50 Life Secrets and Tips, Part 2
By Jordan Lejuwaan / High Existence
In Part 1, we explored 50 ways to start the new year right, by embracing your resolutions and providing some motivation to help you make this the best year of your life. But that was weeks ago... so here are some more helpful tips and tricks to hack your life!
Investigate what is known about death
What do you know about death? You certainly have beliefs around it, but what do you know about the science of death, or of those who have died and been brought back to life? Death is not as big of a mystery as it is made out to be. Do your research before you fear or misconstrue this most universal human experience.
Notice the small, beautiful things
As cliche as this sounds, there is so much beauty in the world yet we rarely appreciate it. Take 5 minutes, stop doing everything and sit down. Then clear your mind of your inner dialogue and focus intently on something in the space immediately in front of you. Nature always works best but literally any object will do. Study all of the minute details of the object and try to appreciate its complexity. This might take some practice but after you get into it, you’ll have that perspective for a while after.
Try hypnagogic hallucination
For those new to the idea, hypnagogic hallucination is the state of experiencing dreaming-like visuals and thoughts while remaining awake. Lie down when you’re neither physically nor mentally tired and edge towards falling asleep while focusing on staying awake. Most of the time knowing of this state’s existence and attempting to experience it is enough to attain it. This is because up until this point, you’ve had no reason to try to stay on the edge of wakefulness!
Forget about insults entirely (even in jest)
We can all agree that nothing good comes of insults. If they are serious, then someone comes out of the exchange feeling cut down. Even if you insult someone jokingly, their subconscious mind still takes your words in as a serious statement and imprints the insult on the person. This is akin to a commercial: it can seem stupid, but you are still building up respect for the product on a subconscious level. This is why companies pay top dollar just to have their logo visible in public places.
Cut out the crap
We have a lot of crap in our lives that is neither necessary nor good for us. The crap includes certain people, emotions and habits. Take the time to evaluate the constituents of your life to decide what needs to go. This tip is so critical that I wrote a 3-part series on cutting out the crap – check it out!
Try a love experiment
Spend a week masquerading as Christ-figure and bring love into every aspect of your life. Start your day by sending out mental “I love you’s” to your friends and family. As you go through your day, silently (or out loud!) wish something nice upon any strangers you see. Monitor your every thought and action to be sure you’re acting out of love. This sounds cheesy but it is a fantastic feeling becomes addicting.
Make plans to attend at least one crazy event each year
As you all know, we humans remember experiences, not possessions. You remember driving somewhere in that car, not buying or owning the car. So put aside a savings jar to pay for at least one crazy, awesome event each year. Here are a few event ideas to get you salivating.
Exaggerate your compliments
If you’re going to say something nice, why not make it a bit nicer? Only you will know the difference and the target of the compliment will feel that much better.
You are what you eat
We’ve all heard of this phrase but most don’t full realize it’s implications. Your body is constituted only of the food that you put into your body! If you’re okay with eating crap, you are accepting that you brain, skin, heart and everything else will be made of crap. You LITERALLY are what you eat.
Give up something for a week
Like Lent, but for non-Catholics. There are two major benefits of this: 1) you learn to live without something now so that if you’re ever forced to live without something, it won’t be so bad and 2) when you get it back, you will truly appreciate it. Examples include hot showers, alcohol and other substances and television. Extremist can give up everything and experience living on the streets.
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”
Revenge is sweet but forgiveness is sweeter. Until that’s a no brainer for you, try faking forgiveness and knowing that nothing will piss off an enemy more than you not reacting to their provocations. Eg. If you punched someone in the face in anger and then they just smiled back at you happily, wouldn’t that annoy you?
Your dentist has been right all along. Flossing is more crucial for your oral hygiene than brushing your teeth. It keeps your gums healthy and food out of the tight places that drinking water won’t clean out (which would otherwise result in bad breath).
Don’t doubt anything without absolute evidence against it
Every day it seems I learn about something that I previously had thought to be impossible. Acknowledge that the world is full of surprises and the ‘impossible’. Therefore practice being open-minded rather than doubtful, especially about things foreign to you.
Take advantage of the flinch
When something scares you and makes you flinch, you have two choice: flinch forward or flinch backward. Practice using that flinch moment to rocket yourself into the unknown instead of into a state of fear. Talk to that girl at the bar, get on the roller coaster, say YES. Stay on the bold side of the flinch.
Use your showers to practice being present
Your daily (?) shower is the perfect time to get better at being present. Instead of thinking about your time last night or everything you have to do today, focus on the sensation of the water hitting your skin. Zone in on the smell of the soap and the warmth of the steam coming off of your body. If & when you successfully block out your inner dialogue, I guarantee you will have the best power of your life.
Limit your time-wasting online activities
Do you ever find yourself deep in someone’s Facebook photos and wonder how you got there? The internet is an awesome tool but some sites can suck you in and waste tons of time that could be spent doing something productive. For those who can’t help themselves, there are extensions for Chrome and FireFox that allow you to specify a certain amount of time to allow to spend on time-waster websites per day. Every minute you spend on the sites you specify is tracked, and when you reach the limit those sites are no longer able to be accessed.
