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Best Life Hacks from “The Little Black Book of Secrets”

Best Life Hacks from “The Little Black Book of Secrets”

    The little black book, quite literally, fits into the palm of my hand. And despite its small size, it packs quite a whallop. Plainly titled “Book of Secrets”, this micro-book is a treasure trove of life hacks, trivia, quotes, and “secret information”. Compiled by a team of authors (Lloyd Bradley, Thomas Eaton, Emma Hooley, Patrick Humphries, and Charlotte Williamson), this 152 page book is so engrossing, you’ll read it in a single session.

    Eaton, co-author and lead editor for the book, studied history at Oxford and Cambridge. He worked on the television program “The Weakest Link”, and has also written trivia quizzes for other TV programs and newspapers in the UK.

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    Beyond the facts about government conspiracies, underground movie theatres, and lost historical tidbits, there are also plenty of practical secrets and hacks, ranging from food preparation tips to business tips to sneaky tips to manipulate people.

    The Look of the Book

    I wasn’t kidding before when I was talking about the size: the dimensions of the 2008 edition of the book are 3.375″ x 3.75″. The book is super tiny! And the size is arguably the coolest thing about the book (well, besides the content of course!). It’s tiny enough to fit in the smallest purse, a pocket, or a backpack, meaning you can take it with you to read on the go.

    The cover is completely black, emblazoned only with the title “Book of Secrets”. It’s definitely got an air of mystery. The interior includes illustrations, but they are all in black and white. Each section spans between 1/2 and 4 pages, and covers subject material ranging from funeral parlor secrets to “secret lotions and potions” to weight loss tips and secrets.

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    Apparently, the 2005 edition is slightly larger in size, and is bound in leather. My experience with the book, however, is based entirely on the 2008 edition, which has the dimensions listed above and is bound in a thick, shellacked paper not unlike oaktag.

    My Top Picks for Clever Tricks and Advice

    The book covers a wide array of topics, and it’s hard to pick among the various tips and sections to determine what parts of the book were the most interesting. That being said, there are a handful of hacks and tricks that were especially interesting to me. Here are six of my favorite hacks, sections, and tricks from the little black book of secrets.

    1. Quieting a Crying Baby: Feed the baby a teaspoon of onion water. To make onion water, simply place a coarsely chopped onion in a jar of hot water, and allow it to cool. This infusion can be stored in the fridge for 3 days.

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    2. A Collection of Tips for Flirting with Women: Among the 10 tips in this section of the book, some of the most important pieces of advice relate to how to dress, how to make her laugh, and the importance of being sincere (but not too sincere).

    3. How to Get the Best Deals on Vacation Packages: The experts say that you need to shop around, plan ahead, and consider your destination’s current political and economic climate carefully.

    4. Dietary Tricks to Avoid Migraines: If you are prone to headaches or migraines, you should avoid herbal supplements like ginko and ginseng. This is because these herbs stimulate blood flow, which can, for some people, lead to headaches. As a migraine sufferer, this was very important and helpful information for me to have.

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    5. Drink Green Tea for Perfect Teeth: Green tea not only combats bad breath, but the flavonoids in this type of tea also work in tandem with the active ingredients in toothpaste and mouthwash to provide your teeth with an extra boost of protective power.

    6. The Top 20 Secrets of Winning Friends and Influencing People: This section includes tips about the importance of listening, the value of teamwork, and cultivating a personality that people will respond well to.

    Conclusion

    I could go on about the useful sections that will be of interest to life hackers. The advice on how to master public speaking is excellent, and the four-page section on the secrets of eggs/egg trivia was surprisingly interesting. And if you are a fan of fried chicken, the faux-Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe is definitely worth checking out. The bottom line is that if you are looking to learn some new tricks to help you succeed in life or business, this book will help you achieve that goal, while also providing you with entertaining trivia and historical info.

    If you’d like to learn more about this book, you can preview selected pages from “Book of Secrets” at the website of the publisher, Andrews McMeel. Just click the Google Preview button underneath the image of the book cover.

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    Tucker Cummings

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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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