10 Principles for a Good Lifestyle

These principles are pretty straightforward, especially principle #10. You’ll be surprised!

  1. A good lifestyle is innovative

The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is constantly offering new starting points for sustainable design to enhance people’s well-being. But an innovative lifestyle is always created in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

  1. A good lifestyle empowers people

We develop a lifestyle to be applied on a daily basis. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. A good lifestyle enables people to use their potential whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

  1. A good lifestyle is beautiful

The aesthetic quality of a lifestyle is integral to its usefulness because a lifestyle that we pursue on a daily basis affects our environment and well-being. But only a well-executed lifestyle can be beautiful.

  1. A good lifestyle makes values tangible

It clarifies the meaning of everyday life. Better still, it can make the values speak for themselves. At best, the possibilities to realize meaning reveal themselves.

  1. A good lifestyle is unobtrusive

Lifestyles fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative displays nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the person’s self-expression.

  1. A good lifestyle is honest

It does not make a person appear more innovative, efficient, creative than she really is. It does not attempt to manipulate humans by making promises that cannot be kept.

  1. A good lifestyle is constant

It avoids current trends and is geared to our actual needs. Unlike short-lived fashion hypes, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

  1. A good lifestyle is responsible down to the last detail

Nothing must be arbitrary or left to indifference. Awareness and mindfulness in shaping our life are ultimately an expression of respect for ourselves and others.

  1. A good lifestyle is environmentally-friendly

Our lifestyle makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the areas it affects.

  1. A good lifestyle is as little style as possible

Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and everyday life is not burdened with non-essentials.

Back to purity, back to simplicity.



Inspired by „10 Principles for good design“ by Dieter Rams.

© Dr. Nina Bürklin, 2023.

Deep Dive: Gratitude

Most of us have heard that gratitude is beneficial to our health and wellbeing. But how do you actually practice gratitude in everyday life? And what insights do scientific studies offer?

Before we get started, what do we actually mean by gratitude?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gratitude (grat·​i·​tude | \ ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd \) means „the state of being grateful; thankfulness„.

In their book, Tayyab Rashid and Martin Seligman define gratitude as „an awareness of and thankfulness for the good things in one’s life. If gratitude is one of your top strengths, you take time to express thanks and contemplate all that you have been given in life“ (2019, p. 173).

Scientific research goes one step further and include the notion of habit and even coping response when they talk about gratitude as “an emotion, an attitude, a moral virtue, a habit, a personality trait, or a coping response” (Emmons & McCullough, 2003, p. 377).

What can science teach us about gratitude?

  • Resilience and gratitude. Researchers in the US looked at gratitude in first year undergraduate students beginning University (Wood, Maltby and Gillett and colleagues as cited in Wood et al., 2010). They found that students who were higher in gratitude were less stressed, less depressed and had higher perceived social support at the end of the first term. The study findings suggest that gratitude may enhance resilience in a period of life transition.
  • Pro-social behaviour and gratitude. Another study looked at pro-social behaviour and gratitude (Bartlett and DeSteno, 2006). The researchers found that a grateful individual was more likely to exert greater effort to help a benefactor (i.e. someone who has helped the individual in some way through a pro-social act) on a completely unrelated task – such as filling in a lengthy, boring survey – than ungrateful people.
  • Wellbeing and gratitude. McCullough, Emmons and Tsang (2002) conducted 4 studies looking at psychological domains and gratitude, namely pro-sociality, emotionality/wellbeing, and spirituality/religiousness. Their research showed that grateful individuals are more satisfied with life, experience more positive emotions, and experience less negative emotions such as depression, envy, and anxiety . Also, not surprisingly, more grateful people also tend to be more pro-socially oriented. They are more likely to be empathic, forgiving, helpful and supportive than those who are less grateful. They are less focused on attaining materialistic goals. Interesting enough, the results illustrate that those who show more gratefulness also tend to be more spiritually and religiously minded.
  • Psychological + physical wellbeing and gratitude: Research by Emmons & Stern (2013) indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting positive effects in an individual’s life. Clinical trials show that it can lower blood pressure, promote happiness and well-being, improve immune function, and stimulate acts of helpfulness, generosity, and cooperation. Moreover, gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression and anxiety.
  • Reference: the first three of the above studies and many more are included in the article by Heather Craig (see below).


The root of joyfulness is gratefulness… It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. – Brother David Steindl-Rast

How can we practice gratitude in our everyday life?

