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9 Non-Hardcore Self-Improvement Methods That Actually Helped Me Live a Better Life

by | Jun 26, 2023 | Life Hacks

Self-improvement can feel like self-destruction.

Some of the advice and influencers in this space need to calm their farm. What they teach is often hardcore and not practical.

Heck, I’ve got a baby to take care of. A 2 AM cold shower and green smoothie would probably end in divorce if I tried it.

Here are non-hardcore self-improvement methods for a better life.

The brutal truth about habits, visions, and goals

Self-help gurus are in love with habits and goals.

They flog themselves over missions and pin vision boards up on the basement wall of their mother’s home.

All of this is a distraction. A goal is just an idea without a guaranteed deadline. A habit is a routine that often leads to boredom. What matters the most is the system that underpins everything.

Systems work. They’re set up and adaptable. No motivation is required. Deadlines are replaced with operating guidelines.

If everyone had a life operating system, there’d be a lot less wishing and a hell of a lot more wins that contribute to human progress.

A powerful way to shift how you feel in 60 seconds or less

Early in my adult journey I learned from Tony Robbins.

The tactic he teaches over and over is the power of changing state. When I do Zoom calls some people laugh because I have a trampoline right next to my stand-up desk.

They assume I’m some fitness addict or aerobics instructor. Not really. I jump on the trampoline whenever I want to change my state.

A book called “Stealing Fire” also promotes the power of state.

Our bodies, facial expressions, posture, and voice all convey more information than we would ever suspect. And, if we change any of those things, we can substantially shift how we feel and what we think in the present moment.

Your goal shouldn’t be to become unbreakable.


It should be to become a master of being able to change state in a heartbeat when something happens that brings on negative thoughts.

Change your state, change your trajectory.

Become two different people to destroy imposter syndrome

Beyonce has been lying.

She has a second name: Sasha Fierce. Kobe Bryant lied about his name when he was alive too. His second name was “Black Mamba.”

They don’t have second names to be cool. No. These names belong to made-up characters they’ve created for themselves.

These fictional characters exist to crush their imposter syndrome. It may seem like they’re fearless, but really, they’re just acting like someone they never thought they could be to fool their mind.

I have a second name too: Tim Robbins. It’s how I channel everything Tony Robbins taught me to push through roadblocks and tragedies.

Invent a character for yourself. Give them all the traits you think you don’t have. Then act as them during times when you need to be at the top of your game.

A simple way to gain free IQ points

I was on a group coaching call the other day as a guest.

A few of the participants accidentally thought I was an online genius. I quickly corrected them. I’m not smart, lucky, or born into privilege.

Quite the opposite.

But I am consistent as hell. When I had the flu 2 weeks ago I didn’t miss a day of writing. It’s been that way for 9 years. Hell or high water, I show up. In the documentary “The Last Dance,” Michael Jordan plays in the finals when he’s deathly sick and keeps throwing up.

He didn’t do it to be a hero or promote hustle culture. He did it because he didn’t want to break his consistency streak.

A lot of the time all you have to do is show up a lot and the results are automated. Consistency is one of the greatest teachers. It also sticks people to you better than super glue.

The double-edged sword of success

This is a controversial take.

If you’re great at one thing in life, there’s a high chance you’ll be terrible at another thing. Like Elon Musk is great at business and making money. But when it comes to family and personal relationships he’s a nuclear bomb.

That’s why I don’t idolize success too much.

Being crazy good has the opposite downside. And often the downside can make your overall life worse than any good that comes from your amazing talent in one area.

A stoic method to never forget

Ryan Holiday rebirthed stoicism.

In his book “The Obstacle Is The Way” he taught me that an obstacle blocking your path forward becomes part of the path. Obstacles contain the must-have improvements we need to grow and beat yesterday’s self.

You shouldn’t want to avoid obstacles. You should want them to appear so your problem-solving skills get enhanced. When I lost $1.2M of cold-hard cash, I thought it was the end. It was actually a new beginning.

Losing money taught me how to make even more money.

Obstacles are good for growth.

Mindfulness isn’t what it looks like

The hipster gurus love to preach the art of meditation.

I prefer mindfulness because it can happen anywhere, doesn’t require you to close your eyes, and doesn’t need a $10 a month subscription to an app.

What’s interesting about mindfulness is once you master it the effects bleed into all areas of life. Mindfulness becomes an attitude, a persona.

You eat mindfully, play with your kid mindfully, love your significant other mindfully. Mindfulness slows down time and speeds up happiness.

Let it bleed into everything, naturally.

The most addictive feeling in the world

Writer Eve Arnold reminded me that “Self-belief is the most addictive feeling in the world.”

Once you have it you become unstoppable.

But how does one get it?

Author Schrodingr’s Brat says confidence is about keeping promises with yourself. Because the greatest lies ever told are the ones you tell yourself.

But when you keep promises your internal world starts to become congruent with the external world. To become confident you need to trust your skills and life experiences.

This is done through memories of keeping your promises. And she says it’s the antidote to insecurity.

Honesty with yourself is part one. Keeping promises with others is part two. When you do, you have further evidence of your ability. Do all of this online and you start to get another form of data, too.

Use self-belief to make success look easier than it is.

The fastest way to experience a decline in the quality of life

Something has felt off this year.

I’m a big reader because it’s how I learn. But I haven’t been reading books lately — only tweets and online articles. I noticed my optimism, creativity, and imagination all suffered.

So I’ve started reading books again.

The difference has been remarkable.

The level of depth in the timeless and classic books we get recommended over and over is far superior to the narrow nature of tweets and news-orientated opinions that keep us trapped in the present and disconnected from the past.

The best ideas are timeless. Find them in good old books.

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