“WORDS ARE POWERFUL. THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO CREATE A MOMENT AND THE STRENGTH TO DESTROY IT.”
– SUSAN GALE.
Words have the power to attract, love, and to hate. By listening to the right words we can see the things we have not seen before. Words can make that much of a difference. They can transform your life or somebody else’s.
There were times in my life when I wanted to give up, but then I would put on motivational video or listen to TED Talks about never giving up. It was because of their motivational speeches that I would feel inspired and motivated again. By listening to the powerful words, not only has my life changed, but I have also learned what a big difference someone can make to the lives of others, simply by saying something that resonates.
If you are unfamiliar with Reddit, it is an online social media community where users vote on content. Some Reddit users submit links to online content and vote on which links are important. In my opinion, one of the greatest aspects of Reddit is the AskReddit.
It is essentially a forum where a member of Reddit can post a question and the entire community can join in and give their opinion on the matter. Some are interesting, some are funny, and some are incredibly inspiring, like the one that you are going to read about in this article.
Some Redditors were asked the question, “What is something someone said that forever changed your way of thinking?”
Here are some of the top answers:
“When I was 38, I contemplated beginning a two-year Associates Degree in Radiography. I was talking to a friend and had almost talked myself out of doing it. I said ‘I’m too old to start that. I’ll be 40 when I get my degree.’ My friend said, ‘If you don’t do it, you’ll still be 40, but without the degree.’ I’m nearly 60 now, and that degree has been the difference between making a decent living, and struggling to get by.
“When I was young and having what I thought was a serious relationship talk with my first real SO, I told her that I just wanted to find the right person. Without missing a beat she said, ‘Everybody is looking for the right person, and nobody is trying to be the right person.’
That stopped me in my tracks.”
“My mom was dying. A friend told me, ‘You have your whole life to freak out about this– don’t do it in front of her.'”
“I was 13 years old, trying to teach my 6-year-old sister how to dive into a swimming pool from the side of the pool. It was taking quite a while as my sister was really nervous about it. We were at a big, public pool, and nearby there was a woman, about 75 years old, slowly swimming laps. Occasionally, she would stop and watch us. Finally, she swam over to us just when I was really putting the pressure on, trying to get my sister to try the dive, and my sister was shouting, ‘But I’m afraid!! I’m so afraid!!’ The old woman looked at my sister, raised her fist defiantly in the air, and said, ‘So be afraid! And then do it anyway!'”
“’It’s only embarrassing if you’re embarrassed.’ Changed my life forever.”
“I met a person who was in a wheelchair. He related a story about how a person once asked if it was difficult to be confined to a wheelchair. He responded, ‘I’m not confined to my wheelchair – I am liberated by it. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my room or house.'”
“’The person that you will spend the most time within your life is yourself, so try to make yourself as interesting as possible.’”
“Paraphrasing what another Redditor told someone, but it was basically, ‘Don’t be a dick to your dog. He’s a few years of your life, but you are all of his.'”
“‘Everyone you meet knows something you don’t.’ My grandfather told me this, and it’s been a good reminder that I am surrounded by teachers.”
“A good friend once told me, ‘You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.'”
“’I’m not afraid of death. It’s the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life. – Jean Girraudoux.’ It is the only thing I’ve ever read that helped me deal with my own mortality.”
“‘People won’t remember the words you say, but how it made them feel.”
“’Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but, when we look back everything is different… – C.S Lewis’.”
“‘Education is expensive, but no education is more expensive.’ Definitely took school more seriously after someone said that to me.”
“‘Next year, you’ll wish you had started today.'”
“In an episode of Louie, he tells one of his daughters, ‘The only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure he has enough.’ I’m sure Louis CK didn’t invent that on his own, but it was the first time I’d heard it, and it’s stuck with me.”
“’Do it to do it, not to have done it.’”
“’You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.'”
“I rather live a life of ‘oh wells’ than ‘what ifs?’”
“A small thing, but vastly more important than it sounds:
I was sitting on a bus once, and we came to the railroad tracks. There were some cars sitting in between us and the next red light, so if a train came, we’d be stuck until it had passed. That was always a couple of annoying minutes.
Then the light turned green, and the bus went across the train tracks without having to wait for a train. Phew, crisis averted. Then, behind me, a mother said to her small child: ‘That was too bad, we didn’t get to see the train today.’