  1. Express thanks: practise to express thanks to everyone who has contributed to your achievements. It doesn’t matter how big or small their contribution might have been. This could be the bus driver you brought you to your workplace, a good friend who called to check in or the barista who made this amazing coffee.
  2. The shortest practice (introduced to me by Brother David-Steindl-Rast): Stop. Look. Go. Take a moment, find one thing you are grateful for, and go sharing it with others.
  3. Keep a gratitude journal: establish a daily practice in order to remind yourself of things in your life that you are grateful for. These could be special events, gifts, benefits or people. Try to go for depth over breadth because you will better remember those incidents. And don’t forget to be thankful for things that did not happen to you.

And if you want to dig even deeper, check out the following resources for gratitude:

10 Thesen für einen guten Lebensstil

Inspiriert von: „10 Thesen für gutes Design“ von Dieter Rams


Was wir von visionären Designern für’s Leben lernen können? Eine ganze Menge!

Vor allem aber, was es bedeutet, seinen Lebensstil nach bestimmten Prinzipien auszurichten.

Und die können überrasschend sein, vor allem #10.


1. Ein guter Lebensstil ist innovativ

Die Möglichkeiten für Innovation sind längst nicht ausgeschöpft. Die technologische Entwicklung bietet immer wieder neue Ausgangspunkte für zukunftsfähige Gestaltungskonzepte, die das Wohlbefinden des Menschen erhöhen. Dabei entsteht ein innovativer Lebensstil stets im Zusammenschluss mit innovativer Technik und ist niemals Selbstzweck.

2. Ein guter Lebensstil befähigt den Menschen

Man entwickelt einen Lebensstil, um ihn täglich anzuwenden. Er soll bestimmte Funktionen erfüllen – Primärfunktionen ebenso wie ergänzende psychologische und ästhetische Funktionen. Ein guter Lebensstil befähigt den Menschen, seine Potenziale abzurufen und lässt alles unberücksichtigt, was nicht diesem Ziel dient oder ihm gar entgegensteht.

3. Ein guter Lebensstil ist wohltuend

Die ästhetische Qualität eines Lebensstils ist integraler Aspekt seiner Brauchbarkeit. Denn ein Lebensstil, den man täglich verfolgt, prägt das persönliche Umfeld und beeinflusst das eigene Wohlbefinden. Wohltuend sein kann aber nur, was gut entwickelt / konzipiert / durchdacht ist.

4. Ein guter Lebensstil macht Werte greifbar

Er verdeutlicht auf einleuchtende Weise den Sinn des Alltags. Mehr noch: Er kann die zugrunde liegenden Werte für sich sprechen lassen. Im besten Fall zeigen sich die Möglichkeiten zur Sinnverwirklichung von selbst.

5. Ein guter Lebensstil ist unaufdringlich

Ein Lebensstil, der einen Zweck erfüllt, hat Werkzeugcharakter. Er ist weder dekoratives Zur-Schau-Stellen noch Kunstwerk. Seine Ausgestaltung sollte deshalb neutral sein, die Aktivitäten zurücktreten lassen und dem Menschen Raum zur Selbstverwirklichung geben.

6. Ein guter Lebensstil ist ehrlich

Er lässt einen Menschen nicht innovativer, leistungsfähiger, kreativer erscheinen, als er in Wirklichkeit ist. Es versucht nicht, die Mitmenschen durch Versprechen zu manipulieren, die er dann nicht halten kann.

7. Ein guter Lebensstil ist beständig

Er vermeidet, aktuellen Trends zu entsprechen, und orientiert sich an den tatsächlichen Bedürfnissen des Menschen. Im deutlichen Gegensatz zu kurzlebigen Mode-Hypes überdauert er auch in der heutigen Wegwerfgesellschaft lange Jahre.

8. Ein guter Lebensstil ist verantwortungsbewusst bis ins letzte Detail

Nichts darf der Willkür oder der Gleichgültigkeit überlassen werden. Bewusstsein und Achtsamkeit in der Lebensgestaltung sind letztlich Ausdruck des Respekts gegenüber sich selbst und anderen.

9. Ein guter Lebensstil ist umweltfreundlich

Der Lebensstil leistet einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Erhaltung der Umwelt. Er bezieht die Schonung der Ressourcen ebenso wie die Minimierung von physischer und visueller Verschmutzung in die Lebensführung ein.

10. Ein guter Lebensstil ist weniger Stil und mehr Leben

Weniger Stil ist mehr Leben, konzentriert der Lebensstil sich doch auf das Wesentliche, statt den Alltag mit Überflüssigem zu befrachten.

Zurück zum Puren, zum Einfachen!


© Dr. Nina Bürklin, 2020.