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How to Master your Life

How to Master your Life

Here’s a great answer we found on Quora by Oliver Emberton who provides some valuable tips on how to master your life.

The secrets to love, life and happiness can be unlocked with three simple words: Play. The. Sims.

It’s a game where you lead a person’s complete life with a mouse. Want to talk to that girl right there? Just click on her and pick something:

master your life

    Left to their own devices, your Sim will do whatever they feel like, which is usually strikingly stupid. (In real life, that may sound familiar). You interrupt your Sim’s autopilot by giving them sage instructions, like “read a book” or “stare at that girl’s butt”.

    Being successful at The Sims is very easy. It’s just like real life,except without a barrier between what you decide and what you do.

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    Say you want to get fit.

    In the Sims, you immediately buy whatever lame fitness equipment you can afford. If you can’t afford anything, go run in the park. Each day you tell your Sim to spend a spare minute exercising, and although progress is slow, you see their bars slowly inch up. Success is guaranteed.

    how to get fit

      In real life you think about getting fit. You’re not sure what to buy. Can you really afford the ‘right’ equipment? You read reviews. Do you have enough time? You ask questions on Quora. Maybe you buy something. You don’t know how to use it. Maybe you use it a couple times. You don’t see any results. You talk and think and share and do anything but exercise.

      IF ONLY SOMEONE WOULD TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.

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      The first lesson from The Sims is good decisions require little thought. 

      To get fit: exercise. To be smarter: read. To eat healthier: cook. Such mechanics are elementary to a child playing the game, but when leading your own life, your mischievous mind paralyses you with too much thinking. Stop holding out for perfect decisions. Pick. Act.

      You can solve half the hassles of humanity this way. “I like this girl, how do I get her to like me?” Just click on her, and pick something.

      “But what do I say?” Anything moves you closer to your goal.Pick something. “But she might not like me!” Right now, she doesn’t even know you. Fix that. Pick something. “But what would we name our future kids?” SHUT UP AND PICK SOMETHING.

      Thinking isn’t inherently bad of course, but save the deep stuff for writing your novel and designing a nuclear powered washing machine. If you’re not clicking your mouse much, you’re probably not playing the game very well.

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      state

        The second lesson from The Sims is to nurture your state.

        If your Sim is tired, desperate for company or wetting themselves, they won’t get much done. A decent player keeps an eye on these bars and never lets them slide too far; the exceptional player builds a life that takes care of them automatically.

        And so it is in real life. If you’ve found yourself having a crappy pointless argument, chances are you were a bad mix of tired, stressed, or hungry at the time. If you want to be your wittiest, smartest, and most resilient, you’d better take consistently good care of yourself. The best way to be consistently awesome is to be in a consistently good state.

        Skills

          The third lesson from The Sims is to build selected skills.

          Almost every action your Sim can take makes them better at something. Some skills are easier to gain, depending on your natural strengths, but you can get impressively decent at just about anything with time.

          You don’t live forever though, so to get great at something means saying no to something else. You must pick, and focus. Fully developed strengths tend to make your weaknesses redundant. Woody Allen would not be better off if he had spent less time writing and more time at the gym.

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          The final lesson from The Sims is the game is indifferent.

          There’s no winning The Sims. Everyone dies. There’s no high score. You live your life how you want, and you alone judge what to make of it as it rolls by. This may sound familiar.

          But that doesn’t make life pointless; it makes life anything you choose it to be. If you want to live yours free from regret: keep your state high. Focus your time into a few select skills. But most importantly of all: go ahead and click on something.

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          Last Updated on January 15, 2021

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

          Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

          Posture

          First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

          • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
          • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
          • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
          • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

          All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

          Facial Expressions

          Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

          • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
          • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
          • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

          If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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          1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

          A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

          The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

          This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

          2. Relax Your Face

          New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

          The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

          To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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          3. Improve Your Eye Contact

          Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

          The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

          To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

          3. Smile More

          There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

          Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

          4. Hand Gestures

          Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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          It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

          5. Enhance Your Handshake

          In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

          “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

          It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

          6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

          As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

          Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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          Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

          Final Takeaways

          Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

          If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

          More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

          Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

          Reference

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