Tiny Wisdom: When Less Is More

“Don’t use a lot where a little will do.” -Proverb

I recently saw a reality show about reviving struggling restaurants. The premise is that an expert comes in to help save a family business—and in the process helps the owners rebuild their relationships and their lives.

In the beginning, the expert suggested the family reduce their menu from multiple pages to just one. They originally created a massive list of selections because they assumed this created more value. In all reality, it was overwhelming.

In many instances, less is more.

This is a big part of the philosophy behind Tiny Buddha. I publish one post from the community every day, which allows me to spend a great deal of time with writers.

Conventional wisdom of the web suggests that more content leads to more page views, which ultimately creates a successful site. Yet I’ve found the opposite can be true.

Having a lower quantity allows more time to focus on quality; and also allows more time for connection through comments. In this way, it’s not about building a large community; it’s about fostering an engaged one. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no greater success than that.

Regardless of your project or dream, the “less is more” philosophy can go a long way in creating value and enabling progress.

You may not have a large number of hours to commit, but this means you have an incentive to prioritize your goals—and that just may help you focus and become optimally effective.

You may not have abundant resources, but this means your passion and purpose may be your greatest assets—and there’s no limit to what you can accomplish when you invest yourself in a vision that moves and inspires you.

You may not have countless readers or customers, but this means you can focus on providing exceptional service—which can be far more valuable than dozens of cursory connections and standard experiences.

Most importantly, when we focus on doing less and doing it well, instead of doing more and assuming it’s better, we’re less scattered, more deliberate, less harried, and more present.

And really, isn’t that what we want? It’s not just the goals and the outcomes we visualize; it’s the happiness and satisfaction we imagine we’ll experience when we get there.

It may be the biggest advantage to doing less: we create more space to enjoy those things now.

Photo by saebaryo

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • I feel like this post triggered a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me. I don’t need to do everything; just a few things well.  Thankyou.

  • Pollyanna

    Thank you for your wisdom and restraint. You are oh so right; more info doesn’t automatically lead to more page views. I’ve abandoned other previously enjoyed blogs due to overwhelm and lack of time to sort through the filler to the substance.

  • Geeekgyrl36

    This will help me and realize I don’t have to be doing a zillion things but a few and feel I’ve accomplished much.

  • frances

    Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes we spend more time perusing our choices than we do actually enjoying our moments. Quality and substance allow us to find authenticity. Thank you for this post. You articulate your thoughts so beautifully, Lori!

  • I agree that  less is often more. I’m happier with fewer items in my wardobe, watching fewer TV shows, having fewer to-dos, etc. It’s sometimes hard to come to this conclusion when so much of the world is focused on more, more, more.

  • Sarah

    “Less is more” and “be here now” … your post and the attached post from Maria Mooney and beautiful and inspiring!  Thank you … and may love, light peace, joy, well-being and great abundance be yours … now and always ♥

  • zencaffeine

    Simplification seems to be a common theme in my life right now…This post is yet another sign pointing for me to pare down, commit to less, but accomplish more. Thanks for a great post. Peace!

  • Too much is always that…just too much.  And I so agree that life is about the feelings that are engendered from our goals and accomplishments.  High vibrational living if you like.  Thanks Lori.
    Encourage one another.

  • This was really helpful to read, as I have just set up my own freelance editing blog (and Twitter account), and intend to keep it as simple as possible. These lines were great:

    “You may not have countless readers or customers, but this means you can focus on providing exceptional service—which can be far more valuable than dozens of cursory connections and standard experiences.”

    And I loved the purple Buddha!

  • Matt

    Lori, I really appreciate the amount of content you provide – The number of articles and the length (and of course the content!). I only have time to read one article each morning. If there were more I would find myself not getting anything done and eventually telling myself that I need to cut out Tiny Buddha completely (I have done this with other sites). Stick with your formula because I think it is perfect.

