Life Lessons

A new book offers a whole lot of tips you can start using right now.

A few years ago, German architect Matthias Hollwich had an epiphany. He had just turned 38 years old and, "I realized," he says, "that I'd already passed fifty percent of my life expectancy as an average German!" Moved by this realization, he decided to start making sure he was making the very most of his time, and began to apply his architectural talents to the examination of everyday living. The result is his new book, New Aging: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever. Made in conjunction with the Toronto design firm, Bruce Mau Design, the book aims to point out a number of relatively simple fixes one can enact in their life in order to improve it now, and later.

Hollwich, co-founder of New York-based architecture firm Hollwich Kushner (a.k.a. HWKN), is quick to point out that this isn't simply for his peers. "It makes for a better life for everyone," he explains, and he's right.

Here, eight tips from the book that you can start weaving into your own life today.

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Simplify Life

"Go through a closet today and choose ten pieces to give away. Make a rule that when you get something new, you give away one thing as well."

Give a Little, Gain a Lot

"Nothing is more life affirming than giving back," writes Hollwich. "Look up places to volunteer in your neighborhood today, and select the one you feel most passionate about."

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Find a New Activity to Create a New Opportunity

"When we try a new sport, we get momentum from the excitement of learning," Hollwich observes. "Start with a list of athletic activities you have never done before and choose one to start."

Treat Best Friends Like Family

"Think of your three best friends and start considering them your siblings. Begin new family traditions with them and include them in holiday celebrations and special occasions."

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Eat Slow

"In many cultures, it would be a sacrilege to scarf down a bag of chips on the run. Not only does eating slowly and mindfully help us eat less, it enhances the pleasure of the dining experience."

Do It Together

"Adding a friend to our activities allows us to share our experiences and create stronger ties with the people we know," notes Hollwich. "Think of your daily tasks and how each could become something you do with a companion. Call a friend to join whatever you do today."

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Take the Trip of a Lifetime

"Curiosity is the key to triggering a desire to explore and experience more. Try something new this week, from the simple—like reorganizing a part of your home or visiting a new part of your town—to something more dramatic, like swimming, gardening, or stargazing."

Phone a Friend

"Prioritize friendships, and be proactive about maintaining them," writes Hollwich. "Get in touch with three people today and make plans to get together with them this month."

For more tips like this, and more on author Matthias Hollwich, see hwkn.com. To see more work by Bruce Mau Design, head to brucemaudesign.com.

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