Remember the 10,000 hour rule
If you want to master anything in life you need at least 10,000 hours of practice. Practice separates the haves and the have-nots when it comes to skills. Have you spent 10,000 hours doing something you don’t care to master? (Ahem, Facebook..) Do something else that will benefit you a lifetime!
Make some rules for yourself
Instead of only reading this list and thinking ‘those are good ideas,’ take a few at a time and make them unbreakable rules until the habits stick.
Watch Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
The 3rd Zeitgeist film will change the way you view the monetary system, the economy and the future of this world. Its claims almost sound like conspiracy, but the evidence it intelligently builds upon rules out any chance of that. Do not be deterred by the 2:45 duration — if something is this important, would you want it to be able to be squeezed into 10 minutes?
Only do things that you love or that you have no choice but to do
When it comes to choosing a career, only do something that you absolutely love or something you have no choice but to do. I mean literally NO choice but to do that job. Unless you’re supporting children or completely steeped in debt, chances are you have a choice. Don’t waste a second doing something you do not love.
Practice energy development
Whether or not you believe chakras exist, you can develop the ability to feel, move around and store energy in your body. These sensations range from mild tingling to violent vibrations. Start off by lying down and putting all of your focus on your left foot. Focus on and feel that foot until it beings to warm up and tingle, then move on up the body in small increments. Eventually you can get your entire body to be vibrating (seriously, it’s almost scary). Developing these abilities helps with focus for meditation, astral projection and supposedly boosts your clairvoyance.
Question what you have been told to be true but have not investigated yourself
Simply stated, we are fed a lot of BS growing up that is not necessarily or at all true. We assume it is true because we’ve always “known” it to be true. Examples include religious and political beliefs, stereotypes and habits. Perhaps the best example of all is that marijuana is dangerous and deadly when in fact alcohol is infinitely worse for your body and your driving ability.
Force yourself to become a social badass
Put yourself through a series of comfort challenges to become comfortable in a social situation. Start with making eye contact with people you pass on the streets, then progress to saying hi and eventually asking them a quick question like ‘How’s your day going?’ Then progress to wearing a shocking piece of clothing out in public asking people for their phone numbers. Finally go to the extreme and take on a different person with waiters and cashiers. The idea is to go to the limits so that more normal interactions like to someone you’re interested in becomes a piece of cake.
Read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning
This book details Frankl’s time in Nazi concentration camps and how the experience shaped his view on meaning and purpose in life. His account of the camps is extremely detailed and riveting. His conclusions on life are both far-reaching and relevant to life outside of captivity.
Find the supplements suitable for your lifestyle
Our diets and habits are nothing like those which are bodies were built for. Times have changed but we still need the same nutrition. Luckily we now mass-produce nutrients in bottles so you just need to figure out what your body needs. For example if you don’t get a lot of sun, you probably need some extra Vitamin D. If you get cold much easier than other people, you might have low levels of iron in your blood. Investigate and act accordingly.
Cut gluten from your diet
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye oats, and barley. Like so many other substances today, gluten is not meant to be put into our bodies. The humans alive at the time that our bodies last experienced major evolution did not consume all of the bread products we now have. To see a full explanation of the health-benefits of giving up gluten, check out this article.
Do pushups (100 of them!)
Pushups are the easiest way to get into an exercise routine and the most complete upper body workout available without weights. Doing 3 sets of pushups until fail every other day is a simple way to tone up your chest, arms, back and abs. If you want to step it up a notch, this website promises to get anyone to be able to complete 100 pushups within 6 weeks!
Watch ‘Waking Life’
Waking Life is a movie about a guy drifting around in a dream world having philosophical conversations with the interesting characters he meets along the way. If you like the articles here on HighExistence, I can guarantee with 100% certainty that you will love this film.
Go for walks
Whenever you are feeling unmotivated, depressed, angry or [insert crappy emotion here], take a walk. It’s a sure-fire way to hit the reset button and get back into a positive mindset. There’s something about being in nature, getting some exercise and (most importantly) being present that can get you over any emotional hump.
StumbleUpon (SU) is an internet tool that brings you to random sites based upon your interests. You can also specify a particular interest category while also limiting the results to videos, photos, news, blogs, etc. SU is the best way to discover awesome content around the web, much of which you didn’t even know you were looking for! As you go through and ‘Thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ different web content, SU learns more about your interests and returns more accurate results. I also call it the ‘Serendipity Engine’ because of the countless times I’ve been thinking about a problem or looking for something and then the answer has come randomly to me through SU.
Read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
This freakishly fascinating book is best explained best by Wikipedia: “It examines mythology, its effect on ethics, and how that relates to sustainability. The novel uses a style of Socratic dialogue to deconstruct the notion that humans are the end product, the pinnacle of biological evolution. It posits that human supremacy is a cultural myth, and asserts that modern civilization is enacting that myth.”
