Eight Life Hacks for Health, Wealth, and Happiness

December 12 2005 – 09:16pm

I’ve noticed in my short existence that I tend to do many things differently from most people. Some of those things probably work just as well, whereas others make me wonder “why doesn’t everyone do this?” Here are eight things that may make you feel like you’re cheating the system, too (in no particular order):

  1. Walk – No, I’m not saying “go for a walk,” I’m saying design your life so that you walk more. Live close enough that you can walk/bike/razor scooter to something that you frequent whether that’s work, a grocery store, a friend’s house, a bar, or preferably – all of them. Why spend 15 minutes driving to a gym to spend half an hour on a treadmill? If you’re fortunate enough to have legs that work – use them. Thomas Jefferson on Walking.
  2. Smile – All of the time. Even when the cashier gives you the wrong change. People’s intentions are usually good, especially when they’re dealing with someone who isn’t being a dick.
  3. Drink Water – Or I could say “don’t drink soda or coffee.” It’s a waste of money, health, and teeth. Save your caffeine tolerance for when you really need it.
  4. Buy Used – I’ve already told you about my philosophy as this applies to music. Buying my clothes at a thrift store yields items that are not-so-watered-down versions of what I would get at my other favorite clothing store, and that are a fraction of the price. This strategy transfers well to books and furniture. When you buy used you get the adventure of discovery, and avoid the flat artistic experience that comes with only consuming the contemporary.
  5. Underorganize – There are a number things you can apply this to, but I can’t give a better example than my “inbox/outbox” method of doing laundry. Should you keep all of your financial documents etc. in a filing cabinet? Probably, but recognize when your organizing reaches the point of diminishing returns.
  6. Live Small – What’s that, you can’t afford a three-bedroom, three bath house with a huge yard and garage in a neighborhood where #1 is possible? Good. Then you won’t buy so much crap. You’ll save money in the long run, and you’ll be happier, too.
  7. Remember How Adaptable You Are – How long could you live if you were transported to the middle of a forest? You would probably surprise yourself, so don’t be afraid of perceived “big” changes in life. It’s a part of human nature to do what is necessary to reach at least previous levels of happiness, but risks succeeded will get you there and then some.
  8. Don’t Make Lists of Rules – or Follow Them (They All End This Way) – Such things are only made by bloggers hoping to get lots of del.icio.us bookmarks. The world is too complex to be condensed into a list of rules.

How do you cheat the system? What are your Eight Life Hacks?

Read this post next!Eight Life Hacks for Creative Thinking
Or, this one! Goals are Bananas! The Fallacy of Goals

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This post is filed under Life Hacks, Productivity.