Advertising
Advertising

If You Can Give Me Only One Tip to Improve My Life, What Would It Be?

If You Can Give Me Only One Tip to Improve My Life, What Would It Be?

Have you ever noticed how many books exist in the “Self-help” aisle of any given bookstore? There are hundreds upon hundreds. There are so many tips to improve your life if you search, but it can be challenging to find a focus, especially if you read a lot without truly adapting any tips or taking action. One individual felt overwhelmed and asked via Quora, “If you could give me one tip to improve my life, what would it be?” We’ve chosen the best answers that received the most upvotes [1].

Keep your promises (including those made to yourself)

This doesn’t just apply to the promises you make to other people, but the promises you make to yourself.

In nearly any film you watch, one of the characters is going to make a promise. Whether or not he keeps that promise will determine the entire plot for the remainder of the film. While most movies are fictional, like Harry Potter promising to find all the horcruxes and kill Voldemort, the kept promises still stick with us in reality. So imagine how impactful it would be if you began keeping all your promises [2].

“It doesn’t matter whether the story is big or small, long or short, funny or sad. It doesn’t matter how the challenge surfaces and who’s fighting for what. At some point, someone always says to themselves: ‘I will do this.'”

Advertising

8 Ways to Actually Deliver on Your Promises

Realize that everything is temporary

This answer got 19k upvotes. The parable that exists as the root of this answer revolves around a king asking his subjects for a way to make himself happy when he’s sad and sad when he’s happy. After much thought and consideration, the conclusion they came to was this: Remember that this too shall pass.

“The quote teaches you to enjoy the moment. You may be at the happiest point in your life, but that happiness isn’t permanent, so you should enjoy it while it lasts. But, if you feel miserable, the quote shows you that your sadness isn’t indefinite. Soon you’ll be back to normal.”

When you’re in a difficult situation, it helps to remember it’s temporary; it won’t be difficult forever. Likewise, when you’re in a happy situation, it can be important to realize the same thing in order to avoid taking anything for granted. Enjoy the good times while they’re good, and remember good times will come when the situation seems bleak [3].

Advertising

10 Simple Things You Can Do To Get Through Difficult Times

Simply run. You’ll learn to persist

Runnning teaches you to persist, even if your body wants to stop. It helps you learn to focus on a singular goal and not stop until you get there.

You’ll feel more confident and strong [4]. It can also provide the perfect excuse to listen to a podcast or even that new album you’ve been meaning to check out. Bette says, “You will also be able to learn things because podcasts and books are some of the best things to listen to while you are on a long run.”

Running Guide for Beginners

Advertising

Give 100% (even if you may not want to)

In life, there are going to be times when we don’t want to give it our all. It could be situational, or we could just be having an off day. But it could be that the thing we’re doing is emotionally or physically challenging. In this moments, giving a half-hearted effort could seem like a solution, but that’s just not the case. No one ever shares a success story by starting with, “It all began when I was giving about 50% of an effort…” [5].

Even Will Smith knows the power of trying hard. In fact, he once said, “If it was something that I really committed myself to, I don’t think there’s anything that could stop me becoming President of the United States.”

The Price of Success is Hard Work

Work smarter, not harder

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Most people would use all six hours to do the actual cutting, but planning for a task and sharpening skills can help you accomplish a task in much less time [6].

Advertising

Don’t Work Harder; Work Smarter with These 12 Tips

Live in reality, not a social media feed

We have all been guilty of it: scrolling endlessly through a social media newsfeed, even when someone is speaking to us. It can keep you up at night and make you super anti-social despite how much you feel that you’re interacting with other.

When you scroll endlessly on social media platforms, you’re wasting your time and becoming a little addicted to your smart device. When you spend a majority of your day flirting with girls you’ve never actually met, you could be doing something productive instead. But here’s the thing: deep down, you already know what’s good for you. So listen to yourself! It’s like Verma says, “Stop asking others [what’s good for you], analyze yourself, and start implementing those things in your life which you already know that are good for you(but haven’t tried to implement yet) and eventually you will get the solution to most of the problems in your life.” [7]

How Not to Let Smartphones Make Us Dumber but Smarter

So what do all of these tips have in common? It comes down to living in the present, taking care of yourself and remembering you are greater than any hardship. You have the power to change things, including your life, and the only thing holding you back is you. Imagine what a few simple changes could lead to in the long-term. So what are you waiting for? Start changing your life for the better today.

Reference

More by this author

Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier 10 Best New Products That People Don’t Know About Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow

Trending in Psychology

1 Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering 2 How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind 3 How to Handle Rejection and Overcome the Fear of Being Rejected 4 8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 5 20 Things Only Parents Of Children With Dyslexia Would Understand

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

Advertising

Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

Advertising

No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

Advertising

This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

Advertising

You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

Read Next