Walking the talk, practicing what you preach – these platitudes are so common, they have become rather ridiculous. And yet, especially in these social-media/personal-brand times, it is very necessary not just to talk and tell others about a concern, but to lead by example. To bring yourself into the story.

Bloggers and writers, however, have recently been engaged in all too many stunts. – Living ethically, with “zero” impact, or simply performing the personal development-staples of learning a language to self-proclaimed fluency in three months and similar great successes and even world records … with all the attention going to the loudest voices, it seems as if there were all too much activism, and no real action, or all too much action, but little purpose and meaning.

Even the person who tried such an other way of living primarily gained attention from it, released a book, maybe gives interviews on what it was like to live like that and what they learned from it – but will they truly live (or be) really better for the experience, or just more popular?

What can “the average Joe” learn from it, other than that a different way of living is more difficult (and not necessarily better) than what someone with the need for a 9-to-5 job and with family responsibilities can possibly handle?

A theme like the ecology of happiness is not really about the person exploring it – but there is someone behind it. In this particular case, that someone is me…

So, to let “living richer by living better, incidentally ‘for the planet,’ too” speak for itself, the ecology of happiness will be focused on the issue alone, and on its practical implications for a range of “better lives.” I hope to find more examples, but it should not be about me. This blog here, on the other hand, is not just influenced by that project, on here I will be talking more about the ways that I myself try and live #ecohappy.

There’s enough talk without much substance, enough good teaching that is not even followed by its preacher.  It is time to stop advertising and to show, to quit leading others by telling them what to do and to be the example by leading life.

Lessons and Paths:

Be picky about the things you buy. Good food is worth it, for health and satisfaction. Tools that will really be used to do more; clothes that fit and suit one well, and will last for a long time, too – but it takes very few things.

Do more, open up new possibilities. So, I’m getting back into teacher training studies (for English and Spanish) I had begun before going to China, into language learning (especially Chinese), and possibly more. That gives new knowledge, a sense (and a reality) of growth, and new career chances.

Invent your work. To make the studies and the blogging possible, in ways that also lead towards a potential location independence, I am continuing with freelance (English-German) translation and writing, and social media communications support. (If you need help, drop me a line! ;) )

Additionally, very much of a location, I’m growing chile peppers again, writing about them (and preferably hot, but always aiming-to-be-healthier, cooking), and working towards some product developments, in the projects I do @ChiliCult.

To further improve local/natural roots, there will also be more subsistence gardening this year. The chilli alone will play quite a role in that, since our cooking is predominantly Hunanese, and therefore very dependent on a sufficient supply of chile peppers. Fresh greens, though, will also make quite a difference to health, pleasure, and spending…

Live more, explore. Of course, there is also the running and the exploratory lifestyle it informs and enables… which goes hand in hand with a focus on (even) more minimalism and “luxurious frugality” in order to shop less, be more – and have good things and savings that enable me to function effectively in, but not be of, society as it is.

There’ll be more on pretty much all these points later, and there’s a question for now. Or two:

What would you like to know more about?
And, how are you living really better?

on the Höllkogel in the Alps