In order to get things done (especially if you want to take on challenging projects), you need to get your act together. Here are a few areas you may want to work on:
Attention may be your most valuable asset: don’t give it away. Choose who and what you give your attention to. Do you really need to know every time someone posted something on some social network? You don’t: turn off all those notifications and decide when and where you use each app —if ever—. Choose what you watch. Choose what you read.
Ego is an invisible enemy. It is an attitude: seeing life as a movie of which you are the protagonist. It is a narrative: you tell yourself that things happen to you, you worry about what others may think about you, you get irritated when you cannot do the things you want to do. However, life is not about you. There is a more surprising fact that makes all your thought-based suffering and anxiety even more absurd: the self is actually an illusion. This is hard to grasp at first, but through meditation you can verify that what you usually think of as you is actually an amalgam of rather random thoughts and other fancy mind tricks.
Three things are proved to be essential for good health: a good diet, regular exercise and enough sleep. If you wonder why your health is not great, fix those three things first.
Many people think that happiness is something you can achieve or something that happens to you. I think that happiness is actually a decision. You have no say in what life has in store, but you can decide how you are going to react. Do you decide to notice and focus on all that is bad? Or do you decide to notice and focus on all that is good? If you need some help with noticing the good stuff, you can try this.
I read or heard somewhere that the mind is a great tool but a terrible master. We can spend our lives lost in thought (usually repetitive, unproductive worrying or lamenting). It does not have to be that way. Meditation is to your mind what brushing your teeth is to your mouth.
Maybe you’ve never thought about this. Maybe you saw Fight Club, thought that the line about how “advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need” was awesome… and then just went on with life as usual. But it is true: we let ourselves get trapped in a crazy consumption-wheel that never stops. It does not have to be like that.
Did you know that, if you make more than €25,000 per year, you are in the richest 5% of the world’s population? You can check. Would your life change dramatically if you kept 10% less? You have probably never thought of yourself as a philanthropist with a fortune that can make a difference, but you can actually do just that. Please consider taking the Giving What We Can Pledge and visit GiveWell for a list of very effective charities that can do a lot with your money.