We live in a fast paced world, and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with the tempo of things. With the advent of more sophisticated technology and software, our lives are even more chaotic and disrupted. If we don’t check up on social media in two hours, we start to feel jittery.
We put on the news, even when we don’t want to, so that we don’t miss out on important happenings around the world. We are besieged by emails and text messages that add no value to our lives, yet we feel compelled to open each and every one of them.
The hours in a day are still 24 hours, same as it was from time immemorial, but it does seem to be getting shorter, because there is so much to do (most of it irrelevant) and not quite enough time to do them all. But we live only once, and we get no other chance to redo what we have done wrong. This is the time to take back our lives, this is the time to reclaim what modern times, technology and our anxiety has taken from us. This is the time to take full control.
The article “50 ways to live life on your own terms” originally published on Medium, is an extensive and well researched article written by Benjamin P. Hardy, a PhD candidate in Motivation Psychology.
Benjamin has explained 50 ways on how we can take back control of our lives. Below summarizes some of the key points on personal improvement and improving relationships.
- Stop consuming the news: Media outlets have a goal to appeal to your fears by inflating extreme cases. This way, they retain their viewership. Ditch the news and get high quality news curated from sources like Google News.
- Do something terrifying: Do something every day that terrifies you. Confront your fear and make that call, ask that question, pitch that idea, or post that video.
- Work on your bucket list: Design your life around your ambitions rather than design your ambitions around your life. Make a list of the things you absolutely must do before you die, and then start working on doing them.
- Declutter: Remove all non-essentials from your life. We hardly use most of the possessions we own, and these suck energy from our lives. Also, they are dormant value waiting to be exchanged for dollars.
- Don’t obsess: Stop obsessing about the outcome. Instead, have an expectation in your own ability. This serves as a better predictor of high performance than expectations about a specific outcome. Expect optimal performance from yourself and let the consequence follow.
- Don’t check social media immediately: Wait at least 60-90 minutes after you wake up before checking your email and social media. If you check immediately, this puts you in a reactive state for the remainder of the day. Instead of responding to other people’s agendas, you’d rather live life on your own terms.
- Track an improvable habit: Track at least one habit/behavior you’re trying to improve because research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically. You can also make tracking creative. Do what works for you. Use a method you will actually do. But start tracking.
- Reduce the to do list: Have no more than 3 items on your to-do list each day. When you shift your life from day-to-day reactivity to one of creation and purpose, your goals become a lot bigger. Consequently, your priority list becomes smaller. Instead of doing a million things poorly, the goal becomes to do a few things incredibly well.
- Marry for love: Find yourself a spouse who complements and supports you and makes you better. Remember that being married gives you a higher purpose for being productive. And also remember you don’t marry to make yourself happy, but to make someone else happy.
- Learn to say “No”: You must say no to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on. Know what you want and you’ll have the courage and foresight to pass up opportunities that are distractors from your vision.
- Be spontaneously generous with a stranger: Be spontaneous. When you get the wild thought of buying the person’s food in the car behind you, just do it. Don’t think about it. If you’re driving down the road and see someone with car trouble off to the side, just do it. Don’t think about it. When you want to say “I love you,” to a loved one, just do it. Don’t think about it.
- Befriend your parents: Become good friends with your parents. Although you won’t always see things the same way your parents do, love them and respect their viewpoints. If your parents are still around, rekindle those ties or increase the flame. You’ll find enormous joy in those relationships.
- Eat with the family: Eat at least one meal with your family per day because eating together creates a sense of community like nothing else.