestions, please do let me know.

Here's a preliminary list of some of the tips, to be elaborated on soon. Some of these will have staying power, others won't. But they all seem worthy of clarification, deeper thinking, and illustration. 

Which one work for you? Please let me know or comment here!


1. Routines matter but don't take them too seriously.

2. Work hard to stay loose.

3. Gratitude trumps remorse.

4. Start simplifying now.

5. Accept the reality that there are many things that you just will not experience.

6. Make sure that you have the experiences and opportunities that are most important to you.

7. Try some experiences and opportunities that are totally new and different.

8. Find a way to balance serving your community and taking care of yourself.

9. Take great pleasure in feeling well.

10. Find the right balance between what you choose and what chooses you.

11. Balance urgency and patience.

12. Balance tenderness and boldness.

13. Why be encumbered?

14. Walk whenever possible.

15. "Cross the river by feeling for the stones" Confucius

16. Spend a few minutes each day contemplating the meaning of time.

17. When you are feeling most alive, contemplate the meaning of death.

18. Always observe the natural world.

19. Trace your pace.

20. Maximize the time you spend with people you really care about.

21. There is no longer any need to prove yourself.

22. "The gift must always move" Lewis Hyde

23. Only worry about things that really matter.

24. Balance your aerobic capacity with the flexibility of your joints.

25. Be open minded.

26. "You can't step into the same river twice" Heraclitus

27. Remember that you forget.

28. Be ready for unexpected challenges.

29. Recalibrate your anxieties.

30. Money is a measure of exchange, nothing more and nothing less.

31. "Look through any window" The Hollies

32. "Take great delight in the ordinary" Gary Snyder

33. "Indifference too the sublime wonder of living is the root cause of sin." Abraham Joshiua Heschel

34. Zoom in and out.

35. Balance your mind and heart.

36. Invest in social capital

37." Influence is better than power" Mark Van Putten

38. "Structure supports spontaneity." Mark Van Putten




Mitch Thomashow

Thomashow devotes his life and work to promoting ecological awareness, sustainable living, creative learning, improvisational thinking, social networking, and organizational excellence. Currently he is engaged in teaching, writing, and executive consulting, cultivating opportunities and exchanges that transform how people engage with sustainability and ecological learning. In August, 2011 Thomashow became Director of the Second Nature Presidential Fellows Program. This new program is designed to assist the executive leadership of colleges and universities in promoting a comprehensive sustainability agenda on their campuses. Fellows provide executive consulting on climate action planning, long-range financial planning, organizational leadership, curricular implementation, and community investment. From 2006-2011, Thomashow was the president of Unity College in Maine. With his management team, he integrated concepts of ecology, sustainability, natural history, wellness, participatory governance, and community service into all aspects of college and community life. This included construction of The Unity House, the first LEED Platinum President’s Residence in North America, and the TeraHaus, a passive house student residence, as well as comprehensive campus energy planning, an integrated approach to growing food on campus, and a new academic master plan. Previously from 1976-2006, Thomashow was the Chair of the Environmental Studies program at Antioch University New England. He founded an interdisciplinary environmental studies doctoral program and worked collaboratively to grow and nourish a suite of engaging Masters programs, geared to working adults. Thomashow is the founder of Whole Terrain, an environmental literary publication, originating at Antioch University New England, and “Hawk and Handsaw,” a journal of creative sustainability, published at Unity College. He serves on the boards of Orion Magazine and The Coalition on Environmental and Jewish Life (COEJL). Thomashow is a founding organizer of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD), a national organization that supports interdisciplinary environmental studies in higher education. He provides ongoing consultation to the Sustainable Endowments Institute and their new Billion Dollar Green Challenge program. His two books have significantly influenced environmental studies education. Ecological Identity: Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist (The MIT Press, 1995) offers an approach to teaching environmental education based on reflective practice—a guide to teachers, educators and concerned citizens that incorporates issues of citizenship, ecological identity, and civic responsibility within the framework of environmental studies. Bringing the Biosphere Home, (The MIT Press, 2001) is a guide for learning how to perceive global environmental change. It shows readers that through a blend of local natural history observations, global change science, the use of imagination and memory, and philosophical contemplation, you can learn how to broaden your spatial and temporal view so that it encompasses the entire biosphere. His essay (2010), “The Gaian Generation: A New Approach to Environmental Learning” provides provocative new concepts for teaching about global environmental change. Another essay (2012) “Where You At 2.0” reasserts the relevance of bioregionalism for digital age learners. A recent essay (2013),“Sustainability as Turnaround” is a case study of his work as president at Unity College. with mandolin.png His new book, The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus (The MIT Press) provides a framework for advancing sustainable living and teaching in a variety of campus environments. It will be available in January, 2014. Thomashow is currently working on two writing, networking, and teaching projects. Improvisational Excellence suggests that improvisation emulates the patterns and processes of the biosphere. It’s a series of essays linking play, music, and observing nature to the paths of everyday living. It is the philosophical basis for Thomashow’s workshops on global environmental change, music and nature, and ecological perception. Wilson’s Library is a series of prose poems depicting extraordinary moments during the history of life on earth. Thomashow lives in the hill country of southwest New Hampshire in the shadow of Mount Monadnock. He loves to explore the fields, forests, wetlands, hills, and lakes of Northern New England where you can often find him on his bicycle. His recreational interests include basketball, baseball, board games, jazz piano, electronic keyboards, musical composition and recording, guitars, hiking, and lake swimming.