As you examine these life hacks to improve yourself and your life, know that it may not materialize overnight. While a few can be practiced in minutes per day, I want you to be realistic: some of these will require courage and stretching on your part. Maybe even some mental reinvention that could take months.
Whatever the case, it will make you a better person in the end. Let's get started.
1. Discover your purpose and enjoy the journey.
Remind yourself frequently that the purpose of your life is not to work 12 hours per day, five days per week for 30 years, then retire to a golf course in Florida. Your true purpose should be to discover your calling in life and enjoy each step of the journey along the way.
Your purpose is exactly what you can't help but keep doing ... every day. Even if you weren't getting paid, you would probably do it anyway. When you discover what this is for you, it's the thing that makes you come alive. Use this exercise to help you get some clarity around finding your passion and purpose this week.
2. Shift your perception and be grateful for your situation.
Give thanks to the universe today for the things you take for granted, your situation could be a lot worse. Take your annual income, for example, even if you're not exactly rolling in the dough. (Your perception is about to be changed, though)
According to wage analysis published by the Social Security Administration in 2017, if you made more than $30,000 last year, you earned more than nearly 50 percent of Americans. Crazy, I know. So where do you stack up based on last year's wage statistics?
- If you earned more than $20,000, you made more than 35 percent of Americans, or nearly 58 million people.
- If you earned more than $30,000 (as mentioned earlier), you made more than 48 percent of Americans, or 79 million people.
- If you earned more than $50,000, you made more than 69 percent of Americans, or nearly 114 million people.
- If you earned more than $100,000, you made more than 90.4 percent of Americans, or nearly 150 million people.
3. Commit yourself to change.
If you're making bad choices in life affecting your health, career, or personal relationships, be intentional about making a change this week with a written or verbal declaration of promise to yourself and one or two people closest to you that you don't want to let down.
In the end, why does it all matter? is a question you should answer every day to keep you focused on your commitment. For example, when you're having a tough time fighting off temptations to keep you off track from your health goals (exercise, mindfulness, stress-management, etc), verbally remind yourself, "I'm doing these things because I'll be able to sleep better, have more focus and energy at work, and improve my mood."
4. Activate your curiosity.
In one famous quote, Albert Einstein explained his genius when he famously said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." As it turns out, curiosity is an immensely useful quality most of us--not just the Einsteins among us--can activate to our advantage.
Several studies reveal that curious people have better relationships and connect better with others. In fact, other people are more easily attracted and feel socially closer to individuals that display curiosity.
Harvard Business Review reports that people with a higher "curiosity quotient" (CQ) are more inquisitive and generate more original ideas. Over time, this "thinking style" leads to higher levels of knowledge acquisition. CQ, the author in HBR states, "is the ultimate tool to produce simple solutions for complex problems."
By being curious we learn and grow. And by being passionately curious, we continue to learn and grow, and become even more curious. See where Einstein was going? Maybe there's an Einstein in all of us.
5. Exercise more of the rare virtue of patience.
Patience is something I wish more people practiced. It helps you relax and rethink when things are snowballing out of control. This is especially true for managing your emotions better, especially anger.
Here's what I mean: If you're displaying a lack of patience that manifests itself in f-bomb dropping hissy fits, it can hurt you much more than it does those around you.
People who lack patience are easily provoked. They lack perspective and can't stop their impulse from jumping to the worst conclusions. And they're often seen as being unforgiving and stirring up conflict.
A person who practices patience and is slow to anger may receive less attention and acclaim than driven people with charisma and large egos (but who have a short fuse). But in the end, patience wins because people who exercise it have self-control; their conduct is steady, rational, and manageable.
6. Soak up the wisdom of others.
The smartest people I know stretch their knowledge beyond intellectual pursuits like eating leadership books for breakfast. They continually evolve by soaking up the wisdom of others, acknowledging that they don't know it all. Remember this quote?
If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.
This week, pick a day to view yourself as a small fish in the great big pond of life--seeking out connections and appointments from those further down the path than you in order to learn and master new things.