The Best Life Hack I’ve Ever Known (I’m Not Bullshitting)

This post feels a lot like self-reminder somehow.

I read lots of life hacks. I love life hacks; thought it’s easy to do and could get immediate results (which is not true, sadly). Some life hacks are bullshit (maybe because I don’t put it into action), but some others are actually so obvious but never come across my mind so I’m just blown by it.

Since a couple months ago I’ve listened The Tim Ferriss Show, a podcast by Timothy Ferriss, the guy who always finds ways to maximise his productivity and basically can do anything I want to master (e.g. tango dance, foreign languages, and cooking). Anyway, on one podcast, he invited Adam Robinson to share what he learnt from Bobby Fisher, the best chess player back then (probably until now; I’ve no idea about world of chess). And here’s the best thing that he’d said:

I always create FUN, ENTHUSIASM, and DELIGHT for THE OTHER PERSON.

What gives you a well-living life: you don’t want anything–don’t expect anything from others–but you give everything. Basically you’ve got NOTHING TO LOSE.

People usually suffer when they’re too much focusing on themselves, when they expect too much from other people without changing what they can give in return. But, what if in everything that I do (e.g. doing job interview, teaching, or even buying something at the convenient store), I focus on others instead of myself? What if I don’t mind the results I’ll get as long as I can make them smile at least?

For example, when I did my first job interview, the interviewer asked me what I expect this company to give me in return (beside salary). It was the last question and it really caught me off guard. Seconds later I answered, “I have nothing to expect.” (I don’t know if this was me being nice or stupid.) But that was the truth: I just wanted to learn something new by working there, and it could be anything (I didn’t have any specifics target). He just laughed and asked me again, “Really? Don’t you have any?” No, I didn’t. Several days later I’d been welcomed to the company.

I also have bad days, and the worst one was when I became a part of the board in a student club. When facing obstacles, instead of trying to solve it one by one, I thought, “This thing doesn’t suit me. Others can do it better, so why me?” and other nonsense things. I focus too much on myself, to the uncomfortable feeling, and I ended up screwing up.

It’s been easy for me to feel happy when I connect with everyone I encounter and when I expect magic in every encounter. It makes life more exciting! Now I can be aware quickly when I don’t give positive vibes, and I’ll just fake it until I can be sincerely happy. Of course sometimes it’s hard to do so, especially after something really bad happens. If it happens, I’ll stay away from people for awhile if I can help it. Don’t want to accidentally spill something I’ll regret, do I?

(Uh, just realised I wrote too much “I”. Whatever.)

I’m not bullshitting myself; I’ve also still got much to improve. Yet I have some tips to make me easier to change my bad behaviour:

Don’t give yourself any labels.

It’s okay if it’s a good label. But if it’s not, it will be hard to change because you kind of accept what you are because you are just too lazy to change. Does it make sense? For example, I used to label myself as a shy person and I was usually afraid to start a conversation. That label made me think to myself, “Okay, I’ll just wait here until someone comes and talks to me. If they don’t, it’s fine because I’m used to being alone.”

Cut the shit. Don’t lie to yourself!

If I feel bad because of something, I dig in. I find out why I feel that why and how I can work things out. It’s not easy, but if you can tackle something that bothers you a lot, you’ll find other things feels nothing compared to that one. Eat the frog first.

My laptop is running out of battery. I hope you can get my points. Good luck to all of us, and see you on top (of the building? Of the mountain? No, of your career! ;))

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