Spend time alone each day
Being alone is a form of meditation that helps us realign with who we really are.
Stoicism is centered around being unaffected by misfortune. A good stoic will recognize that mishaps will inevitable occur so he/she is constantly ready and open to experiencing them. Unlike pessimists, Stoics expect bad things to happen only because they recognize this is the nature of reality, and strive to become immune to being demoralized by said misfortunes.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Everyone is born with different strengths and weakness. Otherwise we wouldn’t be individuals and how much fun would that be? Consequently don’t hold yourself to the standards of others; you’ll never measure up to everyone.
Compare yourself to others
Use the success of others as motivation to continue growing and learning. Competition is strong medicine and can be used to your advantage if you don’t get too caught up in it. Strive to achieve a balance between this tip and the previous one.
Recognize the duality of every truth
As you likely noticed, the last two tips contradict each other, and yet both are solid truths. This is an example of how most great truths have some level of duality to them. Life is not absolute; let that apply to your beliefs as well — don’t be stubborn about them!.
Take cold showers
Besides waking you up better than anything, cold showers have been proven to improve blood circulation, keep your skin and hair healthy (hot water dries them out) and boost the immune system. For the men, it also increases testosterone levels and is just plain manly.
Try to be rejected every day
Instead of fearing rejection, make it a daily goal! When you go in with the intention of being told ‘no’, the butterflies go away and it becomes easy. This is a fantastic way to pursue more opportunities while becoming unfazed by the big N-O. Good applications include asking for phone numbers, job positions, partnerships and advice. Think of all the great things you’ve missed out on by not asking!
Rejoice in not knowing, be proud of your ignorance of a topic
Knowing everything is overrated. Embrace the areas where you know you are ignorant. When you recognize that someone knows something you don’t, use it as a learning opportunity rather than feeling dumb or pretending you know more than you do.
Recognize the golden glow of retrospect
When you look back at a difficult event in your life, it no longer holds the same ‘oh no, my life is over’ that you experienced at the time. Even very painful events like deaths, breakups and accidents can be looked at in a positive light in the golden veil of retrospect. If you can assume this perspective in the future looking back, certainly you can apply some aspects of that mindset while going through an event. Learn from your future self looking back at present you!
If you can master this one, you have mastered life. Resistance has many forms but there is a simple test to know if you are in resistance or not. Does this thought make you feel good or bad? You guessed it, if it makes you feel bad then it is a form of resistance. For example, you are driving on the freeway and you miss your exit. Instead of getting angry and wishing you had not missed it, accept your circumstance and laugh about it instead. Maybe you would have gotten in a horrible car crash had you gotten off in time. How lucky that you just narrowly escaped a fiery death! Plus, do you enjoy being frustrated with crappy circumstances?
20-25 minutes is all you need to wake up refreshed without feeling groggy. Taking a quick nap in the evening is a great way to get a burst of motivation and energy for the rest of the night. This is also a great time to try out hypnagogic hallucination.
Transition to Internet TV
If you’re still spending your leisure time in front of a TV, consider the new web-based streaming options to traditional cable/satellite. Services like Apple TV and Roku allow you to stream Netflix, Hulu and tons of other internet entertainment channels to your TV for a fraction of the price. Additionally because you actually have to go through and choose something to watch instead of mindlessly flipping through channels, you’ll have to think twice before zombie-ing out to some reality show re-runs.
Master what you do most often
For me that would be typing and navigating around my computer. So I downloaded a typing tutor program and got my words-per-minute up to 60 (woot!) and have memorized every keyboard shortcut there is. Take the time to become the best you can be at the small things you do most often. You will save yourself loads of time, plus it’s fun to be really good at something
‘Altru-Hedonism’ is a word I made up which represents the idea that helping other people provides the most satisfying and long-lasting pleasure. So in a way, altruism is a hedonistic activity.
Figure out the minimum income you need to be free
By free I mean able to do what you love without having to slave away at a job all day. I know we all would like the ultimate house with a BMW (M3 for me please!) but wouldn’t you rather be from having to do a job you don’t LOVE? If you agree with that, a great way to make it more feasible is to calculate exactly how much money you would need per month/year to be free. Minimalism is the goal here (If you’re having trouble not counting in that BMW, watch Fight Club and then have another go).
“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”
This one goes right along with the previous one. What are you currently giving up to have ________ ? Your time? Your dreams? Time with your family and friends? Your health? Decide if your current sacrifices are worth what they allow you.
Be a source of good on your social network
Instead of further inflating these networks full of transient emotions and comments about Lady Gaga, tweet and share content that will bring help other people and spread happiness. Share motivational quotes, inspirational videos and anything else that will improve the lives of those come into contact with your feed.
Give your mom a call
If you’re looking for a way to give someone immense happiness with the least amount of effort, calling your mother is at the top of the list. She loves you 100 times more than you thought you loved that boy/girl in 7th grade & getting a call from you would make her day 100 times over. Even if you have no interest in talking to her, pretend that you do for 5 minutes. Say ‘I love you’ before she does for an even more ecstatic mama :)
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