4 Tweaks for a Better, Happier Life
Hey, reader. Before you start reading the article I want you to know that I am not a doctor or life coach of any kind. I, like you, am just a normal person who has learned whatever he knows by doing stupid stuff that everyone does and by making lots of mistakes on the way.
What I am going to share with you is not a complex scientific breakthrough information to change lives, instead it's a collection of some simple but incredibly effective life changing ideas that I know.
I don't have any degree in Lifeology, but a teacher called life taught me many lessons that I want to share with you. What I am about to tell you is nothing but what you already know, but, unlike me, have never given it a thought. Thinking is a rare skill that only a few possess, and I consider myself an advanced level thinker. That's what I am – A thinker.
The whole point in reading this article, as the title suggests, is on improving your life -- but just reading this is not going to make it happen. Well, may be it will inspire you for a while, but then you'll forget all about it. You know what I am talking about, right?
To get most out of it you have to use this methods in day to day situations. Practice makes perfect; it's the mother of all skills. And, make no mistake, qualities such as the ability to make better decisions and not giving up are skills too. Like any other skills they can be mastered with dedication and practice.
Note: Read the full article, please – Half knowledge is dangerous!
Let's begin, shall we?
Do you think you worry too much?
Lesson 1: Stop Worrying.
This one tops the list since it’s the most important of all. This alone will solve 75% of your biggest problems. Read carefully!
First, I want you to read and repeat these words – “If my problem has a solution, I don’t need to worry about it, and if my problem doesn’t have a solution, worrying is not going to change that.”
Repeat it – understand it – write it down.
In my personal experience.
1. Writing down and analyzing your problem can solve 0-100% of it.
2. Taking advice from others can solve 0-100% of it.
3. Doing something about it can solve 0-100% of it.
4. Worrying about it can solve 0% of it.
I will take my chances with the the first three.
You will probably ask, "How do I just stop worrying, I can’t help it?"
I didn’t say you will stop overnight – you have done it (worrying about your problems) all your life, and like a skill you have mastered it. You have done it for so long that now, that as soon as a problem appears your first reaction to it is to get worried. It's involuntary, I know.
You have learned to worry, now you have to learn not to worry.
Don’t worry. It won’t take a lifetime. If you follow the method every time you have a problem, you will master the art of not worrying in no time. It’s a thing!
If you worry about the future, you will spoil the present. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for the future – plan for a better future, but don’t try to plan every moment, it doesn't work that way.
This reminds me of a scene from How I Met Your Mother, a popular sitcom. In the scene Ted is telling Marshall, his best friend, that he has to break up with his girlfriend Victoria, because she is moving to Germany the next day.
Here is the conversation:
Marshall – Look, I understand that you guys had to break up eventually, but why today?
Ted –She's leaving tomorrow.
Marshall – Yeah, but she's still in town.
Ted –Yeah, she... she's still in town.
Marshall – Yeah, so you spend one more amazing day together......
......Ted, think about it this way, if you knew that you were going to lose your leg tomorrow, would you sit on the couch and cry about it, or would you run, and jump, and do some awesome air kicks while you still could?
I would go for the awesome air kicks. What would you do?
Eliminate "not clear" thinking and function from your root.
- Bruce Lee
Lesson 2: Write stuff down
This one is second on the list, but it can help you with the first one.
Human brain can only process so much Information at a time and overloading it with thoughts will slow it down. Same as when a computer memory is overloaded with processes and it makes the computer to slow down and hang.
Writing data down will help in managing your thoughts--this avoids confusion, and you can think clearer and faster.
Writing the details on paper also helps you analyze the problem--know all the options you have--and make better decisions. This way, it's less likely that you will miss anything important.
I mentioned the importance of writing things down in one of the articles I wrote. After reading that, a fellow writer, Glen Stock, commented: Writing things down is also a very important point that you mentioned. Again, from my own experience, I can tell you that I have made many plans to move forward with some endeavor or other, only to forget about it. If I had written down my plans, I would have been able to review it and remind myself of my desire to do this or that.
You must have had similar experiences -- You make plans, and after a while forget all about it, and then after a few years say to yourself "how great it would have been if I had gotten through with that.”
Get a notebook and pen now
Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
- Bruce Lee
Lesson 3: Learn from your mistakes
This one is obvious. We all know that. We all have heard it a thousand times. But do you really do it?
We all make mistakes. Some we regret, and some we don’t. The Important part is to learn from your mistakes so that you can make wiser decisions in the future, and don't repeat the same mistakes.
Let’s use the "writing stuff down" method here. Every night before going to bed, write down all you've learned that day. If you made any mistakes that day you don't want to repeat, write them down, and write down what measures you are going to take to prevent them.
Note: Open the book once in a while to read it.
The Ted Mosby Method
This is one of the many lessons I learned from How I Met Your Mother. Ted writes letters for "the future him" to remind himself why he had broken up with somebody.
Dear future Ted,
Never get back with Karen because she's a pretentious snob.
Oh, also she cheated on you.
I'm sorry you had to find out this way.
See? We're already laughing about it.
