How do you make your life great
9 methods you can use to instantly make your life more beautiful - part 1
Did you know that? Basically everything is fine, your life is going well, but somehow you don't feel so good. It's seething inside, you're tired or just frustrated. But the feeling is too subtle to look closer; there is a lot to do and so you remain - for days, weeks or months - in this restless, dissatisfied state.
Some spend their lives in a constant “must yes” or “will be okay”. You don't want that? The first step is to look carefully at what is making you unsatisfied. Can you identify where your disruptive feeling is coming from? Worried about next week's dental work? Is there a person who regularly upsets you?
We suggest: First of all, be aware of what is going on. And check out whether our methods could help you. Do not overwhelm yourself - one thing at a time! Perhaps you will first see which topic intuitively speaks to you the most, then focus on that and practice integrating the trick into your life.
Because we wanted to improve many things at the same time ourselves, we often couldn't get anything done in the past. In our experience, constant, small changes have proven themselves massively and, in retrospect, worked best of all.
1. Take responsibility
The foundation for a permanently good life is personal responsibility. Only if you take the helm yourself and do not leave it to external factors as to how your life goes can you feel free and achieve inner peace. So first check whether you have already internalized this basic requirement or should start here first.
Because one thing is certain: the others are not to blame for your frustration. Not your girlfriend, the state, your work or the neighbor; not even the client who simply does not see that your work is worth more than he wants to pay. Or your boss, who always puts more work on the table for you than you can handle.
You choose to work the overtime to please your boss or to offer a service that isn't in enough demand to drive high prices. You choose to have a relationship with person x and live in city y.
We live in such luxury that we can and absolutely have to constantly make new life decisions. Because if you do not make an active decision, you come from acting to reacting and give the helm for your life out of hand.
You are probably thinking of a lot of things in your life that you supposedly cannot influence. But, is this really the truth? Or do you just not want to pay the price to change your circumstances?
Maybe you have just bought a house and now you notice that your neighbor is listening to loud folk music all day. Soon you will only know one topic and won't tell your colleagues and friends about anything else all day.
If your neighbor does not come to their senses, you can move away again. Yes, you really can! It may get expensive and cumbersome, but you can decide what you do. And you decide for yourself whether to remain in the situation or to change it. In both cases you pay the price for your (non-) action.
You can design just about anything. If you cannot actively change something, you can at least work on your attitude. Never be the victim of your life. Because this is a sure-fire recipe for bad luck.
Rather, consider, “If I want to change this, what is the price? And what is the price I pay if I don't change anything? " And then actively make a decision.
2. Visualize negatively
It is often said that you should think positively and not give negative thoughts any space to change your mindset and to become generally happier. This is a great idea in itself, because you can actively influence the structures in your brain and thus train positivity.
But what do you do with the underlying fears that keep coming to the surface? Concerns about upcoming exams, the health of loved ones and even death will recur. Should you just push them away? Are you not kidding yourself then?
The Stoics have a great method for dealing with fears and worries that not only helps you reduce your fear, but also makes you a happier person overall: negative visualization. What seems completely opposite and counterproductive at first glance is a great trick for a happier life.
Imagine that you have to move out of your beloved apartment tomorrow because your landlord announces your own needs. Build a real story and feel exactly how you would feel then. The mourning for your home, the fear of not finding a new place to stay and all the stress that such a move brings with it. Imagine everything exactly. And then, in your story, think about how it will continue. Where will you realistically find a new apartment? What could this look like?
Already during the exercise you will probably notice that everything is actually not as bad as assumed. You wuppet the move and you will probably get used to the new living situation quickly. You might even find a few advantages in the opportunity to settle down again. After the exercise, you will also probably appreciate your current apartment as much as you have not for a long time.
This is just a small example. You can just as easily use the method for the next doctor's treatment or a lecture that you have to give and that you are afraid of. The Stoics even recommend visualizing your own death or the people close to you from time to time in order to take away the worry.
Visualizing negatively helps you appreciate and love what you already have. At the same time, it reduces your fear of things that are outside of your direct sphere of influence. You will quickly see: Many worst-case scenarios are not as terrible as initially assumed. Start with easier topics and then move on to harder chunks.
The method is also helpful to avoid disappointment. How often have you been full of anticipation for your next vacation and then bitterly disappointed because something (arrival, hotel, landscape, people) did not correspond to the way you imagined it?
Here, too, it helps: Imagine beforehand that it will rain and that other hotel guests will behave impossibly. As pictorial as possible. You will be amazed how much you really appreciate your “real” trip and how easy it is for you to overlook the little things that would otherwise have bothered you.
What may even sound macabre (e.g. visualizing death) makes life easier and more beautiful. Try it! You quickly notice: You can cope with and cope with a lot more than you think. You will appreciate your current circumstances and your fears will decrease.
