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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 February 25, 2020

Face Adversity with a Smile

Face Adversity with a Smile

I told my friend Graham that I often cycle the two miles from my house to the town centre but unfortunately there is a big hill on the route. He replied, ‘You mean fortunately.’ He explained that I should be glad of the extra exercise that the hill provided.

My attitude to the hill has now changed. I used to grumble as I approached it but now I tell myself the following. This hill will exercise my heart and lungs. It will help me to lose weight and get fit. It will mean that I live longer. This hill is my friend. Finally as I wend my way up the incline I console myself with the thought of all those silly people who pay money to go to a gym and sit on stationery exercise bicycles when I can get the same value for free. I have a smug smile of satisfaction as I reach the top of the hill.

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Problems are there to be faced and overcome. We cannot achieve anything with an easy life. Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to gain a University degree. Her activism and writing proved inspirational. She wrote, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

One of the main determinants of success in life is our attitude towards adversity. From time to time we all face hardships, problems, accidents, afflictions and difficulties. Some are of our making but many confront us through no fault of our own. Whilst we cannot choose the adversity we can choose our attitude towards it.

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Douglas Bader was 21 when in 1931 he had both legs amputated following a flying accident. He was determined to fly again and went on to become one of the leading flying aces in the Battle of Britain with 22 aerial victories over the Germans. He was an inspiration to others during the war. He said, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”

How can you change your attitude towards the adversity that you face? Try these steps:

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  1. Confront the problem. Do not avoid it.
  2. Deliberately take a positive attitude and write down some benefits or advantages of the situation.
  3. Visualise how you will feel when you overcome this obstacle.
  4. Develop an action plan for how to tackle it.
  5. Smile and get cracking.

The biographies of great people are littered with examples of how they took these kinds of steps to overcome the difficulties they faced. The common thread is that they did not become defeatist or depressed. They chose their attitude. They opted to be positive. They took on the challenge. They won.

Featured photo credit: Jamie Brown via unsplash.com

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