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Simple Hacks For A Happier Life

Simple Hacks For A Happier Life

Everyone wants to live a better life. Looking for ways to do that is what brings most readers to Lifehack. Whether it’s finding ways to improve your relationships with your family and friends, improve your productivity at work, live a healthier lifestyle, have more peace of mind, and so on, you can find advice on how to achieve all of those things right here.

But, what if you were just looking for a few basic tips and tricks for life in general? If that’s the case, here are the five best pieces of advice we can give you.

1. Eat less CRAP and eat more FOOD.

crap vs food

    That’s right– eat better. For our bodies and minds, it all begins with what we put in our mouths every day. You can work out all you want, but all the exercise in the world can’t overcome a bad diet. Everyone is always benefited by eating healthier.

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    2.  Pick an exercise routine you’re going to enjoy and not dread.

    Workout

      If you hate running on a treadmill, don’t force yourself to do it. You’re most likely going to eventually quit. If you enjoy playing tennis instead, then do that. Whatever form of exercise you enjoy the most (running, lifting weights, yoga, playing sports, mountain climbing, bicycling, etc.) just do it because as long as you’re doing some form of exercise, you’re improving your health and life in many ways.

      3. Develop positive habits.

      Habits

        To improve your life you need to develop positive habits that will override any negative ones you already have. So, how do you accomplish that? The answer is: you spend the next 66 days (or so) developing a new habit.

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        Science now says that it takes, on average, 66 days to develop a habit. How long it takes you to develop it depends on two factors — the complexity of the habit and your dedication. Drinking a glass of water every morning when you wake up is going to be easier to make as a habit than something that requires more physical effort.

        Still, scientists have offered suggestions on how to create habits. It’s basically a three-step process where the 66 days is broken down into thirds. The first 22 days is about loudly proclaiming your desire to create this habit and asking your friends and family to hold you accountable. The second 22 days is about looking inward and holding yourself accountable. The final 22 days is about making that final push and getting that extra motivation. After that, it’s about enjoying your success.

        4. Be in control of your responses to actions and words.

        marcus aurelius 2

          Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and the last of the ancient Stoic philosophers. Stoics believed in mind over matter and to use logic and not emotions when dealing with what happens around them. Aurelius dealt with many issues in his reign, including his best friend attempting a coup against him. Through it all, Marcus chose to forgive those who betrayed him. In his collection of writings, Meditations, he also wrote that, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” People say things based on how they perceive what’s around them. How you react to what people say and do to you is purely up to you.

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          Another way to put it is the quote from Dennis Kimbro, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” So, control your reactions… All of this brings us to our last tip.

          5. Love unconditionally.

          best-love-quotes-love-is-an-unconditional-commitment-to-an-imperfect-person

            Unconditional love is affection without limitations or boundaries. Conditional love is requiring someone else to earn your affection. Your family and loved ones should not have to earn your love. It should be given freely and without obligations. When you give unconditional love, you will receive it in return– maybe not by all– but you will. Conditional love, on the other hand, can lead to resentment because it requires some sort of exchange between individuals. Exchanges can be measured, and if one party feels their exchange is worth more than what they get in return, anger, resentment and jealousy will build up.

            If you love someone unconditionally, you accept their flaws, and you will still love them regardless.

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            Certainly, there are hundreds of more tips and tricks we could include here. You have an entire website here with Lifehack to help you uncover them. These five tips are meant to be the foundation you will use to build upon with all of the other tips and tricks available in the articles on this site. They are the building blocks for adding more success into your life.

            Featured photo credit: Pietro and Silvia via flickr.com

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            Published on November 12, 2020

            5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

            5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

            What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

            Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

            Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

            While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

            Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

            1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

            When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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            Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

            In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

            • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
            • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
            • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

            While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

            2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

            Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

            Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

            Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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            However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

            3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

            Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

            But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

            It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

            4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

            Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

            Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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            5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

            Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

            For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

            How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

            The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

            If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

            Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

            It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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            Final Thoughts

            If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

            If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

            It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

            More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

            Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

            Reference

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