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How Satisfied Are You With Your Life? Check These Graphs Out

How Satisfied Are You With Your Life? Check These Graphs Out

We only live once. Who doesn’t want to make the best out of it? Below are three graphs that illustrate the important things we should have in our lives in order to be more satisfied.

Note that these graphs are used to illustrate some key ideas but not based on science or aligning with strict maths rules.

motivation_hand

    How Motivated Are You?

    You may think that the more motivated someone is, the happier he/she is and hence life satisfaction would be greater. However, note that motivation is just about enthusiasm, it doesn’t include planning or setting goals, which are the fundamentally important steps to achieve something. When we’re motivated, we can be encouraged to perform better, or blinded by the excitement brought by it. When one is motivated but lacks reasoning and a clear mindset, he can end up being overwhelmed and in a worse situation than having little motivation. This is why the life satisfaction curve fluctuates so much in the graph. Either you’re highly motivated or rarely motivated, it’s hard to decide your level of life satisfaction.

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    Then, what’s the gap between motivation and life satisfaction? When goals are set, performance usually would be better, hence making us more satisfied. That’s why Lifehack always encourages users to add goals.

    See the below graph about the relationship between number of goals and level of life satisfaction.

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    number of goals_hand

      Number of Goals

      Without clear goals, tremendous motivation wouldn’t be enough.

      But does it mean we should have as many goals as possible? No, quantity isn’t always directly proportional to quality. There is an optimal number. Once that number is exceeded, we can be easily overwhelmed. We’ll lose focus and can only make small progress for each little goal. To fully untap your potential, focus is essential.

      How many is the best? There is no absolute answer. It depends. Some people can only focus on one goal at a time, some can focus on five at a time.

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      Signs that you’re taking too few goals

      • you don’t know your direction
      • you can’t tell what you’re going to do next
      • what you describe is very vague that you can’t remember well too
      • you’re always thinking about the utopia and rarely take any actions

      Signs that you’re taking too many goals

      • you always feel that you have too little time
      • you can’t remember how many goals you have
      • you feel overwhelmed

      Signs that you’re having the optimal number of goals

      • you know what you’re working on and what you’ll work on next
      • you can state and elaborate all your goals to someone very clearly
      • you work hard and play hard

      What’s even more important than the number of goals?

      Before the “optimal number” line, the curve is still fluctuating, like the first graph. It is because there is one more important factor than the number. It is how well you stick to your goals, i.e. how you work towards them. Overall, the more goals we have (before reaching the optimal number), the more satisfied we would be with our life. But the level of satisfaction fluctuates a bit since goals being set does not mean goals being stuck with or achieved. Remember how many times you’ve written down a list of new year resolutions and forgotten them after a month? Don’t be frustrated though! That’s already a big step!

      growth_hand

        The Most Important Factor: How Well You Stick To Your Goals

        The most important factor is the hardest to be fulfilled. At the same time, as you can see from the graph, the return is promising. The better we stick to our goals, the greater our life satisfaction is. Such growth is exponential as what we’ve achieved would help us advance more quickly and hence contributes to even larger increase in satisfaction.

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        However, it’s often hard to start by yourself. It’s always good to seek help and learn from others. Lifehack Goal Setting System is a hearty system that makes every small progress counts. By providing practical and useful articles, users would be guided through the process and achieve remarkable outcomes.

        Note that how you set your goals is also extremely important. When the goals are too vague, they’re not much different from motivation, which means it’ll lead you back to the situation illustrated in the first graph. A good example is “I always stare at a screen and that hurts my eyes. I want to keep my eyes naturally healthy!“.

        Maybe you would ask why it is “how well we stick to our goals” instead of “how many goals are achieved”. This is because goals mainly act as a roadmap/direction for us to follow through. As long as we make progress towards it, it is a kind of growth that will make us happier.

        Setting goals

        According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, concrete prosocial goals can boost our happiness better than non-social ones. You may take this into account when setting your own goals.

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        Chloe Chong

        Chloe is a social media expert and shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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        Last Updated on March 30, 2020

        What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

        What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

        Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

        You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

        This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

        What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

        According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

        Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

        There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

        How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

        When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

        Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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        1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

        One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

        The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

        Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

        2. Be Honest

        A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

        If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

        On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

        Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

        3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

        Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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        If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

        4. Succeed at Something

        When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

        Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

        5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

        Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

        Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

        If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

        If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

        Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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        6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

        Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

        You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

        On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

        You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

        7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

        Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

        Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

        Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

        When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

        Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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        In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

        Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

        It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

        Final Thoughts

        When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

        The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

        Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

        Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

        Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

        More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

        Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
        [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
        [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
        [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
        [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
        [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
        [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
        [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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