A lot of self-improvement is grandiose.
That’s why we dismiss the “5 Ways to be Happy” nonsense and click the next article. I discovered a goldmine of micro life hacks on a Reddit thread called “Life Pro Tips,” that you can put into action without too much effort.
They’re awesome rule-of-thumbs that will save you time, money, and make you more sociable.
Say yes to more invites
As an adult if new friends invite you to something say, “Yes.” — Vanguard Anon
Children get lots of opportunities to make new friends. As adults they don’t come around as often.
One of my good friends went through a brutal divorce last year. We tried to invite him to lots of social events. He rarely says yes and prefers to play computer games.
We keep inviting him anyway because occasionally he says yes. The last time he came with us he made a new friend. That new friend has since started going on bike rides with him that has got him out of the house. We’ve noticed he’s losing weight, looking fresher, and in a better mood since.
Don’t underestimate the power of new friends. Say yes to random invitations and you’ll meet new, interesting people.
Think of everything you do as progress
Sent someone a meme? You progressed your relationship. Drew a doodle? You progressed your art skill. Took a bath? You progressed your mental health.
Life is a bank and any time you do anything that brings you joy you’re earning.
— Mew Brew
The reason why many of us have phases in life where we feel like we’re making no progress is because we make things too big in our heads.
Of course if your goal is to make 7-figures in a year you probably won’t achieve it. But you can sell one book for $20, even if it’s to your mother. Or you can send one sales email, even if nobody reads it.
It’s important to tell yourself after every small action that you’re making progress towards a goal. That self-talk helps give you self-fulfilling motivation — a type of motivation that will compound enormously over a year or more.
The weekend is where your future is built
Use the weekend to build the life you want, instead of trying to escape the life you have — Bigger_ThanLife
When I worked a job I hated, the weekend was my escape.
I did anything I could to numb the pain. The problem is it got me nowhere. I’d be right back to hell at 9 am on Monday morning. That’s when I learned to build after hours. We’re talking micro hacks, though, so hear me out.
Do 15 minutes of a new side project every weekend. Do it for 21 days to make it a habit. Every weekend add another 15 minutes. Within a few months you’ll slowly be transitioning from the life you hate to a new life with loads more possibilities. Quick transformations don’t work.
Slow transformations that start out as 15 minutes feel effortless. Effortless turns into action. Action changes your future.
Take pictures every day with your phone
You may not like being in pictures or taking them, but you will hate that you have no photos of some time period when you’re older.
Take pictures even if it is out of your comfort zone occasionally, for your future self — Squaragus_Asparagus
I haven’t admitted this before so here goes. In 2011 I went from 60 KGs to over 100 KGs in weight, thanks to a personal trainer. I thought muscles would help me attract women. It did the opposite.
When I tell people this story the first thing they ask is “can you show me a photo?” I didn’t take a lot of photos back then as I was in a deep, dark depression and hated myself. The idea of taking photos of myself felt stupid.
Now I regret it.
During the lockdowns caused by the global health crisis, I decided to make a change. I took multiple photos (even ones with masks) to remind myself of one of the most difficult times in human history. Now I have photos to show my future post-apocalypse children.
Photos are memories. Take plenty. Keep them off Instagram.
Be awesome to non-drinkers
If you offer someone an alcoholic drink and they say no, immediately tell them what non-alcoholic drinks you have. With no judgment.
They don’t owe you any explanation of recovery, medical contraindications, or whether or not they just don’t feel like it that day. — Lemjne
I haven’t had an alcoholic drink for years.
Too many times alcohol has ruined my life.
So I stay away from it but it’s bloody hard. When I worked a regular job one of the hardest things was going to a social event and being asked “do you want beer or wine, mate?”
The truly awesome people would then follow up with “can I get you a soda or a sparkling mineral water.” The knob heads would keep asking why I didn’t drink. They’d accidentally embarrass me in front of an audience.
