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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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