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5 Life “Shortcuts” That Never Work

5 Life “Shortcuts” That Never Work

You’re probably reading this blog because you want to improve your life. You’re trying to find tips that would help you live healthier, do things faster and be more productive. I’d also venture a guess that you’re reading Lifehack because you’re looking for hacks or shortcuts that would make your life easier. If so, then kudos to you! Trying to find tips, tricks, or shortcuts to help you get where you want to be is great and shows that you care about self-improvement.

I would, however, like to offer a caveat about shortcuts: Not all of them are created equal. For instance, downloading an app that would help you do your job faster? That’s awesome. But backstabbing someone as a “shortcut” to get to the top? Not so much.

It’s important to remember that some things are meant to be fully experienced. Some people are worth waiting for and there are accomplishments that must be earned through hard work and perseverance.

Below are some examples of life shortcuts that aren’t good for you and will most likely take you nowhere:

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Shortcuts In Love

Being a homewrecker

Some people get impatient with their own love life and so they try to take another person’s significant other. They tell themselves that they deserve their own shot at love and give excuses like, “We’re so much better together than they ever were,” or, “He’s going to leave her for me.”

If you’re thinking of going down this path (or if you already are) then do yourself and the other party a favor and just walk away. You deserve better than someone who is willing to let himself or herself be shared or torn between two people.

Real, honest-to-goodness relationships are built on true love and trust. If you have to share someone with another person, then you have neither of these things. And if you’re using the, “They’ll leave their significant other for me,” reason, then why not wait for them to prove it to you? Chances are if they haven’t done so after all this time, they probably never will.

The “long cut” to finding love

This is tricky, because there are tons of ways to find love. It really is all around us, so be open and work to become the best person you can be while you’re at it. It also helps to be kind and to be happy for those who have found love instead of sulking because you’re single.

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Some people seek shortcuts to love because they get impatient. But the truth is, while the route to meeting that special someone can be long and winding, the destination is most definitely worth it. (And that “someone” doesn’t always have to be another person.)

Shortcuts In Money

Buying into get rich schemes

Those ads that promise that you’ll earn six figures working from home doing nothing? What about those emails telling you that a prince from some far away country is giving away his wealth and all you have to do is reply to the message with you bank info?

Five words: Too. Good. To. Be. True. Stop clicking on them!

Counting on the lottery

Playing the lottery can be fun, and people occasionally do get lucky. However, if you’re sitting there wishing and hoping you’ll win, instead of working your butt off or finding ways to grow your money, then chances are you’re in for disappointment.

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The “long cut” to wealth

People find wealth by being innovative. They hit it big by figuring out how to make a lot of money doing what they love. They start a business. They freelance. They get rich by fulfilling a great need and helping a lot of people. Others are just really good at knowing where, how, and when to invest (and no, I’m not just talking about stocks or real estate here). Most have done it by trying and failing at numerous ventures but not giving up and then finally getting it right.

There are plenty of ways to be financially wealthy. Like the route to love, finding your way to wealth can be quite the journey and it’s different for each of us. But one thing’s for sure: the chances of your route involving lotto tickets are very, very slim.

Shortcuts In Happiness

Putting other people down just so you can feel good about yourself

Some people feel threatened or insecure when they see others having the time of their lives. So they resort to stuff like gossip, insults, backstabbing and whatnot just so they can take the other person down and feel a wee bit superior. Doing this, of course, never works and while you may feel “good” at first, it never lasts and you usually end up feeling worse than before.

Buying a fancy purse/car/house even if you can’t afford it … again, just so you can feel good about yourself.

It can be tempting to use material things as your ticket to happiness, but like putting other people down, that positive emotion that you feel (or think you feel) after you buy lavish things just to show off is only temporary.

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Don’t get me wrong, money can buy you things that could bring you joy. But that will only work if you’re already content with who you are and if you’re buying those things for you, and not for other people’s sake.

The “long cut” to happiness

Sometimes, the longest journey is going inside yourself. If you find pleasure in other people’s sadness or if you think that you can be happy with a fancy new trinket, you may want to do some self-exploration and learn how to feel secure and content with your life.

The road to joy also involves letting go of the things that don’t make you happy. You know all the jealousy and resentment that you have pent up inside? Those things are weighing you down and they’re taking up way too much space in your life. Let them go and make room for all the joy to come in.

And remember what I said about being kind, being happy for others, and becoming the best person you can be? Those apply to finding happiness, too.

Can you name other life “shortcuts” that never work? Share them in the comments below.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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