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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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          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Published on April 7, 2021

          6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

          6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

          Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

          While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

          1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

          Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

          If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

          In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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          2. They Make Everything Transactional

          Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

          For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

          Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

          A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

          Some statements to be wary of include:

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          • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
          • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
          • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
          • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

          3. They Criticize Everything

          One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

          However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

          Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

          • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
          • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
          • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
          • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

          4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

          We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

          For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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          This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

          5. They Socially Isolate You

          Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

          Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

          This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

          In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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          6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

          It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

          Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

          Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

          • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
          • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
          • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
          • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

          Final Thoughts

          It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

          More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

          Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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