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How to Lead a Better Life and Do What You Want

How to Lead a Better Life and Do What You Want

It can be a long lesson if you want to know how to lead a better life and do what you want, but I’ve found a nice short post on Quora by Oliver Emberton who shows us the idea to lead a good life with some interesting graphics:

You can do anything if you stop trying to do everything

    ALL THAT PORN ISN’T HELPING YOU. 

    Productivity porn, that is. How to get more hours from your day. What to-do app to use. What cute quotes to share on Facebook. Waste. Of. Time.

    It’s actually quite simple. The most accomplished people are simply experts at what they choose to do, not how they do it. Spend most of your time on the right things and the rest takes care of itself.

    Let’s break it into three:

    1. Focus on your flairs

    What does it mean to have a flair for something? It means time you invest yields higher returns: 

      Say you’re Tiger Woods, aged 10. Playing golf is a pretty good use of your time, right? Bill Gates probably wasn’t wasting his evenings on the computer.

      Yet equally we all have areas where we struggle – our anti-flair, if you will. It took me 18 months and four attempts to pass my driving test. I hated every squirming, soul-sucking minute, but still – if you throw enough time at something you’ll get results eventually.

      The problem is, too many of us lead lives like those driving lessons: ceaselessly doing something we hate, solely to get through it. You can’t avoid every chore of course, but know that how you spend your time compounds itself, so you’d best be putting most of it where it matters:

        DO NOT FOR A SECOND believe it is enough to ‘work hard’. Hard work is not inherently a good thing. Hard work is a disgusting waste of your life when it’s thrown at the wrong things.

        2. Defy permission

        “But wait! No-one will pay me to follow my dreams!”

        Well of course. The problem here is you’re looking for a convenient, readymade route to prosperity that exists for your particular passion. Most of the time, we call that a “job”.

        Take a hard look at almost anyone who is really successful, and consider: did they apply for an existing position by winning an interview? Or did they bypass the system and start something entirely by themselves?

          If you’re a wannabe musician, you don’t necessarily need to be discovered by a label anymore. You need to be discovered by the public. Yearn to be a writer? Blog or self-publish. An entrepreneur? Build a company in your garage. If you’re good enough at something, there’s a way to make it work by yourself. But don’t expect anyone to tell you what to do or give you permission.

          One caveat: you have to be good enough, and you have to persist. The best way to do that, of course, is to focus relentlessly on your flairs (see #1).

          Good jobs are disappearing in today’s world, but there’s never been so many great ones.

          3. Embrace your sociopathic shield

          Getting something done can be like surviving a meteor storm of distractions. We surrender much of our life to the most vapid crap imaginable, simply because someone else asks us to.

            To survive, you need a shield. A slightly sociopathic one, in fact:

              The default response of your shield to anything that requires time is “no”. Automatic no. The trick is not to think of the new thing being proposed (“ooh – a squirrel”), but to think of the existing priority you’re defending (“oh – my dreams”). And if your brain thinks you can do both, treat that thought with the skepticism of Richard Dawkins being shown some holy toast.

              This isn’t easy, so it’s best to avoid relying on your shield in the first place. Flat out ignore as many potential distractions as possible – at least for long enough for you to focus on meaningful work. Seal yourself in a bubble when you can. If your emails go unanswered – well – tough. The payoff is you get done what matters.

              It demands a certain courage or naivety to accomplish all this, which is probably why so few do. Being young helps. Being hungry helps. Being a bit of an arse helps. One of the great advantages of the young is they’re blissfully ignorant or dismissive of the stupid rules they’re not supposed to break.

              Spend most of your time on the right things. Don’t wait for permission. And get comfortable with declining everything by default.

              It’s harder than posting a cute quote on Facebook, but it works.

              More by this author

              Anna Chui

              Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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              Last Updated on September 24, 2020

              17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

              17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

              In the movie The Matrix, everyone was intrigued with the ability that Neo and his friends possessed to learn new skills in a matter of seconds. With the incredible rise in technology today, the rapid learning in the movie is becoming much more of a reality than you realize.

              The current generation has access to more knowledge and information than any before it. Through the internet, we are able to access all sorts of knowledge to answer almost every conceivable question. To become smarter, it’s more about the ability to learn faster, rather than being a natural born genius.

              Here are 17 ways to kickstart your Matrix-style learning experience in a short amount of time.

              1. Deconstruct and Reverse Engineer

              Break down the skill that you want to learn into little pieces and learn techniques to master an isolated portion. The small pieces will come together to make up the whole skill.

              For example, when you’re learning to play the guitar, learn how to press down a chord pattern with your fingers first without even trying to strum the chord. Once you are able to change between a couple of chord patterns, then add the strumming.

              2. Use the Pareto Principle

              Use the Pareto Principle, which is also known as the 80 20 rule. Identify the 20% of the work that will give you 80% of the results. Find out more about the 80 20 rule here: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

              Take learning a new language for example. It does not take long to realize that some words pop up over and over again as you’re learning. You can do a quick search for “most commonly used French words,” for example, and begin to learn them first before adding on the rest.

