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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.

          More by this author

          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          The Gentle Art of Saying No

          The Gentle Art of Saying No

          No!

          It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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          But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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          What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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          But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

          1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
          2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
          3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
          4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
          5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
          6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
          7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
          8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
          9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
          10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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