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The Most Useful Life Hacks I’ve Discovered This Year

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Life Hacks

Neighbors love to b*tch about each other.

They’ll even get together to stop a bad neighbor from doing harm. For the last year I’ve had 100+ of my neighbors stand behind me to fight a bad neighbor.

Everything changed when we went from free support, to me asking them to share the cost of a lawyer. I asked each person to put in $1000.

Neighbors lost their minds.

Guys with brand-new BMWs tried to tell me they didn’t have $1000. One guy was doing a multi-million dollar renovation. Apparently $1000 is impossible for him.

He’s lying. There’s no way he got a mortgage without at least $1000 in savings. The situation stressed me out.

I was spending day and night trying to figure out how to shake the tin can and collect donations to fight a bad neighbor. Then I discovered this first life hack: sometimes the drama and mental load isn’t worth it.

It’s better to spend the money, even if it’s unfair, and make a big problem go away. It’s why I’m now going to ignore the neighbors who want share the bill and just get on with life.

We often forget to count the cost of our time and the tax on our mental health when we deal with a-holes.

Here are the most useful life hacks I’ve discovered this year.

The more you speed up the more you try to slow down

Coffee, a packed calendar, scrolling social media, and living a high-stress life force us to unconsciously want to slow down.

We slow down with Netflix, junk food, and alcohol.

The more you live a high speed life the more you rely on these bad addictions to slow down and numb the pain.

Slow down. Take it easy. Stop rushing.

Being weird is the only memory people are 100% going to remember

Being weird is fun. It’s cool not to fit in. George Mack reminded me of this life hack:

Normal behavior is forgotten. Only weird behavior survives.

When you do routine, mundane things every day people are less likely to talk about it or remember it. When you go to a high school reunion you reflect on all the unexpected moments, the weird ones.

So do more crazy things.

  • Travel to the other side of the world and see a long-lost friend without telling them.
  • Wear a strange costume to a party when everyone else is wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
  • Get a weird registration plate on your car. Or paint the car pink.
  • Go out partying and get a matching tattoo with a friend.

The bottom line is stop being so boring. Nostalgia is one of the most valuable currencies we can create. Weirdness is what enables it.

Make your living arrangement the same as a teenager

When you’re 15 years old you’ve got a bed and a desk.

Only when you become an adult do you get houses and the privilege of owning multiple rooms that you can do whatever the hell you want with.

There’s a viral trend going around at the moment:

Image Credit-Alex Becker via X

The idea is if you simplify your living arrangements you can channel all your energy and focus into a single goal. This life hack has the added benefit of reducing your #1 cost: housing.

Three years ago I lived in a student apartment, even though I made 7-figures and could afford a 5-bedroom home. People thought I was weird.

The bedroom I shared with my wife was so small we couldn’t fit bedside tables on either side. We had to buy an Ikea bed frame with drawers underneath instead.

These were some of the most productive years of my life.

No wall art. No proper kitchen. No backyard to maintain. No dogs to piss on my Nike shirts. No neighbors dropping in going, “Did you see the news today in the newspaper?”

If you feel unfocused then try student living again.

Ask this odd question during hard times

Rock bottom feels like sh*t.

I’ve been there many times. Author Mark Manson says when everything goes to crap ask yourself, “What do I have to do to make this one of the best things that has ever happened to me?”

I like to take it a step further.

  • What if this low point makes for an amazing story?
  • What will the comeback be like and how will it feel?

Rock bottom is where our personal hero moments live. When I went through dark mental illness, I thought it was the end. When I overcame it, it became a defining part of my future success.

Why wait to get the benefit of rock bottom?

Vague help is basically telling you to piss off

When I got fired people said, “Call me if you need help?”

I later learned these people aren’t genuine. Vague help is offered to make someone feel good. It’s done to pretend to show sympathy when often the intent is to do nothing.

You see it with the “thoughts and prayers” crowd on social media.

They say this cliche phrase every time a war breaks out. But they never donate any money, or god forbid, go to the war zone and help.

Real help looks like this: “Call me Monday and I’ll introduce you to three recruiters I know.” The help is specific and timebound because it’s genuine. These people are your real friends and allies.

The rest are fake friends who love to virtue signal.

