50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms

 

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  1.  Stop consuming caffeine

Although people think they perform better on caffeine, the truth is, they really don’t. Actually, we’ve become so dependent on caffeine that we use it to simply get back to our status-quo. When we’re off it, we underperform and become incapable.

Isn’t this absurd?

Give up the caffeine and see what happens. To avoid withdrawal headaches — which are mostly placebo — replace your caffeine with something else (another placebo). After a few days without caffeine, you’ll develop confidence in your ability to function without it.

  1. Pray or meditate morning, mid-day, and night

Whatever your approach, the goal should be clarity and focus. What do you want to be about today?

What few things matter most during the next 24 hours?

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  1. Read 1 book per week

Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning. It is common for the world’s most successful people to read at least one book per week. They are constantly learning. 

  1. Write in your journal 5 minutes per day

Five minutes per day is more than enough. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, recommends writing far less than you want to — only a few sentences or paragraphs at most. This will help you avoid burnout.

  1. Marry the person you love

Being married gives you a higher purpose for being productive. You are no longer a lone ranger, but have another person who relies on you.

Marriage also smacks you in the face with what’s really important in life. Sure, hanging out and partying are fun. But too many people get stuck in this phase and miss the meaning that comes from building a life with someone.

You will never find a better personal development seminar or book than marriage. It will highlight all of your flaws and weaknesses, challenging you to become a better person than you ever thought possible.

  1. Make a bucket list and actively knock items off

Get to work. The death-bed mentality is the only way to live. Stop pretending you’ll live forever. As Professor Harold Hill has said — “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.”

  1. Stop consuming refined sugar

If you stop consuming sugar, your brain will radically change.

Said Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.”

  1. Fast from all food and caloric beverages 24 hours once per week
  1. Fast from the internet 24 hours once per week
  1. Stop consuming the news or reading the newspaper

Although the amount of warfare and deaths by human hands are reducing globally, you will not get that message watching televised news or reading the newspaper.

On the contrary, these media outlets have an agenda. Their goal is to appeal to your fears by inflating extreme cases — making them seem normal and commonplace. If they didn’t do so, their viewership would plummet. Which is why Peter Diamandis, one of the world’s experts on entrepreneurship and the future of innovation has said, “I’ve stopped watching TV news. They couldn’t pay me enough money.”

You can get high quality news curated from Google news. When you detox from the toxic filth that is public news, you’ll be startled as your worldview becomes radically more optimistic. There is no objective reality. Instead, we live in perceived realities and are thus responsible for the worldview we adopt.

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  1. Do something everyday that terrifies you

Twenty seconds of fear is all you need. If you courageously confront fear for 20 seconds every single day, before you know it, you’ll be in a different socio-economic and social situation.

Make that call.

Ask that question.

Pitch that idea.

Post that video.

Whatever it is you feel you want to do–do it. The anticipation of the event is far more painful than the event itself. So just do it and end the inner-conflict.

  1. Do something kind for someone else daily
  1. Go to bed early and rise early
  1. Get 7+ hours of sleep each night
  1. Replace warm showers with cold ones
  1. Say “No” to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on

“No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no.”

 —Derek Sivers

  1. Say “Thank you” every time you’re served by someone
  1. Say “I love you” 3+ times a day to the most important people in your life
  1. Consume 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up
  1. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts on 1.5 or 2x speed, your brain will change faster
  1. Decide where you’ll be in five years and get there in two
  1. Remove all non-essentials from your life (start with your closet)

“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”

— Greg McKeown

  1. Buy a juicer and juice a few times per week
  1. Choose to have faith in something bigger than yourself, skepticism is easy

In the timeless book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill explains that a fundamental principle of wealth creation is having faith — which he defines as visualization and belief in the attainment of desire.

As Hill famously said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

  1. Stop obsessing about the outcome
  1. Give at least one guilt-free hour to relaxation per day
  1. Genuinely apologize to people you’ve mistreated
  1. Make friends with five people who inspire you
  1. Save 10 percent or more of your income

“I would have saved 10 percent automatically from my paycheck by direct deposit into a savings account earning the best possible interest compounded daily. I would have also disciplined myself to deposit 10% of any additional money from gifts, refunds or other earned income. I would have bought a small house outright with the money I had saved (instead of renting an apartment for over 30 years). I would have found a job that I loved and devoted my life to it. At least you could be happy even if you were not where you wanted to be financially. Hope this helps someone out there.”

