More people follow Taoist lifestyle

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The Independent Online
WELCOME TO the Tao Generation, the 8 per cent of Britons who are, according to the latest market research, contented.

Unlike the Yuppies of the 80s with their culture of instant gratification, the Tao Generation define themselves by their emotions, not their possessions. They are caring, but pragmatic; individualistic, but non-confrontational; materially well-off, but not materialistic.

They are comfortable living with contradictions and unlikely to stay in a job simply for the money, preferring to see their inner self "grow" rather than their bank balance.

While this new wave of calm-and-contenteds only accounts for a small percentage of the population, the rest of us will follow, according to Synergy Consulting, which carried out the research published yesterday. For the Tao Generation is now considered the "leading edge" generation of society.

"The Tao Generation is a group of people who have very different attitudes and behaviour to the rest of the population," said Peter Cardwell, a Synergy Consulting director, "but we can be sure that the values they espouse will creep across the map over time.

"Philosophically, you could say it's the herd instinct, but it's like a product life cycle in which early innovators pick up an idea and then others see that it's acceptable and adopt the same behaviour."

The research found that 80 per cent of the Tao Generation is under 45, and they are likely to fall into the ABC1 social category. Sixty per cent are men.

Women in the Tao Generation are becoming less hedonistic and more instrumental in creating a social scene for others, while men are becoming more fluid in their identities and less demanding of certainty.

In short, the Tao Generation is content to just "be". Just like Winnie- the-Pooh.