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How to Live and Not Merely Exist

How to Live and Not Merely Exist

Existence is confusing, but it’s pretty easy if you think about it. You don’t have to do anything—you already exist through circumstances outside of your control. Everything you do from this point forward is for your own benefit. With any luck, somebody along your path in life taught you to consider the benefit of others as well, but I’ve met enough people to understand that’s an optional feature in humans.

So if nobody knows why we’re here, how we got here, or anything else about life, why aren’t we all out there exploring and living it?

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fried-chicken

    What’s the Matter? Are Ya Chicken?

    It sounds unbelievable, but a lot of people float through life merely existing. It’s easy to dismiss these people as drug addicts or worse, but the fact of the matter is they’re human beings, and they’re everywhere. These people were made to feel small in their lives. They were told not to believe in themselves so often that they started to believe it; they slid through life until settling in a dead-end job as a cubicle monkey with neither status nor esteem attached to their name.

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    If you want to experience life for what it is, watch a movie: see how things aren’t going the way the main character wants them to? See how they’re scared or upset in some way and decide to stand in the face of fear to accomplish something? Why are you backing down from your boss if you truly believe you’re somebody special in life? Do you think Neo discovered The Matrix because he was too scared to take the right pill? Face reality: you’re going to die someday—we all do. You can either face it standing up, sitting down, bending over, or standing up. The choice is yours and yours alone.

    Do More Than You Say

    I hate repetition unless it’s something I truly enjoy. I could spend every day sipping cocktails and smoking bowls and blunts with my girlfriend. We could relax by the pool, kick it, and enjoy each other’s physical and spiritual presence every day without tire. Other than exceptions that are close to the heart, I hate having to repeat myself. It’s annoying when people don’t understand what you’re saying so you have to keep rewording it over and over until they get the idea. It’s so repetitive having to repeat myself because people weren’t paying attention the first time.

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    This goes with every situation in life: think about how much you start to loathe looking at someone’s Facebook page when all they do is complain about their lives or continuously talk about the same things over and over. If that’s the impression someone’s giving you, surely you’re giving that impression to someone else. If the world revolved around you, you’d have a lot more FB friends than you do, turbo, so slow down and think about this for a minute… if the internet is made of people, and social media is made of society, then maybe it’s possible nobody cares what I ate tonight for dinner or what species of parasite made a home in my woman’s uterus online any more than they are when I bring it up at a party.

    Take the hint: stop talking about what you’re going to do or what you did. Don’t fret about the past or future unless it’s with someone you care about (and even then, only during special times set up for such discussions). Other than that, focus on what’s happening in front of you right here and now. You don’t need to take a picture of your meal for it to taste good, and it’s not going to taste any better based on how many online “likes” it gets. Enjoy your dinner for yourself, and in the journey of doing so, you will have learned to live and not merely exist.

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    Want to learn more about life? Check out: Life Lessons From a Dying Man…

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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