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The Best of Lifehack – July 2012

The Best of Lifehack – July 2012


    July has come to a close, and now it’s time to present the best of the month gone by with the latest edition of our Best of Lifehack series.

    This month we covered a wide range of topics here at Lifehack (as we do), as well as launched a couple of new initiatives in Lifehack Lessons and Lifehack Quotes. It’s been a busy month here and as we head into the latter half of the year we’ll keep bringing you the great content you expect from Lifehack.

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    Now, let’s check out The Best of Lifehack – July 2012:

    10 Bad Habits Worth Losing

    It’s a good idea to put together a list of bad habits to remove from your life this year. And the good news is – we still have a few months months to get rid of them! To get you started, here are Zoe B’s top 10 bad habits to lose.

    Constantly Feel Good About Yourself Using These 3 Steps

    If you feel as if you are currently in a state wherein you need some help on bolstering your feelings of self-worth, here are some ideas from Kara Heissman that you may find helpful:

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    8 Body Hacks To Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels

    In this article, Curt Pedersen provides 8 tips that research shows can help to increase your body’s production of this hormone. Give them a try to help give yourself a natural boost.

    3 Hacks to Be a Better You

    We should always work to be better people. We have the tools, and they shouldn’t be wasted. How you decide to become a better person is up to you. With that said, if you need a little direction then here are 3 hacks courtesy of Josh Bell help you to be a better you.

    Not Losing Weight? Listen Up!

    Not losing weight? Here are some simple tips from Justin Miller to get you over the hump – ones you can apply immediately to achieve success. So listen up!

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    101 Ways to Feel Happy on a Daily Basis/a>

    Want to feel happy — or even happier than you are already? Annabel Candy offers 101 ways to feel happy on a daily basis.

    How to Optimize Your Daily To-Do List

    There is one simple way you can optimize your to-do list, and make sure stuff that needs to get done, gets done. Every item must relate to annual/life goals. Dolly Garland delivers some great tips on how to optimize your daily to-do list so that you keep your items connected to those goals.

    10 Ways to Live a More Meaningful Life

    How can we live a more meaningful life? The answer is usually complicated, but David Loker suggests 10 ideas for cultivating one in this piece.

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    How to Really Start a Business (or Why You Don’t Need Money to Make Money)

    In this post, Greg Miliates explains how to get past the myths that prevent you from starting a business and discusses how to start a business on the cheap — and change your life in the process.

    Why Are You Getting Things Done?

    CM Smith, Lifehack’s Associate Editor, asks the big question: Why Are You Getting Things Done? If there are too many mundane tasks on your to-do lists or you feel like you have no direction, then you need to find out why you are getting things done.

    (Photo credit: Golden Leader of Business Team via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2020

    6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

    6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

    We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

    “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

    Are we speaking the same language?

    My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

    When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

    Am I being lazy?

    When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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    Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

    Early in the relationship:

    “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

    When the relationship is established:

    “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

    It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

    Have I actually got anything to say?

    When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

    A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

    When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

    Am I painting an accurate picture?

    One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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    How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

    Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

    What words am I using?

    It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

    Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

    Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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    Is the map really the territory?

    Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

    A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

    I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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