The Not So Big Life: Making Room for what Really Matters

Front Cover
Random House, 2007 - Reference - 281 pages
68 Reviews
Have you ever found yourself asking, “Is this all there is to life?” Or wondering if this bigger life you have created is actually a better life? And do you wonder how it all got so out of control?

In her groundbreaking bestsellerThe Not So Big House, architect Sarah Susanka showed us a new way to inhabit our houses by creating homes that were better–not bigger.Now, inThe Not So Big Life, Susanka takes her revolutionary philosophy to another dimension by showing us a new way to inhabit our lives.

Most of us have lives that are as cluttered with unwanted obligations as our attics are cluttered with things. The bigger-is-better idea that triggered the explosion of McMansions has spilled over to give us McLives. For many of us, our ability to find the time to do what we want to do has come to a grinding halt. Now we barely have time to take a breath before making the next call on our cell phone, while at the same time messaging someone else on our Blackberry. Our schedules are chaotic and overcommitted, leaving us so stressed that we are numb, yet we wonder why we cannot fall asleep at night.

InThe Not So Big Life,Susanka shows us that it is possible to take our finger off the fast-forward button, and to our surprise we find how effortless and rewarding this change can be. We do not have to lead a monastic life or give up the things we love. In fact, the real joy of leading a not so big life is discovering that the life we love has been there the entire time. Through simple exercises and inspiring stories, Susanka shows us that all we need to do is make small shifts in our day–subtle movements that open our minds as if we were finally opening the windows to let in fresh air.

The Not So Big Lifereveals that form and function serve not only architectural aims but life goals as well. Just as we can tear down interior walls to reveal space, we can tear down our fears and assumptions to open up new possibilities. The result is that we quickly discover we have all the space and time we need for the things in our lives that really matter. But perhaps the greatest reward is the discovery that small changes can yield enormous results. In her elegant, clear style, Susanka convinces us that less truly is more–much more.

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Review: The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters

User Review  - Katie - Goodreads

In “The Not So Big Life,” Sarah Susanka tosses out hooks, but before the fish can bite she drowns them in more worms than there is water. She seems like an interesting soul, but her best ideas are ... Read full review

Review: The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters

User Review  - Cameronse - Goodreads

Lots of interesting stuff here. I enjoyed the analogy to architecture & making a blueprint for your life. Somewhat uneven in writing and a lot of focus on new age-y power of positive thinking, but some interesting food for thought none the less. Read full review

About the author (2007)

Sarah Susanka is a bestselling author, architect, and cultural visionary. Her “build better, not bigger” approach to residential architecture has been embraced across the country, and her “Not So Big” philosophy has sparked an international dialogue, evolving beyond our houses and into how we inhabit our lives. In addition to sharing her insights with Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose, Susanka has been named a “Fast 50” innovator by Fast Company, a “top newsmaker” by Newsweek, and an “innovator in American culture” by U.S. News & World Report. She is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. The author of seven books, Susanka resides in North Carolina. Visit her at www.notsobig.com.

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