— D. Lorinser

  1. Tithe or give 10 percent of your income away
  1. Drink 64–100 ounces of water per day

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  1. Buy a small place rather than rent

Unless you live in a big city (which many of you do), I’m baffled how many people pay outlandish amounts on rent each month.

When my wife and I moved to Clemson to begin graduate school, we did a lot of front end work to ensure we’d be able to buy a home. What’s shocking is that our mortgage payment is far less than most of our friend’s rent

payments. By the end of our four years here in Clemson, we’ll have earned several thousand dollars in equity and even more in appreciation. Conversely, many of our friends are simply dumping hundreds of dollars into someone else’s pockets every month.

Paying rent is like working hourly. You get money while you’re on the clock. When you’re not on the clock, you get no money. Earning equity is like having residual income. Every month you pay down your mortgage, you actually keep that money. So you’re not “spending to live” like most people do. You’re living for free while saving — often earning in appreciation.

  1. Check your email and social media at least 60–90 minutes after you wake up

Most people check their email and social media immediately upon waking up. This puts them in a reactive state for the remainder of the day. Instead of living life on their own terms, they’d rather respond to other people’s agendas.

Hence, the importance of having a solid morning routine. When you wake up and put yourself, not other people first, you position yourself to win before you ever begin playing.

  1. Make a few radical changes to your life each year
  1. Define what wealth and happiness mean to you

“Be everything to everybody and you’ll be nothing for yourself.”

— John Rushton

  1. “Change the way you feel, think, and act about money”—Steve Down
  1. Invest only in industries you are informed about
  1. Create an automated income source that takes care of the fundamentals
  1. Have multiple income streams (the more the better)

Most people’s income comes from the same source.

  1. Track at least one habit/behavior you’re trying to improve

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

— Thomas Monson

  1. Make your bed first thing in the morning

According to psychological research, people who make their bed in the morning are happier and more successful than those who don’t. If that’s not enough, here’s more:

  • 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy
  • While 62 percent of non-bed-makers are unhappy
  • Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested
  • Whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired

Crazy, right?

Something so simple. Yet, when you make your bed first thing in the morning, you knock-off your first accomplishment of the day. This puts you in a mindset of “winning.”

Do it! It only takes 15 seconds.

  1. Make one audacious request per week (what do you have to lose?)
  1. Be spontaneously generous with a stranger at least once per month
  1. Write and place a short, thoughtful note for someone once per day
  1. Become good friends with your parents
  1. Floss your teeth
  1. Eat at least one meal with your family per day
  1. Spend time reflecting on your blessings at least

 

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On Norway and its Midnight-Sun

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Norway, Gimsøysand, a hidden spot on the far side of the Lofoten Islands. It owns beautiful white sand beach and a perfect open view for Norwegian midnight-sun.

 “Night was coming on again; the sun just dipped into the sea and rose again, red, refreshed, as if it had been down to drink. I could feel more strangely on those nights than anyone would believe”  — Knut Hamsuns Pan

7 days and 168 hours in Norway,

1,331 Miles of traveling,

8 times Hitchhiking with nice people from 5 countries,

3 beautiful Norwegian cities and 3 amazing Norwegian villages,

1 time jump into ice cold lake and 1 time trapped on top of snow mountain,

And the sun never sets.

Prague Castle

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The largest ancient castle in the world – Prague Castle.

“The sun tells the best joke of a day full of them, setting so spectacularly that you can almost smell the tropical paradise lazing somewhere over this rim of endless, gray socialist towers. Miles of square windows explode orange, red, and purple, like a million TV sets broadcasting the apocalypse. Clouds unspool. The sky drains of birds.”

— Tod Wodicka

Sahara – The Way of Isolating

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There was this time I was staying on a farm range near a small town called Tagounite, south Morocco.

I stayed with a local family and other young traveller. The farm range is about 30 minutes of walk from town.

Of course there was nothing, we didn’t have much water, only probably 10 Liter a day, delivered by the trunk driver from town. The electricity was limited, so we got used to getting up when it’s light and go to bed (tent) when it’s dark.

