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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

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on August 13, 2020

    12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

    12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

    As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

    1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

    I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

    Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

    Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

    2. What is the purpose of meditation?

    The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

    It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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    Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

    In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

    You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

    This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

    The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

    Less Physical, More Psychological

    Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

    This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

    The First Benefit of Meditation

    The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

    1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
    2. Relaxation of the body

    Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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    Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

    That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

    When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

    When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

    Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

    Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

    This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

    Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

    Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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    This benefit takes you to the second one.

    The Second Benefit of Meditation

    While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

    1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
    2. Observance
    3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
    4. Patience

    Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

    You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

    This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

    1. Energy

    Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

    2. Observance

    The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

    3. Peacefulness

    Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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    4. Patience

    The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

    The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

    Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

    Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

    The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

    • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
    • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
    • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
    • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
    • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
    • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

    These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

    Final Thoughts

    Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

    Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

    Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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    Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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