To reiterate our remark from the beginning: It's not about being pessimistic about a challenge. We find pessimism pretty pointless. When we started with negative visualization, however, this sometimes happened to us because the lines quickly become blurred. The following might help you here:
There is a big difference between "Oh my God, I just don't have it and will definitely fail on stage with my presentation!" and “I'm super prepared; but there is still the possibility that I will make a promise and that people will look funny. Maybe someone even laughs at me, who knows. "
In this way you keep a positive attitude, but at the same time deal with less beautiful scenarios that can certainly occur. We have been practicing this method for over a year now and have become very big fans. On the one hand, we can accept our environment better and are therefore much more relaxed than before; on the other hand, we are much, much less often disappointed.
The new TED talk by Tim Ferriss, who takes this technique even further and explains it realistically, is recommended on the subject. If you would like to learn more about the Stoics in general and their great methods for a contented life, we recommend this book *.
3. Work pareto-optimally
The Pareto principle says: In 20% of the time you can do 80% of your work. You need the remaining 80% of the time to get the last 20% of the result. Now consider: Do you always work towards this 100%? Wouldn't it often make more sense to only achieve 80% and thus save 80% in effort?
Always wanting to do 100% - i.e. to get things done perfectly - requires an immense amount of time and energy. In addition, you will often feel inferior and consider yourself inadequate, because perfectionism is usually unattainable. The few moments in which you show yourself appreciation for doing something flawlessly often take place on the verge of exhaustion.
At the beginning of his founding career, Eddy fell into the trap of perfectionism: When he developed his first product, everything had to be perfect for the launch. The result was that the market launch took forever, the product was too expensive in the end, the margin was too small, and so on.
Also, if you look around you will quickly see that nothing in real life is perfect. Do you really know someone who always gets everything right or doesn't that person have weaknesses too? Is everyone else doing flawless work or making mistakes?
Help yourself by setting time windows in which you can achieve 80%. And then live with the result. In the beginning this seems threatening, especially if you have performed above 80% so far. But when you've learned a few times that the world won't end if you don't do something properly, you build trust again. As is so often the case, regular exercise helps here.
Does that not convince you and scare you? Imagine what happens if you deliver an imperfect piece of work. That works quite well with negative visualization (see above). You will quickly notice: Really much cannot happen to you. By the way, others rarely notice the difference between 100% and 80%. Your boss or your customers will more likely feel your new lightness than discover defects.
Eddy noticed that and today he is much more relaxed about less than perfect preparation. His customers are totally satisfied and almost everyone's expectations are fully met. Incidentally, the founder of LinkedIn (Reid Hoffman) once said: "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late." You should make this your mantra if you suffer from your perfectionism.
4. Try to minimize your comparisons with other people
Each of us looks at others and compares. It's hard to do anything about that. However, you can influence how you deal with it.
Anna was a professional at making comparisons upset. She is quite a workaholic and finds it difficult to switch off. If she allowed herself a few minutes of relaxation, she immediately thought of people who would definitely do more and never take a break.
And then the break was no longer approved and the guilty conscience at the start. But even Anna is not completely resistant to advice and has found something that really helps her:
She wonders the following: Is this person I am following now (as far as I can tell) in a state of inner calm and contentment? So is it really worth comparing yourself to her and pursuing her lifestyle? Or is being more like them perhaps not a desirable goal at all?
You can probably guess the above-average answer yourself.
Incidentally, it is not about making the person you are comparing yourself with bad or about putting yourself above them in order to feel better. That doesn't make you happier either.
There will always be someone who is smarter, more ambitious and more beautiful than you. You will never win a comparison against everyone - that is impossible. When you get into comparison mode, first observe and then accept that you are measuring yourself against others. And then ask yourself the above questions.
While it is always a good idea to get inspiration from “role models” and to partially adopt things (e.g. if I get to know someone who has a healthy, strong body and they tell me how they train, I can adapt their training methods) , so I should always remind myself that my new idol will have enough other problems of its own.
Instead of comparing yourself to others and feeling inferior, look at yourself: what have you achieved lately? How are you now compared to two years ago? Focus on your own progress and enjoy learning over and over again.
That was the first part of our suggestions on how you can achieve a happier life. In the second part let's deal with, among other things, our crazy egos and dealing with difficult people.
In summary: With these 9 exercises and tricks you will be happier and more satisfied (Part 1)
- Take responsibility
Always make a conscious decision to change a life situation or to stay in it if you are dissatisfied. You can influence almost everything about your circumstances - it's just a question of "price".
- Practice negative visualization
Regularly visualize something bad happening that you are afraid of. You will quickly notice that 1. most things are not as terrible as they were initially thought and that you 2. appreciate your life a lot more.
- Work pareto optimally
The pursuit of perfectionism is frustrating and draining. Better do things 80% and get ready for it! The others hardly notice the difference anyway.
- Try to minimize your comparisons with those around you
Certainly there is someone who is better than you - in everything 🙂 It is better to look inward at your personal progress and only let yourself be inspired from outside.
Do you also have worries and fears that keep coming up and with which you have not found a good way to deal with? Or do you tend towards perfectionism? Leave us a comment to get the discussion rolling!
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