Here are 10 quick mind hacks, to help you get the most out of your life:
1) Goals – To increase the chances of achieving your goals, turn them into S.M.A.R.T goals, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. (Bonus tip – Divide your goals into three categories: short term, mid term, and long term). This article goes into more detail: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/setting-personal-goals.html
2) Self reflection – Every time you want to criticise others, get into the habit of taking an honest look at yourself, and try to see if there’s anyway you can improve yourself first. Often, it’s not others actions that are bothering us; it’s really ourselves. It’s also a good idea to set aside some time at the end of every day, week or month, to honestly evaluate how your life is going. Try to look for patterns of behaviours, and any improvements that can be made for the next time period. This article goes into more depth: https://keithwebb.com/how-to-improve-with-self-reflection/
3) Effective persuasion – When trying to change someone else’s mind, start with common ground and what’s right about their position, before you point out how it could be better. This 350 year old ‘trick’ comes from the philosopher Blaise Pascal, and you can read more about it here: https://qz.com/778767/to-tell-someone-theyre-wrong-first-tell-them-how-theyre-right/
4) Neuroscience of happiness – The latest research from the neuroscience of happiness shows there are four quick and simple things you can do to maximise your happiness: 1) Gratitude 2) Label emotions 3) Make decisions 4) Hug. So get into a habit of practicing these four things to achieve a happier life. For more on this subject, check out this article: https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/09/make-you-happy-2/
5) Nonviolent Communication – Often we don’t hear what people try trying to communicate; we hear what we think they communicate. If someone is being insulting or critical, instead of focussing on what they think, try to hear the underlying feelings and needs behind the message instead.
A quote by Marshall Rosenberg summarises this idea: “All people say is thank you (a celebration of life) and please (an opportunity to make life more wonderful)”. Once you understand that, you will find yourself becoming far less annoyed and angry with other people, and the likelihood of conflict and violence is dramatically decreased too. To learn more about Nonviolent Communication, check out this website: http://www.cnvc.org/learn-nvc/learn-nonviolent-communication
6) Purpose – A purpose, or in Japanese “Ikigai”, is an incredibly important part of your life, and if you don’t have one yet I highly recommend you try to find it. A good way to discover what your purpose should be, is to find something that overlaps the following categories: 1) What you love 2) What the world needs 3) What you can be paid for 4) What you’re good at. See this article for further information: https://medium.com/thrive-global/ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life-might-just-help-you-live-a-more-fulfilling-9871d01992b7
7) Defence mechanisms – A defence mechanism is an unconscious mechanism of the mind which helps you deal with unwanted feelings and unacceptable impulses. A goal of ideal mental health is to become aware of your defence mechanisms, and replace all unhelpful and immature ones with more productive and mature ones. Here’s a few examples of mature defence mechanism: acceptance, altruism, anticipation, courage, gratitude, humour, mindfulness, and sublimation. Read this wiki article for more on this subject: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_mechanisms
8) The Four agreements – Writer Don Miguel wrote a book called “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom”, which highlights four principles which serve as a great foundation for building your life on: 1) Be impeccable with your word 2) Don’t take anything personally 3) Don’t make assumptions 4) Always do your best. For more on these principles, read this article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/cui-bono/201012/agreeing-the-four-agreements
9) Self discipline – To become successful at anything you need to master self discipline. The quickest way is to reframe your “hows” to “whens”, and get into the habit of just making a start on a task, regardless of how you feel at the time. Another powerful tool is visualisation, where you try to vividly imagine the possible outcomes of your efforts and actions prior to starting any task, as an extra motivation to make you more disciplined.
10) Growth mindset – Many people have a fixed mindset as they go through life, which is the assumption that much of success and talent is inborn—you either have it or you don’t. A far better approach is called a growth mindset, which assumes most of those things are learned and developed along the way. Here’s some examples to try: Instead of “i’m not good at this”, try “what am I missing”. Instead of “I’m great at this”, try “I’m on the right track”. Instead of “I give up”, try “I’ll try another strategy”. Instead of “This is too hard”, try “this may take some time and effort”. Check out this website for more on growth mindsets: https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/