Dear future Ted,
Stay away from Natalie...
...or any girl who can pin you to the ground and beat you senseless
in front of a cheering crowd.
Please consult a therapist about
why that turned you on a little bit.
It’s very important to remember what we have learned. You have to always remind yourself, or you will repeat the same mistakes.
In his interview in the Pierre Burton show, Bruce Lee admitted that he didn't like himself in the Green Hornet. He said, "I did a really terrible job in that, I have to say."
He said he was not being himself. That he was trying to impress the wrong people. And he will never do such a thing again. No better example than that.
I don't have to tell you that admitting your first step to improving them, but keep that in mind.
To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.
- Bruce Lee
Lesson 4: Don't give up
I wrote this one last not because it's the least important, in fact it's quite the opposite of that; none of the previous lessons are going to do you any good if you give up on them too soon. I wrote this one last, because I want you to remember it.
This is the most important quality you need to succeed in anything. Don't agree with me? Write down a list of things wanted to do or learn, but didn't finish.
Get ready first.
Before you read this, I want to ask you if you are ready.
I know you think you are absolutely ready. You are motivated to start. You think you have finally found what you were looking for. You think your life is about to change. And you think you are ready for all that.
Well, all that can happen, provided you will don't give up. And for that you have to be ready for what you are going to face ahead of you. Think of all the possible obstacles that might come in your path, and write them down. Also write down how you are going to overcome that. Have a plan B and a plan C.
The Batman Method
We will talk about this but first have a look at this scene from The Dark Knight rises in which Bruce Wayne tries to climb out of the pit (A prison in which the only way out is to climb out of the wall, at the top you have to leap to the last ledge, It seems impossible!) and fails the first time, but is saved by the rope. Only one child has ever climbed out of it. The following is the conversation between Bruce Wayne and the prison doctor.
Bruce is working out.
Caretaker: He says the leap to freedom is not about strength.
Bruce: My body makes the jump.
Dr: Survival is the spirit, the soul.
Bruce: My soul is as ready to escape as my body.
Dr: Fear is why you fail.
Bruce: No, I'm not afraid. I'm angry.
He tries again and fails
Dr: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
Dr: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible, without the most powerful impulse of the spirit? ......The fear of death.
Bruce: I do fear death. I fear dying in here...
...while my city burns. There's no one there to save it.
Dr: Then make the climb.
Dr: As the child did...Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.
And it did! He Escaped.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, "Don't quit. Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion!"
- Muhammad Ali
Find a reason
Fear is the reason we fail. Fear is the reason we succeed. The only difference between the role of fear in your success and failure is you how treat your it; you let it hold you back, or use it as a powerful tool for survival.
Sometimes we don’t try something new just because of the fear that we are going to fail. Sometimes we try something and give up because of lack of motivation. It happens because we don’t have a strong enough reason to keep on doing it.
What was the motivation for Bruce Wayne? What helped him make that jump? It was the fear of failure, but this time his life was at stake. It was important that he doesn’t fail. It was literally a do or die situation. There was no second chance! Reason strong enough?
You know that men in prison are big and strong. They work out every day. What’s their motivation, and what helps them stick to it?
The answer is fear. They have to get strong in order to survive. It’s not a choice for them. It's not something they can postpone for when they will have free time. You don’t do it, you die!
I think fear of death is good enough reason to not give up!
If you want to succeed in anything -- sports, business, learning something, quitting bad habits, even relationships, you have to first find a good enough reason to do it! A reason good enough to overcome your fear, a reason good enough to keep you going when you want to quit, a reason good enough to wake you up when you think, "I am too tired today to do it, I’ll do it tomorrow."
Touch Typing Psychology
I want you to remember the skill which was most frustrating to learn but you learned it anyway, and you are glad you didn’t give up.
I remember when I was learning to touch type, i found it very frustrating. It’s annoying how slow you have to type and how you make a lot of mistakes. It felt impossible, but I kept practicing it somehow. And in no time I learned touch typing at a normal speed. Now, after years of typing, I can type much faster. I am glad I didn't give up.
What kept me from giving up?
- I knew if I give up, I’ll regret it.
- I knew it’s a skill anyone can learn.
- Learning to touch type has many advantages.
In my mind, I knew if I don’t give up, I would eventually succeed. It was a sure thing. If you do everything thinking like that, you won't ever give up.
Finally to put it all together – The Pai method!
What you'll need:
- Set your goal
- Make a plan
- Write it down
- Write down every obstacle you can think of that might come into your way
- Write a solution for each one of them.
- Write a good enough reason/s not to give up
- Get you ass up and start working on it
That's it. That is a foolproof plan. You can't go wrong.
Few DOs and DON'Ts:
- Bookmark this page
- If you want, write the Pai Method and stick it on your fridge
- Read this again sometime
- Ask me any doubts you have
- Share this with others
- Don't show this to your shrink
- Don't add this to your "to do in the future" list
- Don't skip any part of this article
Thank you for reading!
Thank you for reading. Hope you have learned something useful. You can find more of my articles here at my home page: Be Like Water.