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by Henrik Edberg
I am 28 now. I don’t think about the past or regret things much these days.
But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.
Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn’t pay attention.
Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.
But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.
So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).
This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.
So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.
You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.
And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.
You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you’ll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you’ll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.
So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.
The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven’t overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what’s in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.
Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less start-up time compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.
A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today’s emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.
This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.
If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.
This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.
A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.
When you are young you just try things and fail until you learn. As you grow a bit older, you learn from – for example – school to not make mistakes. And you try less and less things.
This may cause you to stop being proactive and to fall into a habit of being reactive, of waiting for someone else to do something. I mean, what if you actually tried something and failed? Perhaps people would laugh at you?
Perhaps they would. But when you experience that you soon realize that it is seldom the end of the world. And a lot of the time people don’t care that much. They have their own challenges and lives to worry about.
And success in life often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent.
When you first learn to ride your bike you may fall over and over. Bruise a knee and cry a bit. But you get up, brush yourself off and get on the saddle again. And eventually you learn how to ride a bike. If you can just reconnect to your 5 year old self and do things that way – instead of giving up after a try/failure or two as grown-ups often do -you would probably experience a lot more interesting things, learn valuable lessons and have quite a bit more success.
Why do people give up after just few mistakes or failures? Well, I think one big reason is because they beat themselves up way too much. But it’s a kinda pointless habit. It only creates additional and unnecessary pain inside you and wastes your precious time. It’s best to try to drop this habit as much as you can.
Meeting new people is fun. But it can also induce nervousness. We all want to make a good first impression and not get stuck in an awkward conversation.
The best way to do this that I have found so far is to assume rapport. This means that you simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.
This works surprisingly well. You can read more about it in How to Have Less Awkward Conversations: Assuming Rapport.
I learned about the organs and the inner workings of the body in class but nobody told me about the reticular activation system. And that’s a shame, because this is one of the most powerful things you can learn about. What this focus system, this R.A.S, in your mind does is to allow you to see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on. It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.
So you really need to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And keep that focus steady.
Setting goals and reviewing them frequently is one way to keep your focus on what’s important and to help you take action that will move your closer to toward where you want to go. Another way is just to use external reminders such as pieces of paper where you can, for instance, write down a few things from this post like “Give value” or “Assume rapport”. And then you can put those pieces of paper on your fridge, bathroom mirror etc.
We have all heard that you should keep a positive attitude or perhaps that “you need to change your attitude!”. That is a nice piece of advice I suppose, but without any more reasons to do it is very easy to just brush such suggestions off and continue using your old attitude.
But the thing that I’ve discovered the last few years is that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality. When you for instance use a positive attitude instead of a negative one you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before. You may think to yourself “why haven’t I thought about things this way before?”.
When you change your attitude you change what you focus on. And all things in your world can now be seen in a different light.
This is of course very similar to the previous tip but I wanted to give this one some space. Because changing your attitude can create an insane change in your world. It might not look like it if you just think about it though. Pessimism might seem like realism. But that is mostly because your R.A.S is tuned into seeing all the negative things you want to see. And that makes you “right” a lot of the time. And perhaps that is what you want. On the other hand, there are more fun things than being right all the time.
If you try changing your attitude for real – instead of analysing such a concept in your mind – you’ll be surprised.
You may want to read more about this topic in Take the Positivity Challenge!
Sure, I was probably told that I should be grateful. Perhaps because it was the right thing to do or just something I should do. But if someone had said that feeling grateful about things for minute or two is a great way to turn a negative mood into a happy one I would probably have practised gratitude more. It is also a good tool for keeping your attitude up and focusing on the right things. And to make other people happy. Which tends to make you even happier, since emotions are contagious.
The ego wants to compare. It wants to find reasons for you to feel good about yourself (“I’ve got a new bike!”). But by doing that it also becomes very hard to not compare yourself to others who have more than you (“Oh no, Bill has bought an even nicer bike!”). And so you don’t feel so good about yourself once again. If you compare yourself to others you let the world around control how you feel about yourself. It always becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.
A more useful way is to compare yourself to yourself. To look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished and how you have grown. It may not sound like that much fun but in the long run it brings a lot more inner stillness, personal power and positive feelings.
