What I’ve learned: Life Hacks

002564a5d684112547f34aI could easily write a list of awesome badass “Life Hacks”. A “Life Hack” is a time-saving, money-saving, productivity inducing, or just sanity giving “tip” to help you live your life better. These are usually tips that you already know but have no actual interest in implementing. For example, you already know that spending oodles of time on FaceBook is lame, useless, and bad for your soul – but you do it anyway. You already know that drinking pop (even diet) is bad for you, but you drink it anyway. You are well aware that you could save money (and time and your soul) buy not stopping at Starbucks for your morning latte-chino, but you do it anyway. And, you already know that television is shit, that cable companies gouge your pockets and rob you blind, but you still insist on keeping 1-4 T.V.’s in your home equipped with all the HD bells and whistles.

Nature1The fact of the matter is: You only make a change when you have too. Or, at least I hope you do. Some people can’t even do that. They live their lives day-to-day thinking that they can’t change. Or, it’s too hard. They think that change isn’t possible for them because of … whatever excuse is handy at the moment. When I made the decision to move to Prague people often said to me, “That sounds awesome. I wish I could do that!” My response was always the same. YOU CAN. To this I would inevitably hear a stream of excuses as long as the Rio Grande. (I have kids. I have a job. I don’t have enough money. I don’t speak Czech…) I usually tuned out after the first one. If you want something bad enough, you will figure out how to do it.

So, I’m not going to give you time and money-saving tips. You probably won’t use them anyway. Instead, I am going to give you the most important life lessons I have learned in my 39 years on this planet. My very own Life Hacks. Take what you will from it. Or don’t. It’s YOUR life.

  1. You teach people how to treat you. I know, Dr. Phil said it, but I totally agree with it. You either teach people to treat you with compassion, dignity and respect, or you don’t. It’s up to you. If the people in your life are treating you like crap it is probably because you allowed them to do it.
  2. Take responsibility for your own actions. You ALWAYS have a choice. Sure, sometimes the choices suck, but you still have them. Everything you do in your daily life – from picking out food at the store, to choosing a mate, to deciding whether or not to get angry at that asshole who cut you off – is totally up to you. If you made bad decisions or good ones – own them.
  3. Go with your gut – it knows whats up. Your heart? Well, like Roxette said, listen to it. But still go with your gut.
  4. Stop trying to please people. It’s a waste of time and energy. Please yourself and the rest will fall into place.
  5. Learn forgiveness. It’s a lifesaver.
  6. Everything you own should be something you love with all of your heart, or use at least once a year.
  7. You will never regret working less and traveling more. You will likely regret working more and traveling less.
  8. Be honest. Even when it hurts.
  9. If it doesn’t feel right – don’t do it.
  10. Read books. Read more books! Reading books is great for getting that waining attention span back in order. Reading internet articles doesn’t count since it usually leads down a rabbit hole ending on a Wiki page. READ. MORE. BOOKS. And “I wish I had the time” is a pretty lame excuse. Just sayin’.
  11. When you tell yourself “I’m not sure what to do” you probably are. You just don’t like the answer.
  12. Eat right and exercise most of the time.
  13. Don’t call, email, post status updates, or text when you are angry. Wait 2 or 3 days and then see if you still think it’s a good idea. Remember, there are people in the world who will see (or hear) your words. What they see will affect the way they see you.
  14. Stop blaming other people. You sound like a jackass.
  15. Pursue multiple interests. Become that person you would want to talk to at a party. Because, who wants to talk to the person who can ONLY talk about sports? Or their kids? Or their job? Read biographies. Learn a new skill. Take a class. Cultivate yourself.
  16. Write “Thank You” notes. By hand.
  17. Children do not “owe” their parents anything, except love. In most cases. You own your own life. Your parents don’t. And parents shouldn’t expect “to be taken care of” by their kids. It’s selfish. You wanted to have kids, they didn’t ask to have you.
  18. When you love someone, treat them with kindness everyday.
  19. When you talk behind someones back, they’ll eventually turn around.
  20. Practice being alone. You’ll need that skill someday.
  21. Say “NO”. It’s ok. Doing things you don’t want to only make you bitter and unhappy.
  22. Comparing yourself to other people is silly.
  23. Karma is a real bitch.
  24. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing other people do or say is about you. Not really. It’s just a reflection of how they feel inside. Let it go.
  25. Everything is perception. Everything.
  26. Live in the present. The past is over and unchangeable. The future is only full of “what if’ and “I wonder” So, live in the NOW. Now is something you can manage. Now is here!
  27. Always do your best.
  28. Dancing will make you feel better.
  29. Freedom is simplicity.
  30. If you don’t like something in your life, it’s up to you to change it.

7 thoughts on “What I’ve learned: Life Hacks

  1. Pingback: What I’ve learned: Life Hacks | markingmyspot

  2. #24. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing other people do or say is about you. Not really. It’s just a reflection of how they feel inside. Let it go.

    This is very hard. People are generally egotistical so they tend to think it’s always about them. But it works both ways cos people who say things about you, say them in relation to themselves specifically and only to you in a vague manner. So yeah. As Terry Pratchett said, “Personal’s not the same as important. People just think it is.”

  3. This is an EXCEPTIONALLY good list! Of course I just found your page so this is the first one I’ve started with 🙂 I strive to live (and write about) many of the suggestions you make on a regular basis…the goal of course, is to live them 24/7. ~Kathy

  4. Finally woke up and took this attitude last year . Ditched the “drainer” pulled out of a major that made me miserable and finally putting time and energy into doing what I love. The hardest decisions in life are often the ones that are the best for you. Great blog. Claire 🙂

  5. Pingback: Life Hack, thanks Baz luhrmann. « tattoos, patriotism, and parenting

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