The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart


by Willie Nelson
with Turk Pipkin

“This book is my way of sharing a little of what I’ve learned in seventy-two years of making music and friends on this beautiful planet.  I don’t know if the things I write here will change your life, but they sure changed mine.

The ways my life has changed seem pretty amazing to me.  For somewhere along the way, the freckle-faced, dirt-eating kid from Abbott, Texas, ended up being a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather with a family, friends, and work I wouldn’t trade for anything on earth.  By hook or by crook, I seem to have stumbled onto something all of us search for in this great mystery of life.

Some would call it happiness, but I like to think that what I found is me.  That sounds simple enough, but the truth is, it took quite a while to do it.  Among other things, it took me learning that I had to quit trying to be something else.

Trying to be someone else is the hardest road there is.

I thought I’d tell you a little about how I got here, and maybe by getting to know me and a little about the path I’ve taken, you’ll find a path of your own.  Along the way, you’ll get to know both of us a little better.

That’s what we’re talking about — me and you.

So welcome to The Tao of Willie, my little guide to the happiness in your own heart.  From the get-go, we need to get one thing straight.  If you’re looking for a scholarly work about the ancient Eastern philosophy found in the Tao Te Ching, this may not be what you had in mind.

On the other hand, if you don’t know beans about the ancient Chinese philosophy called the Tao, there’s no reason to fret.  You don’t have to know the Tao for the Tao to know you.

Whatever you think of the Tao, if my thoughts strike that bell of truth in your heart, it will also be ringing in mine.

That’s the way it is between friends.”

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