This is a big one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.
This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in things. But most of the things you worry about never come into reality. And what may seem like a big problem right now you may not even remember in three years.
Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously often just seems to lead to more unnecessary suffering. So relax a little more and lighten up a bit. It can do wonders for your mood and as an extension of that; your life.
If your memory is anything like mine then it’s like a leaking bucket. Many of your good or great ideas may be lost forever if you don’t make a habit of writing things down. This is also a good way to keep your focus on what you want. Read more about it in Why You Should Write Things Down.
In pretty much any experience there are always things that you can learn from it and things within the experience that can help you to grow. Negative experiences, mistakes and failure can sometimes be even better than a success because it teaches you something totally new, something that another success could never teach you.
Whenever you have a “negative experience” ask yourself: where is the opportunity in this? What is good about this situation? One negative experience can – with time – help you create many very positive experiences.
What do you wish someone had told you in school or you had just learned earlier in life?
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– The 7 Common Habits of Unhappy People
– Do You Make These 10 Mistakes in a Conversation?
– Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World
– 16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School
– Bruce Lee’s Top 7 Fundamentals for Getting Your Life in Shape
– Mark Twain’s Top 9 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life
– How to Build Self Confidence: 6 Essential and Timeless Tips
– 25 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself
– 18 Ways to Improve Your Body Language
– How to Stop Procrastinating: 7 Timeless Tips
– Awesome Quotes: A Timeless Guide to Life
– How to Stop Overthinking Everything: 9 Simple Habits
– How to Start a WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes (or Less)
– 101 Inspiring Happiness Quotes
– How I Lost 26 Pounds in 4 Months: a Turbulence Training Review
– How to Start a Successful Blog (Or How I Got 1 Million Monthly Readers)
I’m Henrik Edberg and I live on the west coast of Sweden.
I am also the author of 6 courses and guides, click here to learn more about them.
And feel free to subscribe to my free newsletter.
Copyright Henrik Edberg 2006-2016
Before starting the practice, make sure you practice one at a time. Do not proceed to the next before mastering the previous one. There is no set time table for practicing these exercises. Mastering the exercises fully may take days, weeks or even months. Put your whole attention in what you do. Do not over do anything. Take time to master each exercise fully.
If you find it difficult with more distractions stop your exercises and start from the beginning again. Everyone meets difficulties along the way. With your willingness one can overcome the difficulties and distractions.
Before starting the exercises, make sure you find a comfortable place to sit either on ground or on chair. The spine should be erect in alignment with the neck. Mentally relax your body right from toes to head. Relax if there is any stiffness in any parts of your body. This is the first step.
Consistent practice is the secret of success. The more time you devote the faster you progress. Start with five minutes. Once your ability increases then the time can be increased. Do not be in a hasty to do the exercises. Once you start seeing the results, you will start loving the exercises and concentrate more effortlessly.
After mastering the exercises, you will find your mind to be more relaxed and calm. People, situations and events once triggered you will not disturb you anymore. You will experience happiness and contentment. Self-confidence will improve. You will be able to cope more easily and efficiently with the outside world.
First you’ll need to Install it:
Next you’ll need to get a text editor. Any editor will do, so whatever you are comfortable with. You’ll find that advanced editors like Emacs (and vim) add a lot of functionality and so will help with ensuring that your syntax is correct before you try and build your document output.
Create a file called test.tex and put some content in it, say the example from the LaTeX primer:
Once you’ve got this file you’ll need to run latex on it to produce some output (as a .dvi file to start with, which is possible to convert to many other formats):
This will print a bunch of output, something like this:
..don’t worry about most of this output — the important part is the Output written on test.dvi line, which says that it was successful.
Now you need to view the output file with xdvi:
This will pop up a window with the beautifully formatted output in it. Hit `q’ to quit this, or you can leave it open and it will automatically update when the test.dvi file is modified (so whenever you run latex to update the output).
To produce a PDF of this you simply run pdflatex instead of latex:
..and you’ll have a test.pdf file created instead of the test.dvi file.
After this is all working fine, I would suggest going to the the LaTeX primer page and running through the items on there as you need features for documents you want to write.
