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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 editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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              Last Updated on November 19, 2019

              7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

              7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

              “Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

              “Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

              As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

              Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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              The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

              To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

              1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

              Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

              “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

              2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

              Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

              3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

              If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

              It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

              4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

              One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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              If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

              5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

              It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

              If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

              Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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              6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

              If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

              7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

              If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

              So, How To Get out of Busyness?

              Take a look at these articles to help you get unstuck:

              Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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