Montaigne’s Top Twenty Tips on How to Live (and Handle Conflict) by Sarah Bakewell

In a recent posting I mentioned the interesting new book on the French philosopher Montaigne: How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer‘ by the marvelous Sarah Bakewell. Though her book is not specifically about conflict, this blog is dedicated to, among other thoughts, the idea that we should handle conflict in ways that ultimately make us happy. There are not many books whose chapter headings are so instructive. So here are Sarah Bakewell’s twenty chapter headings, which answer through Montaigne’s insights the question she raises: How to Live, throw a fascinating light on happiness and conflict. I guess I think that to live is to handle conflict and to handle conflict is to live 🙂 :

  1. Don’t worry about death
  2. Pay attention
  3. Be born
  4. Read a lot, forget most of what you have read
  5. Survive love and loss
  6. Use little tricks
  7. Question Everything
  8. Keep a private room behind the shop
  9. Be convivial: live with others
  10. Wake from the sleep of habit
  11. Live temperately
  12. Guard your humanity
  13. Do something no one has done before
  14. See the world
  15. Do a good job, but not too good a job
  16. Philosophize only by accident
  17. Reflect on everything, regret nothing
  18. Give up control
  19. Be ordinary and imperfect
  20. Let life be its own answer

More on Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) at:

The marvelous Sarah Bakewell below and her website is at:


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Book Reviews, Conflict Processes, Philosophy of Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, Uncategorized, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Montaigne’s Top Twenty Tips on How to Live (and Handle Conflict) by Sarah Bakewell

  1. Montaigne’s Top Twenty Tips on How to Live (and Handle Conflict) by Sarah Bakewell | Creativeconflictwisdom's Blog is awesome. Great post! Keep it up.

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