That was the perfect way to frame that. Why not enjoy what you get?”
Featured photo credit: First Descents via firstdescents.org
Last Updated on November 11, 2020
The New Lifehacking #7 – Why You Should Be Open to New Stuff, But Wary About Using It
This is the seventh and final article describing The New Lifehacking. In this series, I described the need for you, a Lifehacker, to focus on making fundamental changes to your habitual methods, rather than chasing the latest gadget or tip. The best way to accomplish this change is to gain an understanding of your current systematic methods, and to use this knowledge to set new targets.
However, using this approach by itself, as logical as it sounds, could close the door to future improvements.
If you only focus on your own methods and keep your head down, you could miss opportunities to improve. The fact is, inspiration to change often arises from the stories, examples and insights of other people, and in order to keep things fresh, you need to be open to these new, possibly contrarian, concepts.
How Do You Look for New Ideas and Gadgets?
If you are a new Lifehacker, you search cautiously. There are new books, blog posts, lists and gadgets coming out all the time, and there’s no way to cover every possible improvement–you simply can’t keep up. You can trust, however, that there are others on the Internet who will curate these concepts for you and continuously share them until they start to resonate.
After an idea or shortcut gets mentioned a few times in an intelligent way by people that you respect, it’s probably time to pay attention and add the new resource to a list of items to research. This is one way to crowdsource the job of sifting through new ideas in a way that saves you a lot of time and effort.
How Do You Evaluate New Ideas and Gadgets?
While you need to be open to new suggestions for possible improvement, you need to adopt an entirely different process in order to evaluate them. A healthy dose of skepticism is required if you are to escape the trap of grabbing the latest-greatest-hottest “thingy,” only to see it fail. The fact is, a particular improvement may help one person and at the same time hinder others. You need to look at your current habits and practices, plus your own evaluation and ask yourself if the investment in time, energy and focus is worth the payoff at the end.
For example, I had to make some cost/benefit decisions when I considered switching over from a Palm T PDA to a Blackberry a few years ago. I tried my best to make the change slowly, aware that some of my habits needed to change in order to accommodate the new device.
Here are a few that I had to alter:
New Habit #1.
Recharging the device became a nightly requirement, versus a bi-weekly option. This meant plugging in the device each night. Therefore, I always needed to be near a charger and a power source.
New Habit #2.
I switched from carrying around a paper pad to capture new tasks, to typing them into my Blackberry with its small keyboard. This meant I had less to take with me from place to place, but it also meant that ideas took longer to record. Also, when I’m on a call and need to record an appointment or phone number, the process of switching over from one function to another is fraught with danger. I still drop the occasional call.
New Habit #3.
Replacing a feature phone with a smartphone means switching from an inexpensive, robust device to one that’s expensive and more fragile. This requires me to be more careful, learning how to protect against theft, physical and adverse physical elements. I had to learn to treat my phone as if it were a precious device that simply couldn’t be just left anywhere.
New Habit #4.
As a Palm user, I was never tempted to use the device while driving. Today’s smartphone user is afflicted with the temptation to break state laws and commonsense rules of thumb by attempting to multitask in moving vehicles. Fortunately, I never developed this particular habit but that’s only because I try hard to be vigilant against all forms of distractions, especially when I’m driving. It takes mental effort to be that vigilant; it’s an entirely new habit.
How Do You Implement New Ideas and Gadgets?
Once the decision has been made to adopt a new improvement, it’s important to make the switch consciously, with a high degree of awareness. There are likely to be a few surprises that require extra attention, and some new habits that turn out to be harder to learn than you thought. For example, I had a hard time learning to plug in my smartphone each night.
The point is maintain as many old, productive habits as possible while implementing the handful of new ones that you believe will make a difference. Unfortunately, it’s devilishly easy to make things worse, and even *much* worse. People who jump from one technology to another can attest to this fact–witness those who fail to switch to large screen smartphones that don’t comfortably fit in a holster. The size of the device forces them to abandon a trusted old habit, in search of a new one. Some simply switch back to their old devices because the “improvement” makes things worse for them.
The New Lifehacking is all about executing intelligent, individual change management. This transformation might not happen at a pace that the author of a book or an inventor of a gadget might want, but at the end of the day we, the new lifehackers, answer only to ourselves, deciding whether or not an improvement makes the deep difference that we want.
Featured photo credit: Emily Park via unsplash.com