Most people will never ask a question about you

I’ve been to many social functions over the years. One thing always strikes me. Most people will just take about themselves for as long as they can.

They don’t ask “how are you?” or “how many kids do you have?”

Even worse, in business they tell you to refrain from small talk with customers and prospects. “It’s annoying and wastes time, stupid.”

This reality is a huge life hack. If you meet someone for the first time and all you do is ask questions about them, it puts you ahead of everyone else without the need to be smarter, wealthier, or kinder.

Stop talking about yourself. Ask about others.

Forgive your parents

Parents can be terrible.

They can ruin your childhood and do horrible things. My friend’s mother was a crack addict. She neglected him. He was raised by the TV (literally).

When he became an adult he was mad at her. All the drugs. All the criminal friends. It nearly ruined him.

One day last year on a Zoom call he said to me, “I forgave her.”

“What … why?”

He told me he forgave her to free himself. He had to let go of the past. After he did this he felt a huge weight lifted from his shoulders.

Parents are imperfect. There’s no point staying mad at them.

Forgive them and move on.

A cool thing you can do is sit down and record a podcast with your parents. Ask them questions. But don’t share it with anyone. Just keep it as a way to remember where you came from.

Books are lottery tickets

Every time you spend $15-$10 on a book it’s like buying a lottery ticket, but with better odds.

The chance the book will lead to an idea that makes you more than the cost of the book is high. It only takes one idea to rewire your brain.

If you hate who you’ve become, do this…

Move countries. Change your environment.

It’s such a simple life hack, but if you’re really stuck, then new locations can help you zoom out and see a different reality.

When I lost the love of my life I jumped straight on a plane to America. I spent time in places like San Francisco that have a high rate of homelessness. Suddenly my broken heart didn’t feel so important anymore.

The productivity gurus hate this one

The traditional productivity advice is to write a to-do list.

Some say just to focus on the most important item on your to-do list. Entrepreneur and badass woman Codie Sanchez taught me this: Grab your to-do list and do the thing you want to do the least, first.

Doing hard things at the start of the day makes the rest of the day easier.

5% more urgency can put you ahead of the 95%

The average person is a snail.

They move slow. They’re overwhelmed. They have no time. And they have zero urgency. If you add just a tiny bit of urgency to everything you do, then results happen faster.

Why?

Deadlines get us to take action — without a deadline we take forever (or do it never).

Deep relationships > Shallow relationships (DO THIS)

Shallow relationships feel empty.

The worst are ‘followers.’ Meaningless. Useless. A one-night stand. Deeper relationships improve your life. The problem is most relationships are built off 30-minute coffees or lunches. It’s not enough time to build connection.

Build deep relationships by going on group holidays, spending the day with people, camping, or staying at people’s houses.

The best relationship builder I found in my career was conferences. Going to a multi-day conference with strangers, then hanging out before and after the main agenda is how relationships are formed.

Manufacture scenarios where you spend multiple days with new people.

The 3-Step Dan Go health formula

Feeling brain fog → Go for a walk.
Feeling anxiety → Get a hard workout in
Feeling low energy → Fix your sleeping habits.

When I had severe anxiety nothing would fix it.

Then I discovered the gym.

Whenever I had to do something that made me anxious — like go on a date with a woman or DJ in front of 1000 people — I’d hit the gym beforehand and do the hardest possible workout I could.

I’d then show up to the stressful event with less anxiety and a release of endorphins that helped relax me.

The gym is medicine.

A controversial life hack to end with

When you go on holiday, if you stay at hotels, you can just leave at the end of your stay instead of checking out.

At my last holiday to the Great Barrier Reef, I waited over an hour to check out because of the long line of guests trying to do the same. I didn’t know this hack back then (like most people).

This life hack is controversial because some say it’s impolite to just get up and leave. Housekeeping doesn’t know you’ve gone.

But it’s impolite for a hotel to waste my time lining up to check out. So I’m going to try this hack on my next holiday.

Sometimes being overly polite is overrated.

Are You Operating With Maximum Energy?

For those who are tired of dragging through the day, who want to get back the fire they once had, who are ready to reclaim your natural energy… this is your book.

Unleash the fire within