Future things to consider include:
To get started with LaTeX on Linux, you’re going to need to install a couple of packages:
Lists appeal to our innate tendency to categorize information, as well as help us feel less stressed, writes Maria Konnikova in The New Yorker.
Seeing information as a list makes you feel less overwhelmed by a task so it’s easier to complete, which in turn makes you happier, says Konnikova, New York Times bestselling author of “The Confidence Game.”
Here are 26 list ideas to get you started.
1. Recipes you want to try: Pull this out the next time you’re stuck on what to make for dinner for instant inspiration.
2. Movies you want to see: You’ll never have to sit through the “I don’t care, what to do you want to watch?” scenario again.
3. Books you want to read: Next time you’re reaching for another predictable beach read, look up that acclaimed novel-of-the-year, Oprah-recommended one instead.
4. TV shows you want to watch: You’ll be prepared for when you binge-watch your way through “Stranger Things” and need a new addiction now.
5. Restaurants you want to try: Keep a running list of all the places you want to try and you’ll never be left without a suggestion when deciding where to eat tonight. Bonus points if you organize it by type of cuisine.
6. Places to see: Maybe you’ve always wanted to visit the Great Wall of China, or even just the Statue of Liberty. Once you have a list, you’ll be motivated to plan a trip.
7. Cities and countries you want to visit: Perhaps there’s not a specific landmark you’re dying to see, but you’ve always wanted to eat pasta in Italy or drink wine in France. Your list will remind of which trips you really need to take.
8. Places to visit in your hometown: It’s not as exciting as jet-setting across the globe, but you’ll have plenty of things to do instead of vegging out on your couch next Saturday.
9. Passwords: Never forget if your Amazon password is SoccerStar12 or Socc3rStar again.
10. Daily to-do list: Keep track of everything that’s on your plate for the day. Plus, nothing feels better than crossing something off.
11. Done list: Looking back at your daily accomplishments will help you learn how to be more productive — and provides an automatic ego boost.
12. Bucket list: Everything you want to do before you die, from big things such as getting married or climbing Mt. Everest, down to small things such as baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
13. Short-term goals: What do you want to accomplish this month?
14. Long-term goals: What do you hope to accomplish in the next five to 10 years?
15. Professional accomplishments: Keep a list of all of those projects executed and compliments given. Aside from making you feel good when you’re having an off-day, this list will be invaluable when it comes time to update your resume.
16. Criteria for your next job: The more hours, days, and years you spend at work, the more you know what you do and don’t need to be your most effective, most productive self in both this position and the next.
17. DIY projects: Pinterest might be a great aspirational site, but this will help you keep track of the projects you actually want to complete, like organizing your old photos or painting the furniture in the guest room.
18. Home improvement projects: Writing down everything that needs to be done will allow you to prioritize what you should tackle first.
19. Grocery list: Knowing exactly what you need to buy — and sticking to it — will not only save you money, it will help you resist that box of cookies you know you don’t need.
20. Drugstore list: We’ve all gone into Target for toothpaste and come out with $100 worth of items before. Keep a running list of the things you need, so you
can avoid the inevitable $20 drug store “cover charge.”
21. Wardrobe updates: Whether it’s a necessity, like a new winter coat, or something fun, like trendy sneakers, having an idea of which items you’re hunting for before you go shopping will help you avoid impulse buys, ultimately saving you money.
22. Important dates: Everyone loves when you remember their birthday or anniversary, so keep a list of your loved ones’ significant dates and you’ll never miss a chance to make their day.
23. Due dates: If you’re even the slightest bit forgetful, writing down when you need to return that shirt by or when those frozen chicken breasts expire can save you stress in the long run.
24. Favorite quotes: You’ll feel inspired all over again every time you read through your list. If you’re still looking for a favorite, here are a few great quotes from Albert Einstein and Richard Branson to get you started.
25. Things you’re thankful for: Revisit this on your toughest days to remind yourself how great your life is.
26. Things that make you happy: Whenever you’re sad, you’ll automatically give yourself several reasons to smile.
|Teken from: https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/26-lists-everyone-195137157.html|