Explaining why you don’ drink is deeply personal.
I gave up due to a near-miss with cancer, my bad behavior around women when drunk, and the impulses to drink too much when life became unbearable. Explaining that in front of your boss or to a person on a first date with you is hard.
Quickly offer non-drinkers the non-alcoholic beverage options. They’ll love you for it and you’ll increase the chances of connecting with new people.
Ask this polite question in job interviews
From here on out, make “What was your company’s 2020 response?” a standard interview question. — PhasmaFelis
Many companies did a terrible job in 2020 after the global health crisis. They treated us like bugs they could crush with their army boots.
How employers handle people during the tough times says a lot about them. If you’re deciding on a new employer and discover they did mass layoffs in March 2020, run a million miles away from them.
Compassion is the new business trend.
Every company that doesn’t get it will be scratching their heads and saying “why is it so hard to hire people?” Screw them.
They deserve it for being evil to humans.
Use this to avoid the death spiral into a useless conversation about politics
Next time you are stuck in a conversation about politics, ask the person “what is your supported political party doing for you?” — Roboboy3000
Most political talk leads nowhere.
It turns into a character assassination based on emotions rather than facts. Our politicians are out of touch with reality. A large proportion of them are white males over 70. It’s no wonder we lack a diversity of thought. This will hopefully change, but for now, it’s a long road.
Vote when the time comes. Don’t get too caught up in it. Instead, work on yourself. No politician is going to save you from inflation, or bring down the cost of your bills, or help you get a job. That’s the harsh truth.
Pretend other drivers are your grandmother
When you don’t have all the facts, try to give people the most generous reason you can for their behavior.
Annoyingly slow driver? Maybe it’s a mom with a birthday cake in the back. This mindset will gradually make you less reactive, more compassionate and more forgiving of your own bad days.
I used to be a road rage maniac. I’d ride up the asses of every car on the freeway and scream “get out of my way, pal!”
That’s what deep anxiety sounds like.
In recent years I’ve used this life hack to think of other drivers as my grandmother. When she used to drive me around I’d be patient, forgive her when she made wrong turns, and be more helpful.
Grandma died last year.
Her legacy lives on through the way I’ve decided to treat other drivers. All of the blowing up at drivers used to drain my energy. Now I’m just a Sunday driver in a lawn bowls outfit and candy pink visor hat, sharing the roads with my fellow grandmothers and grandfathers.
Takeaway: If you knew that annoying person had just left the hospital to farewell the love of their life after dying from cancer, would you be so cruel? Of course not. Try to think that way about everyone you meet.
Do the phone survey and unlock a hidden reward
If you’re asked to take a survey after a service rep/tech helps you out, take it and give them the best score possible— Stoncils
I spent a good part of my career working in call centers. I had to ask every caller to do a survey.
Many of them would say no or hang up. It broke my heart.
They didn’t know how important it was. I had a KPI on how many surveys I got done. And if they left me a positive comment at the end it would get read out in team meetings.
One customer left me such a good comment after the survey that it got shared with thousands of my colleagues at a town hall meeting by our General Manager. As a result of that feedback I met my future boss who got me out of the call center and into a job I loved.
Customer service reps could do with your help. It takes 30 seconds and can help ensure they don’t have to work in the same job forever. Completing a survey is the gift of an opportunity.
You unlock the hidden reward of knowing you made a customer service rep’s day. Try it.
This final life hack is from me…
Don’t write controversial words on social media
It can get you banned and the platform’s machine learning/algorithms are trained to look for them.
You could be smacked in the face by the nanny police for trying to innocently share your story. They won’t tell you either. They’ll either block your content or shadow-ban you.
Instead, just substitute the controversial word for one that has the same meaning and won’t trigger the nannies. Here’s an example: “fuggit.” (Hat tilt to Sean Kernan.) See, you know what I’m saying, don’t you? Nice.
Until Web 3.0 takes over this is what we have to deal with. No point complaining.