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10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

I love vintage stuff. Remember when everybody was wearing vintage sports jerseys?

Personally, the vintage sports phase was alright, but I didn’t start buying Brooklyn Dodgers stuff. That’s not really the vintage style I like. I like “old-school living” vintage. You know, a less technology way of life.

Here are ten ways to be awesome by incorporating a little vintage into your life:

1. Smoke a Pipe

I love a good cigar, but recently I’ve recognized the magic of smoking a tobacco pipe. It’s unique and it’s an art. Not only does it take time to learn how to light a tobacco pipe and get really good at it, it’s also an instrument that requires respect; you have to clean it and take care of it.

I’ve even thought people who want to quit smoking should invest in a pipe and smoke that way. Why? Well, every time they want a smoke they’d have to stuff it with tobacco, get it lit, keep it lit, then clean it afterwards. I bet it would prevent many smokers from smoking so much.

To be clear, I don’t puff on my tobacco pipe on a regular basis. I just like smoking my pipe whenever the mood hits. (is there a way to not make that sound sexual in any way? Get your mind out of the gutter folks)

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2. Read a Novel from Before 1950

Read some old literature—the good stuff. The early 1900’s produced a great amount of quality fiction; Ask The Dust, by John Fante, For Whom The Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, to name a very select few.

Schedule a night to turn off your television, your phone, your computer, and anything else that will distract you. Set aside 2-3 hours and just sit with a cup of tea, if you’d like, and read a book. It might feel like you’re “wasting” time, but you aren’t. Forget about the latest Tweet or Facebook post; get lost in a good book—it’s an awesome thing to do.

3. Take a Long Walk As Your Exercise for the Day

We are fitness obsessed. It’s all about insane workouts and making sure you jam enough protein down your gullet. Here’s a wild idea: go for a walk; a long one. Don’t plug your ears with music either—listen to the sounds surrounding. Be in touch with the world, connect to it.

A long walk is not only good for the heart, it’s good for the mind. Breathe deeply while you walk, make each step purposeful. Enjoy the weather, rain or shine, be present in the moment of walking. It’s mind freeing.

4. Have a Bath

We are so rush-rush these days it’s hard to find time to get everything done, let alone relax. Taking 15 minutes to pour yourself a hot bath at night, however, can do wonders for your mental and physical health. It helps with blood circulation and can help you get a night of beautiful deep sleep. Mentally it will help you, well, relax. In this day and age, that’s critical.

5. Write a Letter to a Loved One By Hand (Bonus Points On a Typewriter)

It’s so easy to send a quick text or an email to someone, and rarely do they mean anything. What does mean something, however, is a hand written letter. Why? Because you have to the take time to write it out, fold it, place it in an envelope, and walk it down to a mailbox. That sounds rather simple, but when’s the last time you’ve done it?

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Letters have meaning. Do meaningful things for people. It can change their world, and yours.

Write a letter to a loved one today. My grandpa and I have been doing this for a couple years. It has developed a unique, deep connection between us that I cherish greatly.

6. Dress With Care When Going Out

I’m guilty of this more then I’d care to admit. Being a writer, it’s far too easy to run out the door wearing track pants and an old t-shirt. I don’t dress up for work because I don’t have too. That’s lazy.

Dressing up is a way to respect ourselves. Remember when people used to dress up to go to sporting events, or any event for that matter? No matter what you are doing in your day, take the time to put on some nice clothes and hit the town. Not only will you look impressive, but you’ll feel impressive.

7. Wash All Your Dishes By Hand

The invention of the dishwasher made cleaning up dinner so easy that, sometimes, I don’t do it until the next morning. When is the last time you washed every pot, plate, fork, and cup after dinner by hand? That’s what I thought.

Washing everything by hand allows you to take the time to just be with whomever you are washing with. And if you’re washing alone, it allows you time to be mindful and distracts you from rushing over to the television. As tempting as that television looks, you don’t need to watch it, remember that.

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8. Be Present With Each Other While Eating Dinner

Growing up, we had family dinners. We would all sit around the table and talk about our day. Now, for most families, those style dinners are for special events, only. It’s far too easy to plop down with the television on and watch the news while everybody is eating. I remember getting upset that dinner was at 5:15pm because The Simpsons were still on. In hindsight, The Simpsons have never helped me be a kinder and fuller human being, so family dinner should have taken priority.

Another failure at the dinner table is phone checking constantly for the latest tweet or “urgent” text message. It’s making us stupid. Put the phones away! Talk to each other. And if you don’t talk, sit in silence and respect the meal. Silence while together can be a powerful experience. In this noisy world we have become uncomfortable with silence. Embrace silence, be mindful, relaxed in its presence.

9. Play Cards for Date Night

Instead of having yet another movie date, why not play cards? You can even have fun creating your own card games or add fun stipulations for the winners or losers. Every time I make up card game rules it’s usually based around the goal of getting my wife naked, but I digress.

Playing cards can make conversation lively and entertaining.

With the stress of life, we constantly fall into mindless activities, when in truth, we should be doing mindful activities. It keeps us present, something many struggle with.

10. Listen to the Game On the Radio

Television has taken away the aura of sport. There is no more imagination. When we want to see the great diving catch of the day, we can. Yesterdays legends were created through people’s imaginations. Today, legends are almost non-existent because we get to see every success and failure with our own eyes, in high-definition.

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We only have little snips of video from the greats of yesterday. In our eyes, they’ve never made an error because we’ve never seen them make one. Whens the last time you saw video of Joe Dimaggio making an error? The games were created with vivid conversation and descriptions by the broadcasters. People dreamed of what the great play looked like. These men were built like kings, in our imagination. The game turned into a mystical experience.

Sit back, grab some popcorn, and listen to a baseball game on the radio. Create the game in your mind, make it your own experience.

This November, I’m only going to listen to hockey games on the radio. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Do you have any ideas that can be added to the list? Agree or disagree with anything?

More by this author

Daniel CJ Grant

Daniel is the author of "Notes from a Failure". He writes about failure and success.

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances Notes From A Failure: 5 Unusual Ways To Handle Failure 3 Unique Ways To Enjoy The Present Moment 9 Lessons I’ve Learned Overcoming Depression That Can Help Anybody Succeed In Anything 10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

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Last Updated on November 9, 2020

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

2. No Motivation

Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

5. Upward Comparisons

Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

6. No Alternative

This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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7. Stress

As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

8. Sense of Failure

People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

9. The Need to Be All-New

People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

10. Force of Habit

Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

More on Breaking Bad Habits

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
[2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
[3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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