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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

20 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

20 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

If you pay attention to your everyday life enough, you’ll know that you can learn from everything and everyone you come across. Our life is basically full of useful lessons that we should learn.

Here are 20 useful things to learn, based on a list shared by Abhishek A. Singh on Quora[1]. Start learning and see how these life lessons can help you live better.

1. Primacy and Recency

Primacy and recency refers to the fact that most people mostly remember the first and last things that occurred. Most memories skip over the middle stuff.

This can be applied specifically when scheduling an interview. Ask the employer for the time slots available and try to be the first or the last.

2. If You Work in Customer Service, Put a Mirror Behind You

If you work in a bar or in any location where you are interacting directly with customers, it’s useful to have a mirror directly behind you.

With this, angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror, and the chances of them behaving irrationally will be lowered significantly.

3. Once You Make a Sales Pitch, Don’t Say More

This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways.

My previous boss was training me and giving me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, the first person to talk would lose.

It didn’t seem like a big deal, but it actually worked. Often, there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuses, but usually they bought.

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4. Wait for a Full Answer

If you ask someone a question, and they only offer a partial answer, do your best to wait it out. If you stay silent and keep eye contact, they will usually continue to talk and offer more information.

5. Chew Gum to Decrease Nervousness

When we eat, our brain tells us, “I would not be eating if I were in danger. So I’m not in danger.” This can work in situations such as public speaking, bungee jumping, or just before an interview.

6. People Will Remember How You Made Them Feel

When you meet someone new, remember that most people will remember how you made them feel, not what they said. Also, most people like talking about themselves, so ask lots of questions about them.

Do your best to listen to them and offer kindness and compassion whenever possible.

7. Teach Something New to a Friend

Science has shown that teaching something you’ve just learned helps to embed it in your brain. This is because it forces you to retrieve the information in specific ways[2].

If you’re able to teach something well using simple steps, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

8. Stress and Courage Feel the Same

The physical effects of stress and courage, including breathing rate and heart rate, cause similar sensations, which means you can use this to your advantage. This is one of the most useful things to learn!

When you’re feeling stressed in any situation, immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous; you are NOT stressed.

Recent studies focusing on tend-and-befriend behaviors associated with stress—seeking social support when facing challenges—have found that “a tend-and-befriend response may have evolved to help us protect offspring, but when you are in that state, your bravery translates to any challenge you face”[3].

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9. Pay Attention to People’s Feet

If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

Similarly, if you are conversing with someone and they turn their feet away, they want the conversation to end[4]. It could also be an indication that they’re lying, so be careful! You can see this stance in the image below[5]:

    10. Fake It Until You Make It

    If you’re looking to be more confident, act confident. If you want to be more successful, act successful. Find role models to copy, and do your best to imitate them until these behaviors become second nature. It will naturally lead you toward your desired goals.

    11. Build a Network

    Become the information source, and let the information be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office.

    Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in…great! Go out for a drink, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

    12. Stand up Straight

    No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliché; you literally feel better, and people around you feel more confident in you, so this is a useful thing to learn.

    One study on body posture found that “the effect of the direction of thoughts (positive/negative) on self-related attitudes was significantly greater when participants wrote their thoughts in [a] confident than in [a] doubtful posture”[6].

    This means that your posture can literally affect the way you feel about yourself, so stand up straight!

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    13. Avoid Saying “I Think” and “I Believe”

    Avoid these phrases unless it’s absolutely necessary. These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and they usually don’t help get your point across.

    The exception to this rule is when you want to have a serious discussion with your partner. Starting sentences with “I think” or “I feel” instead of “You did this or that” will put your partner at ease and help bring them into the conversation without feeling attacked.

    14. A Clean Space Eases Anxiety

    When you’re feeling anxious, a dirty or messy space isn’t going to help. Try tidying up and organizing the area around you to help your mind focus more on the task at hand.

    15. Be Interested in Your Interviewers

    When you go into an interview, act (or really be) interested in the people interviewing you. If you focus on learning about them, you’ll seem to be more interesting and dynamic yourself. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

    16. Always Give Your Kid a Choice

    In order to help your child feel in control, give them a choice. For example, if you want your daughter to get dressed, ask her which shirt she wants to wear that day. Try to limit the choices to two or three to avoid a long inner debate.

    Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on your friends and family, too!

    17. When a Group of People Laugh…

    When you find yourself in a group, and everyone starts to laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

    Notice who you look at and who looks at you when you laugh with a group of people!

    18. Match Posture and Position to Build Rapport

    If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.

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    If someone is sitting with their legs crossed, cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you, lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them.

    Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed, and you notice someone else is sitting with their arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you are successfully building rapport with that person.

    19. The Benjamin Franklin Effect

    The Benjamin Franklin Effect[7] suggests that if you ask someone a favor, they will begin to like you more.

    For example, imagine you like someone in your class. If you ask them to borrow a pencil or explain the homework, they will be more likely to like you as well.

    The best part is it kills three birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

    20. Tapping Your Fingers Helps Stress and Anxiety

    When you’re feeling stressed, worried, or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs.

    For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more calm state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many life situations, including emotional sadness, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories, and more.

    Final Thoughts

    This list of rather random things to learn goes to show that useful lessons are everywhere you look. Learning is an important part of everyday life, so devote time to learning every day.

    If you’re looking for new things to learn, just look around. There’s always another interesting bit of information to pick up.

    More Meaningful Things to Learn

    Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    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.

    How to Live Life to the Fullest and Enjoy Each Day How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives Why Hard Work is Better Than Talent It’s Okay To Be Envious As Long As You’re Not Jealous

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2021

    11 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021

    11 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021

    Even during the midst of a pandemic, self-improvement is still a crucial aspect to our lives today. There are tonnes of articles that you could be reading from our site or from others. However, the articles aren’t able to provide the depth and the growth you need when compared to courses or programs.

    So if you are looking to step up your own self-improvement and invest in yourself and the life you want to lead, here are some of the best self-improvement classes to consider.

    But before getting to that, here is the criteria that we use to determine these courses. All of these qualities have been present in the best self-improvement classes we could find:

    • Little commitment – All these courses can be done in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace as well. Most of these courses recommend spending a few hours each week on their material.
    • Prestigious – These courses are done by recognizable institutes with good reputation on their education quality.
    • Leverage on skillset – Each of the courses focuses on one area of your life, however it also helps develop other areas of your life at the same time.

    1. Lifehack Mastercourses & Free Fast-Track Classes

    Lifehack isn’t just a blog but rather a hub with all kinds of resources at people’s disposal. You may already be familiar with our particular workbooks, but we also provide courses of our own.

    The first set of courses are free courses that are designed to teach you about your full life skills – the Fast-Track Classes. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on skills that multiply your time, energy, and the overall quality of your life. There are four courses that are about 20 minutes long each ensuring you have the tools and resources you need to achieve your goals fast:

    Our second set of courses are the courses where we help you break free of your limitations to become the best version of yourself. These courses aren’t free, but each course goes into extensive detail on everything from motivation, overcoming challenges and staying focused to improving your overall learning capabilities, controlling your emotions and mindset:

    2. The Truth Seeker’s Handbook

    In a world where everything can be implied, half-true or misleading, how are you able to tell whether something is actually true? How are you able to convince other people to believe in the facts presented?

    There is a lot of research out there showing that the human mind is prone to making thinking errors. We fall into predictable mistakes that lead us to believe in lies that are comforting for us and that the truth is an inconvenience for us. The mistakes we make lead us to be vulnerable and we ultimately make decisions under false beliefs.

    This cycle goes on to cause all kinds of pain in our lives in many ways. However, cognitive and behavioral scientists have been able to uncover and find useful strategies we can use to overcome these mental flaws.

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    One such method is through the course The Truth Seeker’s Handbook. It’s a 4-week book club micro-course hosted by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky. Through these courses, members will learn how to recognize resist biases in their own thoughts and make truth-based decisions by reading Dr. Gleb’s book The Truth Seeker’s Handbook. Enroll now before the next session begins!

    3. The Science Of Well-Being

    Yale University has been around for over 300 years at this point and one of the most popular classes in that time span is this one: The Science of Well-Being. After all this time, Yale is providing this course to everyone for free.

    In this class, Yale Psychology Professor Laurie Santos introduced this class as “Psychology and the Good Life” in spring 2018. The class was designed to help students in navigating anxiety, depression, and stress in their lives. The class at the time was so popular that roughly a quarter of Yale undergraduates enrolled in it that spring.

    Going into more detail about this course, this 4-week course is designed to provide a step-by-step process for boosting happiness. The course heavily focuses on positive psychology – what misconceptions we have about happiness and what has been scientifically proven to make us happier.

    Enrol in the course here.

    4. Learning How To Learn

    Another notable course to consider is the Learning How to Learn course. On the platform Coursera, it is one of the most popular and loved courses on the platform with nearly 2 million students enrolled since it’s been there. It’s taught by the distinguished professors Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski.

