9 Simple Steps for Effortless Living

Clifford Jones
6 min readMay 19, 2023

Learn How to Chop Wood, Carry Water

Once upon a time, while trudging through hell on Earth, I met a man named Joey who taught me how to live effortlessly. Joey had been where I was going.

He had what I wanted; serenity.

Imagine being yourself and no matter where you go, who you meet, and what you face for challenges, no person, place, or thing can bother you.

Effortless living and working is a mindset, and the way to live, work, and play effortlessly is called Wu Wei.

That mindset is what you’ll learn by the time you’re done reading this article.

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Chop wood, carry water” is a Zen Buddhist saying that embodies the essence of Wu Wei and mindful living. It emphasizes the importance of being fully present and engaged in even the simplest tasks of everyday life.

The phrase teaches us to find enlightenment and fulfillment in the ordinary, to let go of attachment to outcomes, and to approach life with humility and gratitude.

It reminds us to cultivate mindfulness, acceptance, and a deep appreciation for the present moment, allowing us to discover peace and meaning in the most mundane aspects of our existence.

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” – Zen Proverb

What Wu Wei Is



Clifford Jones

Serving conscious, coachable company founders and leaders as an executive ghostwriter, brand-builder, and strategic coach.