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50 Tricks to Make Life Easier

How to stay focused and productive, even during setbacks


 

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(This article appeared previously on Quora.com.)

The author, a career strategist, shares 50 rules and guidelines he follows each day to make life easier. They are his secret to staying sane and productive through massive setbacks, heartbreak and successes, alike.

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1. The morning is wiser than the night. Today may have looked awful, but tomorrow is another day.

2. Sleep is the best medicine.

3. Never keep a grudge overnight. Talk it out before sleep.

4. Listen much more than you speak. When you do speak, make it count.

5. Meditate on what’s important and valuable in your life every single morning.

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6. Wake up early and never waste the morning (the most productive time)

7. Judge people favorably — yourself first.

8. Forgive easily, forget slowly. Start with yourself.

9. Be slow to anger. Walk away. Walk it off.

10. Music changes your mood powerfully and quickly, better than any drug.

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11. You are the average of the five people you spend most time with. Choose very carefully.

12. Make sure to take a walk every single day.

13. Make experiencing nature a part of your everyday routine.

14. Find a way to live in the moment. Always stop to smell those roses.

15. Understand and automate your finances as much as possible, no matter how bad your situation looks. This is the biggest source of stress in life for couples.

16. Accept the people around you as they are today and don’t try to change them. If they’re not good to you, walk away.

17. Your actions are the best show-and-tell. Don’t tell me — show me how it’s done!

18. Always see the glass as half-full, even if it looks empty. Perception is reality.

19. Deal head-on with your childhood baggage ASAP. Talk it out with family and friends. Get a therapist. Just stop letting it screw up your adult life.

20. Find what role you want to play in people’s lives based on your personality and you’ll get much closer to your dream job.

21. Stop letting others define who you are. Hang out with people that enrich your life emotionally, spiritually, intellectually (and yes, financially) and who root for you to succeed. Get rid of all the others.

22. Always take the long view in life. Be patient. The forest is never just the trees. Markets crash and markets rebound. Today’s setbacks aren’t deadly. With the right attitude, you’ll get over them — and then some.

23. Fill every free moment with something useful — reading, writing, learning, laughing, helping someone.

24. Strive to leave no person you meet worse off for having met you. Do your best to contribute something useful to the life of each person you encounter.

25. Clean up your mess. If you wait, it will become a bigger mess that takes longer to clean.

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26. Never engage in useless debates online and in person — avoid politics, religion, optical illusions, the news.

27. Unplug from all your devices and work at least one day a week (a digital Sabbath).

28. Choose very carefully what you consume — starting with the ingredients in your food and drink, moving on to music, film, art, books, etc. Garbage in always means garbage out.

29. Travel every chance you get, even if it’s just out of town to see a new place.

30. Always value experiences over goods. The former expand your mind and the latter narrows it.

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31. Get rid of all the clutter in your house and your life. It keeps you tied to the past, whereas you should be living in the present and focus on a better future. Keep what you accumulate to a minimum.

32. Plant a few new seeds every day. Brainstorm and write down 10 new business ideas. Reach out to a new person. Reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in ages.

33. Work to improve 1 percent on important personal traits each day.

34. Do something well each day, even if it’s just brushing your teeth on a horrible, no-good day.

35. Treat yourself once in a while. Celebrate small wins.

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36. Take the stairs.

37. Be nice to mean people. They need it more than you.

38. Your health should be your first priority. Don’t abuse the privilege of health until it’s too late.

39. Prioritize your loved ones above everyone else. Otherwise, you’ll have no loved ones around soon.

40. Save at least six to nine months in salary, just in case.

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41. Find natural light each day. If there’s no sun, make your sure your light bulbs mimic natural light well — at home, work and elsewhere.

42. Replace refined carbs with dried fruits and nuts in the house and the office. Keep the refined carbs out of both.

43. Find and express your gratitude to people who are good to you and help you in life. Express gratitude to the Almighty in whichever way is meaningful to you.

44. Keep a journal. Few things are more fulfilling and better for gaining perspective than finding your old impressions years later.

45. Work on creating good habits and ridding yourself of bad ones.

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46. Hard work and perseverance always beat genius and talent, in the end.

47. Work hard to understand the many facets and involutions of human psychology. There is no better investment in the long run if you want to do business. Look to understand what motivates different people, what makes them tick, what makes them happy, what they need and what they want, plus what makes them pissed. Armed with this knowledge, you can give them what they want (and not what they don’t), charge for it and make money for yourself or your boss. That’s the essence of what makes a business successful.

48. Get up to stretch from your seat at least once every 45–60 minutes.

49. Do everything in moderation, especially moderation.

50. Live and let live. Mind your own business before minding the business of others.

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