Sometimes you open the muddy door and get amazed by the weather, just like when this photo was shot. But there are other times, the nature shows its cruelest side. And there is nothing you can do.

We have traveled thousand miles for this: Nothing.

And that was the only thing we’ve got: Nothing, but Sahara. The nature teaches one things by showing us the endless dunes, harsh sunlight, struggling cactuses, and the absolute stillness.

However strange it might sound, we chose to come to that farm and chose to stay, until one becomes used to the way of isolating and it’s hard to leave again.

Turn Your Sunday Blues into Late Night Jazz

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It is 3pm afternoon, Sunday. You may just finish jogging back from sunny weather outside. Or you are sitting on couch with a warm blanket, reading one of those books that should be finished long ago. You made yourself a cup of tea and decided to spend the next hour just curling somewhere comfortable at home and doing nothing.

That’s when the feeling of slight anxiety starts kicking in, out of nowhere: A lovely weekend is about to end. You have to set your alarm to 6:45 again. The weekly schedule seems to be long forgotten during the weekend, now it starts coming back. You try to keep concentrating on the post work-out stretching or the words you are reading, but it feels like a part of your mind get constantly distracted, by the plans you “might have to complete” next week, starting in just 16 hours.

Sunday evening beats Monday morning as the unhappiest time of the week, according to a study from Sweden. Being considered not as the end of a weekend but as the beginning of a stressful week, Sunday Blues can be sometimes so overwhelming, and it is supposed to be nothing but relaxing.


Margaret Everton describes in the article “The Solace of Sunday Night” that there are ways to overcome your Sunday Blues, depending which kind of person you are.

For example, there are “the toiler”, who cannot wait to jump into their new agenda plan for next week. Or there are “the idler”, and they chose to ignore things on Sunday that has nothing to do with their personal lives.

However we may react to it, responds what kind of person you are. The biggest anxiety often comes from the dilemma to decide what to do with your time, and keep wondering the other way of spending time might be actually better.

“What you choose not to do with these hours can be just as important as what you choose to do: Omission is as important as permission.”

Make a list and think forward

Say if you cannot help thinking about the tasks are about to come, then end the endless thinking game with making a plan, or a to-do-list. And here comes the art of list-making: it helps you to become a forward thinker and more organized, so that your mind wouldn’t be occupied by events coming up because you know you have already planed time to finish it.

While I am making your plan or list, I always do it with joy. I love the feeling of getting things lined-up so that I can cross them off the list. And I mark those time points that are supposed to let me have fun and reward myself then with a glass of wine.

Enjoy your Sunday guilt-free

Or that you just hate to let those overwhelmed work invade your personal space, then you should turn off your phone and stop reading Emails. And most importantly, whatever you do with your own quality time, do it guilt-free.

Prepare yourself for the upcoming week

A good way of making your time “worthy” can start in preparing upcoming workweek. For example, cook a nice meal and make an extra portion for a long day after work. Get your laundry done and closet organized for the week.


It doesn’t matter if you spend your Sunday making Blueberry-pancake or ironing your shirts for the week, it’s your time and you have earned to enjoy it. With a perfect and relaxing ending of the week, you already tone up your next week and turn Sunday Blues into laid-back late night jazz.

Budapest Morning Sketch

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Take a walk through the morning crowds, through giant restaurants with Italian and Spanish and Latin names in front. You make a stop and try to figure out names on menus and find out that they just serve same food for tourists, then you decide to keep walking while at the same time hoping to be able to just grab a coffee. Anywhere.

Then you reach a crossroads with four possibilities to walk further, pick out one alley that seems with less crowds, stroll through smaller and tinier cafés, many of which are still closed. Some of the open ones have tiny tables outside, a father and his son sitting there, having breakfast with ice-cream.

Then you are kindly reminded by a street worker, he cannot speak English, but just yell out and point direction on the ground and you realize you dropped the jacket. Pick it up, say thank you to him and he just laughed, a bit shy.

And there is this cafe, for which you have to wait another 10 minutes to open. This is the place you chose to spend your morning in, because if one is patient enough to stand outside of the old, narrow window you see all the old wooden decorations and black white jazz poster and one old video projector on the wall with scarlet bricks.

This is where you sit at a tiny round oak table in the morning and start first coffee and light first cigarette.