10 Life Hacks That Are Easy To Understand But Hard To Do

Hack (noun)- A generally creative solution to a problem or limitation.

In his book “Awakening the Buddha” by Lama Surya Das tells the story of Milarepa, a famous Tibetan yogi who lived in the 11th century, and one of his most prominent students, Gampopa, a physician and monk. After many years of studying with Milarepa, it was time for Gampopa to part with his teacher and ask for one last teaching, an instruction that he could take with him. Milarepa seemed reluctant at first, saying that what was required after all these years was more effort, not more instructions.

Then, as Gampopa set out on his way, crossing the narrow stream that separated him from his teacher, Milarepa called out, “Listen, doctor-monk, I have a deep secret instruction. It is too precious to give to just anyone.” As Gampopa gaily looked back to receive this latest teaching from his beloved guru, Milarepa turned and bowed, lifting his thin cotton robe. Milarepa’s buttocks were as calloused and pitted as a horse’s hoof, hardened by all those hours and years spent in meditation sitting on hard rock. Milarepa shouted, “That is my final teaching, my heart child. Life Hacks Just do it!”

Just do it… hmm! If only.

The important things in life… easy to understand but unfortunately difficult to do.

49 Life Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner | Family Handyman

Here is my list of ‘easy/hard’ hacks that have a significant impact on your life.

Some of these may be second nature to you. If so, give me some slack, okay, I’m still a work in progress.

Life Hack #1 – To deal with difficult people, first change yourself. I consider this to be the most important trick for human relationships. We try to change people who irritate or annoy us. We complain, offer ‘constructive feedback (sic!)’, threaten, blackmail, etc. There are definitely circumstances where we need to do this, like drug addictions etc. But when it comes to changing people’s behavior, the only remedy: Change yourself. Imagine what the world would be like if each of us changed ourselves instead of trying to change people’s behavior or beliefs.

I guess this is what Dale Carnegie meant when he exhorted us to stop practicing the evil C’s: Criticize, Condemn and Complain.

Life Hack #2 – Attitude. The importance of a positive attitude did not become apparent for a long time. I used to think that it was like looking at life through rose-colored glasses. What was left of realism? Then I realized two specific benefits of a positive attitude: 1) Every time I had a negative attitude, I seemed to get a more negative response from others. And it seemed that he reacted more negatively to events. Life was incredibly stressful. There seemed to be a lot of bumps in the road. But when I started to have a more positive attitude, I wasn’t as stressed anymore. I could also think much better. 2) Zig Ziglar addressed my rose-colored glasses dilemma when he said, “Positive thinking will get you through everything better than negative thinking.” So while your skill level won’t change when you change your attitude, you can use your abilities more than you otherwise would.

Life Hack #3 – Think. “Thinking is the hardest work there is, and that is probably why so few engage in it” Henry Ford. I used to think I was fine…thinking until I realized I was just replacing thinking with worry and worry.

I thought… once… to see my blog post titled “the-highest-form-of-human-activity-thinking” to find out what happened.

Life Hack #4 – Physical exercise. Someone wrote this once and I haven’t forgotten it since. “Every time he works out, he makes a deposit into his health account which will later help him make withdrawals when needed and still survive.”

Life Hack #5 – Invest in building relationships. When he was younger he was naive. I used to believe that your work would speak for itself. Simply doing your job extremely well is not enough. But on the other hand, doing a job wrong is the kiss of death.

Life Hack #6 – Put God on your side. There is something supernaturally certain about a higher power that will set things right, that will give you the Karma that you deserve. Now this statement of mine could still be the subject of metaphysical debates between atheists and believers. However, the impact of believing in God is as real to me as the daily weather. While paying obedient reverence to my deities, it wasn’t until I read Joel Osteen’s book “Become a Better You” that I went from being obedient to being sincere.

Life Hack #7 – Be like the rhino. No, I’m not implying that you eat and eat and gain the 60,000 pound mass of the rhino. Develop the thick-skinned rhino mentality. At two inches it’s almost like armor plate. Also charge at your targets like the rhino, without fear or hesitation. I used to be a cow. In fact, my friends at my undergrad school called me one. Well, this cow graduated and went to work. I was once so annoyed by the constructive (sic!) feedback offered by my then-manager that I almost got into a car accident. Becoming a rhinoceros means becoming fearless. Criticism will not derail you. You will no longer worry that what you say and do will offend others. Covering your butt will no longer become the sole guiding principle of our daily activities. I was inspired to become a rhinoceros after reading Scott Alexander’s book “Advanced Rhinocerology”.

Life Hack #8 – Take risks. Perry Marshall tells the story of his professor, Dr. Knoll at the university. One day the teacher asked a question “What is the most important virtue to be successful in life”. He received many responses like determination, love, etc. He agreed and said that they were all important but that the king of all virtues was courage without which none of the others were possible. Taking risks takes courage. And if you don’t risk it, you’re rotting.

Life Hack #9 – Forgive others. It took me a long time to realize the wisdom of this step. But eventually, when I got a lot older and a little wiser, I realized that forgiving others would free you from the emotional baggage of holding a grudge. I would set you free It doesn’t matter if the other person is still an idiot.

Life Hack #10 – Gratitude. Of course we have problems, but let’s change the context a bit. Scientists recently discovered a planet, Kepler-10b, that is about the size of Earth. Scientists theorize that this planet was once far enough from its star to support life, but that some catastrophic event may have caused it to move much closer to the star. Its conditions are so bad with surface temperatures of 2500 degrees F that it makes the earth look like paradise.