    The premise of the course is what you’d expect, the goal of this course to teach you to learn more. It’ll ultimately lead to you training your brain to effectively process information and learn complicated subjects even. All of this is done through various tools and methods – from stories to goofy animations like surfing zombies, metabolic vampires and an “octopus of attention”.

    Enrol in the course here.

    5. Mindshift

    Another course developed by Dr. Barabara Oakley is this course: Mindshift. If you’re planning to take the course Learning How To Learn, this one builds off of that popular course. Overall, it’s meant to help learners boost their career and life by shifting their mindset to a learning one.

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    Dr. Oakley firmly believes that any person can train themselves to learn at any stage in life. She believes that from personal experiences but also how this course is designed. Through this course, you learn how to be seeking out mentors to learn from, how to avoid common learning pitfalls, career ruts, and the general ruts in life.

    By the end of this 4-week program, you’ll have access to new tools and strategies to face any career challenge and seek better methods to surmount new learning curves.

    Enrol in the course here.

    6. De-Mystifying Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is something that we’ve all been trying to obtain in recent years and people are noticing it. Whether we strive for this for therapy, lifestyle choice, or for other technology, many of us consider this a pastime we do in solitude at this point.

    But despite the number of us practicing mindfulness, not many of us fully grasp it. De-Mystifying Mindfulness is a course designed to help people get up to speed with it through various methods. This course gathers information from various disciplines in science, social sciences and humanities to help unlock and understand mindfulness in its various forms.

    This is a truly unique course as it’s rooted in experiential learning mixed with evidence base of what mindfulness can do to people. And a conceptual base of what mindfulness might actually be.

    Enrol in the course here.

    7. Achieving Personal And Professional Success Specialization

    The best way to explain what Achieving Personal And Professional Success Specialization is. is that it’s four of the most popular courses taught by Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania wrapped into one Specialization. Through these four courses, you’ll be able to maximize your potential and be more successful in both personal and professional life. You’ll learn various techniques and exercises that this school teaches.

    Going into more detail the four courses consist of these four:

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    • Success – learn about defining goals, understand how goals connect to long-term images of yourself.
    • Communication skills – tools to improve communication with others. You’ll also learn to take other people’s perspectives, where trust comes from, and build relationships.
    • Leading the Life you want – skills that allow you to lead in the four domains of life: work, home, community, and private.
    • Influence – how to develop it and become more effective in achieving organizational goals.

    Enrol in the course here.

    8. Think Again

    Reasoning is another important aspect of life. Think Again is all about teaching you how to reason and argue well with people without raising your voice and getting flustered. It’s four short courses that explore the logic behind arguments, how we construct arguments and deconstruct them, how to identify and evaluate arguments, and what makes a good argument.

    Specifically, you’ll learn about the vital rules to be following in thinking about any topic at all and common and tempting mistakes that people fall into all the time when providing reasoning.

    Enrol in the course here.

    9. Neuroplasticity

    Amongst the scientific and psychology circles, this has become quite the buzzword: Neuroplasticity. The concept promises to rewire our brain and improve everything from health and mental wellbeing to our quality of life. Gregory Caremans teaches the concept of Neuroplasticity and how you can take action and use this to your advantage in the course Neuroplasticity. Through it, you can develop mental flexibility, change habits, stop procrastination and even alter memories.

    Gregory is a psychologist with a Master’s in communication and is specialized in Neurocognitive and Behavioral Approach. And even though he comes from a complex field, his course is instructed in such a way that you can easily use this information and apply it in your daily life.

    Enrol in the course here.

    10. Become A SuperLearner® 2

    Similar to Learning How To Learn, this Udemy course Become A SuperLearner® 2 is all about learning faster and unlocking the vast potential of your mind. This course is different though in that it focuses more on improving your ability to learn new skills, provide advanced memory techniques, long-term retention and application of information.

    Another way to think about this course is that it looks into cognitive and neurological factors that make learning easier and more successful with longer retention of information.

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    Enrol in the course here.

    11. Get Beyond Work-Life Balance

    The final course on the list is Get Beyond Work-Life Balance. As this course suggests, this is all about getting skills that help you to achieve balance and have effectiveness in both aspects of your life. This applies to both people in leadership roles and for individuals.

    The course focuses a lot on the importance of inclusive leadership in creating flexible and productive work environments. Beyond this, the course provides a lot of research and real-work examples from various situations to deliver information and strategies you can apply in your life.

    Enrol in the course here.

    Final Thoughts

    There are all kinds of courses that you can use to further enhance your life – be it personal or professional. And the beauty of personal development courses is the fact they are designed to be applied in your life more readily. You can begin to see the impact and change when applying this information from courses to real life.

    As such, we encourage you to try out these courses. They could very well change your life.

    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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