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Life

Eleven Short Rules to Access the Good Life

Short Rules

Photo by Woody Kelly on Unsplash


I pissed the bed one night (as a grown adult).

I shouldn’t admit that.

At one of the lowest points in my life, I would numb the pain of mental illness with alcohol. That evening I hit the nightclubs. I got smashed in front of potential mates who I thought might hit the sack with me.

Nothing.

I got so drunk I was slurring my words. We left one club and tried to go to a new one.

“Sorry matey, you’re too hammered,” the security guard said firmly.

So we drank tequila in the street behind the club. I eventually stumbled home in a taxi. I passed out on my bed. I was so drunk that vomit foamed out of my mouth. I slept in it.

When I woke up, I was lying in a pool of bright yellow urine.

As a grown adult I’d got so drunk and pissed myself without realizing it.

I’ve never been so embarrassed. I washed the sheets and got the doona dry-cleaned. The stain, unfortunately, got on the mattress. The reminder of one of the lowest moments in my life … was too great. I went and spent $995 on a new mattress to cover up my night of devastation.

Around the world, life events — funerals, weddings, firings, new jobs, breakups, engagements — get celebrated with alcohol. It’s a form of liquid confidence that’s supposed to make life better.

Numbness is meant to cure pain. The opposite is true.

Short rule: give up alcohol.

Keep a dangerously open mind

It’s impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows — Epictetus

There are infinite possibilities. You can literally do thousands of things in your life. Why don’t you? Strangers and friends shut down your dreams with their opinions.

“You can do that, pal. That’s already been done. That’s impossible.”

We stupidly listen to closed minds without realizing it. An open mind connected to the internet will always find opportunities. A closed mind says “Nope, I searched google and found nothing.” 

Whatever you want to do, you can do it with an open mind. Delete closed minds from your life.

Seek out open minds to flood your brain with killer ideas.

Create passive income (not how you think)

Step away from the soapbox. I said a naughty phrase: passive income. I’m sorry. Hear me out.

Many believe that passive income is a way to quit our jobs and never work again. Wrong. The point of passive income is to switch from work you do to pay bills to work you love. There’s a transition that doesn’t happen overnight.

Why?

All income starts as active income. You have to work hard to generate it. Over time the fruits of your labor convert into passive income sources that do the work while you sleep. Once the life problem of money gets solved you’re free to create.

The good life is overflowing with creativity, not modern-day reactivity.

Make friends with hard to reach people

Most of my network is full of normal people, or those who are slightly above my own results.

Hard to reach people are often ignored. You don’t want to email anyone who has achieved big results because you fear the rejection. One reach out won’t cut it either. You’re not stupid, you know that.

It takes upwards of ten emails over a long time (often years) to ever get a response. So most people don’t do it. Wrong.

Get back in the game. Fall in love again with the thrill of the chase.

  • Reach out
  • Get ignored
  • Try again in three months with a new pitch
  • Get ignored
  • Repeat the process for many years

What I’ve found is they will eventually reply. Your name is like an item for sale. We usually don’t see something once and then buy it. We see a brand or consumer good multiple times. It’s etched into the back of our heads.

Then one day we go “ahhh, I need a new car.” All those Tesla ads then make you go, “electric car this time? … TESLA!”

Make it a habit to contact people that are smarter than you.

Pro tip: remove self-interest from your message. It will 10X the reply rate.

Have one revelation per day

Today I had a revelation: cryptocurrencies are just tech stocks.

Once per day I try to have one of these. I stumble across them by looking in my Roam notepad and going over everything I’ve consumed. There’s gold in there. Another revelation I had came after reading about astronauts.

When they go to space they no longer see race.

They’re looking down on Earth together. Up there they all come from the same place because of their zoomed-out view of the world. Australia and the USA look like they’re close together.

Reflect on all you’ve read at the end of the day. Aha moments will happen.

Practice life-changing discipline

This one’s not about becoming a navy seal and screaming “I am the greatest!”

Discipline is a foundational skill for a good life. When you choose a habit, discipline is why you make it a pattern. Habits lead to a radical change of life over time — if practiced enough.

The habit that changed my life is writing. The hardest days to write are when I’ve gone through some crazy sh*t and don’t feel like it.

On those days, habits are all I’ve got. Discipline is often destroyed on bad days. The solution is, lower the performance on your bad days so that your discipline streak keeps going. A life without discipline is easy.

Easy choices, hard life. Disciplined choices, good life.

Give yourself a break

You can aim for a good life all you want. Someone or something is going to take a dump on your parade. Or…

You’ll F up.

When I’m tired I can easily make mistakes. I’ve made a few big ones recently. The temptation is to sit there and give yourself a death sentence. Don’t.

Life is hard, mistakes will happen, your mind will let you down.

Forgiveness is great when used on other people. It’s a superpower when used on yourself — and leads to the good life.

Give up on being normal

A good life isn’t a normal one. Normalcy is mediocrity.

It’s the life many people lead, where gatekeepers control what they can and can’t do. They’re pawn pieces on a chessboard that get thrown to the wolves the moment a king or queen enters the game.

If we were to play a video game for the first time, and I told you that you only got one turn and then could never play it again, what would you do? You’d go all out and blow up, screw up, mess up, and have an absolute party before your onscreen avatar goes away and it’s game over.

The good life is no different. Play it all out. Go nuts.

Go to this bizarre festival

I went to an LGBT event the other night for fun. I was the only straight person in the room. Another dude and I played a game of Jenga. It was a nailbiter. At the end he whipped out his phone to show me the Harbin Ice Festival.

It’s a festival in Asia where an entire city gets built from ice. The man told me he flew to the other side of the world to see it, right before coroni-macaroni. The risk paid off.

See the world. See beauty. Don’t take a picture, I dare ya.

Do stuff that scares you out of your mind

I once read how podcaster Tim Ferriss went to a silent treat. You can’t talk, look at phones, or do really anything for ten days.

On day two Tim had an episode. All the silence brought up childhood memories of being molested as a little boy. As crazy as it sounds, Tim says the ten days of silence is one of the scariest things he’s ever done.

After hearing about it I’m intrigued. So I’m booking my own silent retreat to learn about my dark side.

Discomfort is where the deepest insights come from. You get to observe your mind in difficult situations, and in the process, rewire it.

Remain stupidly optimistic

About 2 years ago, the coroni outbreak began.

The fear, division, loss of common humanity & the failure of institutions all challenged my hope for the future. But I remain optimistic.

I believe this pandemic has inspired millions of young minds to help build a better future — Lex Fridman

The doomsdayers will say humanity is screwed. If you apply rational thought to events that occur then this is a logical conclusion. The problem is you’ll never experience the good life.

The shortest rule of all is this…

Never discount human ingenuity. We can solve the most complex problems. Just not how you think it will happen — the beauty of the good life.


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Tim Denning
I am an Aussie Blogger with 500M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. You may have seen my work on Medium, LinkedIn, Bitclout, or Twitter.

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