              3. Make Stakes

              Establish some sort of punishment for not learning the skill that you are seeking. There are sites available that allow you to make a donation toward a charity you absolutely hate if you do not meet your goals. Or you can place a bet with a friend to light that fire under you.

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              However, keep in mind that several studies have shown that rewards tend to be more motivating than punishment[1].

              4. Record Yourself

              Seeing yourself on video is a great way to learn from your mistakes and identify areas that you need to improve. This is very effective for any musicians, actors, speakers, performers, and dancers.

              5. Join a Group

              There are huge benefits to learning in a group. Not only are you able to learn from others but you’ll be encouraged to make progress together. Whether it’s a chess club, a mastermind group, or an online meet-up group, get connected with other like-minded individuals.

              6. Time Travel

              Visit the library. Although everything is moving more and more online, there are still such things called libraries.

              Whether it’s a municipal library or your university library, you will be amazed at some of the books available there that are not accessible online. Specifically, look for the hidden treasures and wisdom contained in the really old books.

              7. Be a Chameleon

              When you want to learn new skills, imitate your biggest idol. Watch a video and learn from seeing someone else do it. Participate in mimicry and copy what you see.

              Studies have shown that, apart from learning,[2]

              “Mimicry is an effective tool not only to create ties and social relationships, but also for maintaining them.”

              Visual learning is a great way to speed up the learning process. YouTube has thousands of videos on almost every topic available.

              8. Focus

              Follow one course until success! It’s easy to get distracted, to throw in the towel, or to become interested in the next great thing and ditch what you initially set out to do.

              Ditch the whole idea of multitasking, as it has been shown to be detrimental and unproductive Simply focus on the one new skill at hand until you get it done.

              9. Visualize

              The mind has great difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. That is why athletes practice mentally seeing their success before attempting the real thing[3].

              Visualize yourself achieving your new skill and each step that you need to make to see results. This is an important skill to help when you’re learning the basics or breaking a bad habit.

              Take a look at this article to learn how to do so: How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

              10. Find a Mentor

              Success leaves clues. The best short cut to become an expert is to find an expert and not have to make the mistakes that they have made.

              Finding out what NOT to do from the expert will fast-track your learning when you want to learn new skills. It is a huge win to have them personally walk you through what needs to be done. Reach out and send an email to them.

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              If you need help learning how to find a mentor, check out this article.

              11. Sleep on It

              Practice your new skill within four hours of going to sleep.

              Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, is a noted rapid learning expert. He says that any practice done within this time frame causes your brain to embed the learning more rapidly into its neural pathways. Your memory and motor-mechanics are ingrained at a quicker level.

              12. Use the 20-Hour Rule

              Along with that tip, Kaufman also suggests 20 as the magic number of hours to dedicate to learning the new skill.

              His reasoning is that everyone will hit a wall early on in the rapid learning stage and that “pre-committing” to 20 hours is a sure-fire way to push through that wall and acquire your new skill.[4]

              Check out his video to find out more:

              13. Learn by Doing

              It’s easy to get caught up in reading and gathering information on how to learn new skills and never actually get around to doing those skills. The best way to learn is to do.

              Regardless of how unprepared you feel, make sure you are physically engaged continuously. Keep alternating between research and practice.

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              14. Complete Short Sprints

              Rather than to force yourself into enduring hours upon hours of dedication, work in short sprints of about 20-30 minutes, then get up and stretch or take a short walk. Your brain’s attention span works best with short breaks, so be sure to give it the little rest it needs.

              One study found that, between two groups of students, the students who took two short breaks when studying actually performed better than those who didn’t take breaks[5].

              15. Ditch the Distractions

              Make sure the environment you are in is perfect for your rapid-learning progress. That means ditching any social media, and the temptation to check any email. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

              Before you sit down to learn new skills, make sure that potential distractions are far from sight.

              16. Use Nootropics

              Otherwise known as brain enhancers, these cognitive boosters are available in natural herbal forms and in supplements.

              Many students will swear by the increased focus that nootropics will provide[6], particularly as they get set for some serious cramming. Natural herbal nootropics have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions to improve the mind and learning.

              Find out more about brain supplements in this article.

              17. Celebrate

              For every single small win that you experience during the learning process, be sure to celebrate. Your brain will release endorphins and serotonin as you raise your hands in victory and pump your fits. Have a piece of chocolate and give yourself a pat on the back. This positive reinforcement will help you keep pushing forward as you learn new skills.

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              The Bottom Line

              Learning a new skill should be exciting and fun. Whether you use online courses, real world experience, YouTube videos, or free online resources, take time to learn in the long term. Keep picturing the joy of reaching the end goal and being a better version of yourself as continual motivation.

              More Tips on How to Learn New Skills

              Featured photo credit: Elijah M. Henderson via unsplash.com

              Reference

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