  • Being present and not only satisfied with goals that one has achieved, but also able to enjoy the outcomes of that is something that easily gets lost when we do more than necessary. The “less is more” philosophy can be applied to many of the important aspects of life that people spend too much time and energy on. By the way, the restaurant analogy you made at the beginning of this post had me thinking about “Kitchen Nightmares” on FOX.

  • there we go! That’s great.

  • yeah the high % of good posts here is one thing that really impresses a reader.

  • You’re most welcome Bettina. Shifting my thinking in this way was a light bulb moment for me as well!

  • Thank you so much! =)

  • You’re most welcome–and thank you for being part of the community here!

  • So true!

  • Thank you so much Frances! You bring up a great point about choices. Sometimes it does little but cause stress.

  • I’m with you Sage! This year I really pared down my wardrobe, and I originally thought I would find this troubling. But the reality is I tend to wear the same things over and over again. Why hold onto other things that I don’t actually use? Less of anything provides more breathing room–so in a way, it leads to more!

  • Thanks so much Sarah. Your beautiful comment put a huge smile on my face. =)

  • You’re most welcome! Zen Caffeine is an interesting name choice! How did you come up with that? Is there a story behind it?

  • I love that idea of high vibrational living. I think that’s what we really want–not the excess we sometimes distract ourselves with.

  • Congratulations on your new blog! I think this is a great time to be offering that service, with more and more authors self-publishing.

  • Thanks so much Matt. I like the mix of writing one short post and sharing one from the community that’s a little longer. I also love that this gives a lot of focus to every day’s guest writer. It’s so exciting to watch the conversations that unfold around each post–especially since I know it means a lot for both the writers and the readers.

  • So true–the busier we are, the less time we have to enjoy the ride.

    I wonder if that was the show I saw. It was so heartwarming. The father (the restaurant owner) was so emotional throughout the whole show, but particularly when he saw how well they’d redecorated his dining room. I could tell the whole experience was life-changing for him, and that it also brought his family together. Reality TV at its finest. =)

  • There sure is! I’ve come to see my journey as one of awakening, to many things…to my own personal power, inner peace, to the Universe and all of its possibilities, to the beauty of others. But sometimes this journey can be rough. Sometimes, I just wanna quit – close my eyes, live inside the box and do what I’m “supposed to.” But I don’t. As hard as it can get, I try to keep going on my path and live the life of my dreams. And that’s what I write about.
    I named my blog Zen Caffeine in hopes that it’d be a source of energy and inspiration for my readers, the nudge they need to keep going on their own journeys..with eyes wide open. (Hence the Caffeine part, get it?)  🙂

    Thanks for asking, Lori. You’re so good at interacting with your readers in a meaningful way…Just one of the reasons I love this blog.

  • I love that idea Kaylee! Sometimes peace and inner calm can sound like passive ideas, but you’re right–we still need that energy and drive to get up and go when we’d rather curl up in a ball (and boy have I been there!)

    You’re most welcome. Thanks for sharing that, and thank you for being part of the community here. =)

  • Tinarose29

    very nice 😀

  • leon dot cat

    “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Mark Twain

  • Ad

    Jhoon Rhee is over 80 years old. Doing 1,000 push-ups every day since he was 40. He says for anyone wanting to achieve such status that in the beginning doing “less is more”. His advice brought me to this document. Good one Lori! 😀 I’ve gotten the answer to my oh so great question.

    “The important thing is not to stop questioning…” Albert Einstein

    Peace out now.

  • bobs0321

    My take in the political present day – less government is more abundance for all of US.
    Something to think about.

  • chtullu

    You don’t think pupu head

  • chtullu


  • bobs0321

    chtullu – please prove me wrong if you think you know it all instead of calling me names. My quess is you do not have enough intelligence and education to counter my arguments so like most Democrats and Progressive liberals you resort to name calling and try and shutdown my freedom of speech. You just want to put your hand out and let the government (politicians) take care of all of your needs you bite into their propaganda. So sad but so true.

  • Ma Nita

    <3 _()_ 🙂