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If You Follow These 3 Rules To Live Your Life, You Can Get Everything You Want

If You Follow These 3 Rules To Live Your Life, You Can Get Everything You Want
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There are certain principles, universal laws and undeniable fundamental truths that underpin the existence of all mankind and govern our lives. The truth is, you are not in control of your life’s outcomes. We can and do, however, affect and contribute to our outcomes. Our actions increase the likelihood of certain outcomes although there are no guarantees.

Recognize, understand and flow with the universe’s governing principles

Being cognizant of natural laws and then aligning your actions to flow in tandem with these laws gives you a better chance of achieving a desired end. Our bodies are a system that operates under a series of principles. If you fail to exercise, eat healthy, and visit the doctor regularly, you increase the probability that you will die relatively young. Add smoking to the mix, and you more than double the odds of sickness and an early death. Understanding life’s principles allows you to choose actions that are slanted toward a particular outcome and empowers you to stick with a course of action long term.

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Here are 3 principles that drive success

1. Seed time and harvest

This principle encapsulates and runs so much deeper than the “you reap what you sow” cliche. While that is a big part of this principle, it is missing two fundamental keys. The first key is about timing and the second is about work. A 20-year-old college student can procrastinate and put off completing a project until the night before it is due. Then he or she can pull an all nighter and ace the class. They planted seeds by doing the work and reaped the benefit— a good grade. But what about a farmer? It’s the same principle but a farmer has to factor in time and energy. You don’t plant today and reap tomorrow. The procrastinating college student will learn this soon enough.

The second facet of this principle is the issue of expended energy. Herein lies the true fallacy and pitfall of this principle. The college student worked all night and received a benefit. However, this flow is the exception, not the rule. Consider the farmer. He plants seeds, waits and then he receives his crop. However, to truly reap the harvest, the farmer is required to perform additional work. He must go out and physically harvest the crop or it will rot in the field. The same is true for most things in life. You must work and plant the right things but you must also work to enjoy your harvest.

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2. Input and outputs coincide but don’t always equal

If you have been alive any length of time, you are painfully aware that the effort you put into something does not always equal the output. Life is not an even exchange and input and outputs are rarely proportional. In the beginning of any new endeavor, input far exceeds output. And then slowly, the inverse begins to happen. Outputs or harvests begin to catch up and then far outpace your input and you don’t have to work as hard as you did initially.

The most important thing to understand about this principle is that input— similar to interest in the financial world— over time, compounds. You must understand that just as it is with financial investments so it is in every other arena. What you invest in matters because it directly affects the type and size of your outcomes. You must invest in things with potential and a high probability of yielding a substantial return on your investment. Input must be targeted, purposeful and consistent.  Eventually, your small investments begin slowly growing and then they multiply.

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3. Consistency Counts

Your ability to be consistent and to stay on course is critical to delivering positive outcomes. Far too often people get tired and give up too soon. You have to learn to stick with it. You have to be consistent.

Consistency is more important than methodology and trumps occasional sacrifices. Short bursts of effort followed by long periods of rest impede your progress. Be consistent. Consistently keep good company, consistently save, consistently spend wisely, consistently eat healthy, consistently exercise, consistently study and consistently put time, energy and resources into the things you want to grow. Be consistent.

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In life, there are no guarantees but you can swing the odds in your favor.

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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