Tag Archives: life

Sixteen ways to think about and improve your life

Over the last year or so, I’ve found these worthwhile pieces on how to think about life and how to improve it. If you find one of these worthwhile and it improves your life as a result of you reading it, then I think collecting and writing about these is worthwhile.

  1. If you are feeling lonely and want to understand and deal with it better, consider this: The Science of Loneliness: How Isolation Can Kill You – New Republic
  2. One idea you can consider: talk to strangers. Hello, Stranger – NYTimes.com
  3. If you need new ways to live a better life, courtesy of a famous person….7 Steps to Living a Bill Murray Life – Vulture
  4. Or if you like to write, try to improve your life via writing: Writing Your Way to Happiness – NYTimes.com (I am guessing some writers would not agree with it)
  5. If you struggle to be happy, this could help: Everyone wants to be happy. Almost everyone is going about it wrong. – Vox
  6. If you want to be more optimistic, consider the big picture, presented here: A Cockeyed Optimist – NYTimes.com
  7. If you think you are working too much and are often thinking of cutting back, this could help you: Keynes’ 15 Hour Work Week Is Here Right Now
  8. Lots of good ideas via a collected stream of tweets, here: Things @GhostfaceKnitta Learned in 2015 (with tweets) · valerieinto · Storify
  9. Why should you give away money and be happier: Giving money away makes us happy. Then why do so few of us do it? – Vox
  10. Don’t hesitate when it comes to improving your life. You have less time than you think. See this to see why: These graphics will make you rethink your life – Tech Insider
  11. Being laid off will happen to everyone. If that’s you now,  and you are struggling with it, consider: Advice For the Recently Laid Off – Medium
  12. Self Confidence makes for a better life. Here’s how to become that way and more so: The Truth On How To Become Self Confident
  13. Change your mind, change your life. How? One way: Rewire your brain: Why Practice Makes Perfect: How to Rewire Your Brain for Performance
  14. If you struggle with your thoughts (e.g., worry too much), read : BBC – Future – Why we should stop worrying about our wandering minds
  15. Sometimes the way to improve our lives is not to have more, but to seek less and not be caught up in the trappings of status. To live a simpler life, like this: Here’s why one of the world’s richest men wears hand-me-down clothes – The Washington Post
  16. More on how to live with less. Living With Less. A Lot Less. – The New York Times

(Image from one of the articles linked to on NYTimes.com)

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It’s Hump Day. You’ve got that “Fail” feeling. Watch this.

It’s 2 and a half minutes. What? You don’t have time? You have time to get a coffee. You have time to check your phone. You have time to read your inbox again. So you have time to watch this. Don’t play basketball? It doesn’t matter. Check it out.

Work harder. Think harder. Try harder. Fail harder. Be better.

Source: Fail Harder | Basketball Motivation – YouTube

Some links to support your new year’s resolutions

If you’ve decided to become more fit, work better, or be better generally, then consider these resources to support you as advance towards achieving your goals:

Good luck!

An excellent set of tips to improve your life…

Can be found here: 100 Tips to Improve Your Life – 99U.

I challenge you to go through this list and not find anything here that you could apply to your own life. You will likely find at least five. If you find none, maybe your life is already perfect. 🙂

The 99U is a great source of guidance on any number of topics. I have even written some articles there.

Is life a toy or a game?

Intrigued by the question? Then you will like this article: Life is a Toy, Not a Game | Ian Welsh. Well worth a read.

On rejecting most criticism and giving license to the best criticism

We come into a lot of criticism in the course of our lives.  Just on social media alone there is a lot. Some of it is directed at you, while other criticism comes at you indirectly. Some of it comes from people you like, while other critiques will come from people you barely know. You can be criticized for the things you say, the things you do, even for who you are: a man, a woman, a person of a certain race or financial class or nationality. Pick a trait you have and nowadays you can find someone saying something critical about it.

Given that you do have to deal with a lot of criticism, you can do take a number of actions. It’s not advisable, but you can run away from it. (For example, giving up on certain forms of social media, like twitter.) You can get into arguments with people. This seems like a good idea, but I often find it frustrating, endless, alienating, and the opposite of how you may want to be. You can learn to ignore it, though learning to ignore it is not always easy. Sometimes the criticism is invalid or worse, then it’s easy to ignore. But some of the criticism is valid and when that happens, it can get under your skin. It’s great if you are thick skinned, but if you are not, you need to do something else. You need to learn to manage criticism.

One approach to managing criticism is to use understand the idea of a license to criticize. This borrows from the famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote: no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. The idea of a license to criticize is that you should only accept criticism from a small group of people, regardless of how many valid and invalid criticisms you come across. A license is different from a right. As an adult, no one has a right to criticize you: you give them that ability. Even when you do give them the ability to criticize you, it is a privilege or license.  It is a license you are free to provide or revoke. They do not own it, and you get to say when they can or can’t use it. You should treat that license as valuable, and you should only give it to people whose criticism is going to result in you and your life being better as a result of their criticism.

In your life you will want to accept criticism. Accepting criticism from people you respect and who have an interest in seeing you succeed makes sense. You become a better person and enjoy a better life from such criticism. Accepting criticism from people you don’t respect and who have no interest in seeing you succeed makes no sense. That type of criticism just makes you miserable and ruins your life.

The next time you are offered criticism, ask yourself:

  • Do you respect this person?
  • Do you respect their criticism?
  • Is the purpose of their criticism to help you succeed?

If you answer Yes to those questions, then you will likely want to accept and act on that criticism. Otherwise it is in your best interest to ignore it and look for someone who can make you answer Yes to those questions.

Finally, the number of people you should give license to criticize you should be a very small number of people. It should not be something given out to just anyone you know, never mind just anyone on the Internet.

Life in your 80s and 90s – some inspiration for then and now

On it’s own, this is a great piece:
Old Masters at the Top of Their Game – NYTimes.com. The woman above? 99. She sold her first painting at 89. She is now a world renowned artist. And there’s more great profiles of people in it. You should read it, and not just if you are older. I  recommend it for any age. How you read it at 20 will be different than how you read it at 40 or 60.  For me, I was struck by how  many of those interviewed say that nothing surprises them. As I get older, I find this true too, though I am still surprised. The flip side of this is that anxiety and concern about many things in life decreases. You know how to handle things, and you spend less time worrying about the things you ought not to worry about.

Another thing I thought interesting is that they don’t necessarily think of themselves as old. This is something I also found true as I age. I know when I talk to the 20 year olds in my office they must look at me and think: man, he’s old. 🙂 But other than superficial things, I don’t find my thinking or my view on the world has diminished from when I was younger. I have more experience now, and I had more natural energy then, but I don’t think: wow I no longer get this IT stuff now that I am older.

I highly encourage you to read the article. Then check out Austin Kleon’s blog because I found it there a lot with many other good things.