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6 Principles To Enhance Your Life


Everyone wants to improve. (Even zombie
“Steve”)

But… what do you do after you:

  • regularly get 8 hours of sleep
  • eat healthy 80% of the time
  • stay hydrated daily
  • live an active lifestyle

You win life, right?

Awesome on you if you have that all in order, but all of that is really just maintenance of your body.

Why maintain your body with such habits?

The above habits are great for keeping you in generally healthy states.

This likely translates to an easier time: enjoying life, having a positive outlook on the world and seizing opportunities that further align you with your over life goals.

An easier time is great, unfortunately it does not guarantee happiness, fulfillment or a great life.

My point is, those are the basics of self improvement. Yes, you should implement them into your lifestyle but that’s step 1 to cultivating a wonderful life experience.

Listen to the audio for this article below:

What does the heavy-lifting for a more enjoyable life?

Concepts in your head. The dominant, most persistent ideas that regularly run through your mind affect your perception of the world and what you experience.

It’s a little funky to think about because it feels like the world is happening to you.

Visual, audio and other sensory data are pulled from the external world, sent to your brain and you simply react to it. However, that’s not the case.

Your brain constantly predicts the world around you. Those predictions spring forth from your past experiences and the current, incoming sensory information.

When the predictions are wrong, your mind may notice.

When your friend gets a new, subtle haircut, something might feel off for a second before you confirm that she did in fact get a haircut. That’s error correction at work.

The implications of a predicted perception is wildly interesting, but too large a topic to cover here.

Concepts As Anchor Points

If you think of concepts like anchor points, they pull your mind towards them, affect the probability you will think about related ideas and therefore affect your day-to-day behavior.

Once you become aware of concepts that regularly inhabit your mind, you can become more vigilant about which concepts you let stay and which are no longer working for you.

It is no easy task to categorize every major concept that plays out in your head.

I have shared 6 concepts below that I feel are valuable in promoting an enhanced life.

The list is in no way comprehensive of all valuable concepts, but I feel they benefit my life personally and I hope you may find benefit too.

Principle 1

cumulative goodCumulative Good. Be Less Harsh

Principle 2

feed brainFeed Your Mind Well

Principle 3

exploreBe Uncomfortable & Explore

Principle 4

creating is fulfillingCreating Is Fulfilling

Principle 5

presencePresence Increases Enjoyment

Principle 6

self awareness paysSelf Awareness Pays Dividends

Principle 1:

Cumulative Good. Be Less Harsh.


Forming new habits is a key part of improving yourself.

There are countless habits that run constantly in the background.

This frees your mind to problem solve and be creative.

Habits are naturally tough to change.

They are ingrained into your brain.

This is typically useful, but may sometimes keep you in a rut.

 

cumulative good

Focus On The Good. Be Less Harsh On Yourself.

Most people reward themselves when doing “good” but make themselves feel really bad when they mess up.

Instead of logic winning, where the recognition of the “bad” pivots them towards better behavior, they end up spiraling out of control.

That’s because if you feel bad, you will comfort yourself with more bad behaviors.

If you are developing a new healthy eating habit, you should see each healthy food as “adding up.”

Each day, you focus on increasing the total amount of healthy food you’ve eaten so far.

The counter can only go up.

If you eat a “bad” food, that does not have to diminish your progress.

Understanding that you are not perfect and being less harsh on yourself will allow you to develop more new habits over time.

Principle 2:

Feed Your Mind Well: Continuously Learn, Forever.


What you expose your mind to affects your overall health.

There is good and bad information.

We stay away from moldy and poisonous foods as we know they will hurt our body.

We don’t always take the same care with poisonous or detrimental ideas.

feed brain

Good Information > Bad Information :O WHAT?!

If you regularly watch or read information that makes you feel afraid, lonely, and angry, then you will continuously feel afraid, lonely, and angry.

How do you combat unhealthy ideas? Regularly consume good information through reading, listening or watching.

What defines good information depends on the individual.

The information should be of interest to you, engaging, or have potential for solving a problem.

It may make you feel good whether that’s through humor, happiness or pleasure.

The more good information in your life, the better life you will enjoy.

Principle 3:

Be Uncomfortable & Explore


The mind loves to grow.

A life of complete comfort is unsatisfying because it is too static.

The mind rewards new experiences.

Life is always changing. Accept the flow, so that you may live too!

explore

Adventure. Try New Things. Be Uncomfortable.

Each of us has grown up in a life situation, not chosen by us.

Chance greatly influenced most of your interests, dislikes and biases you experience today.

That’s uncomfortable to come to terms with.

Many people, at least in the United States, live most of their life near the region they grew up.

It’s comfortable to stay in a familiar location with like-minded people and values.

Oddly, traveling worldwide has never been easier, quicker, or safer.

Exploring the world and trying new things eats away at our notion of our self.

But, it pays us back with personal growth, new relationships, experiences and interests.

Consistently pushing past uncomfortable feelings to meet new people, go new places, and try new things will cultivate a diverse and exciting life.

Principle 4:

Creating Is Fulfilling


One of the easiest ways to be fulfilled is through creating.

Whether you like to write novels, play music, draw cartoons, design phone applications, or build furniture, creating taps into our very essence.

You get to use knowledge you’ve gathered, apply it and make something new.

creating is fulfilling

Create Something. Anything You Are Drawn Towards.

If you’ve never created something on your own accord, try now and see how it feels.

As you create more, you’ll want to learn and explore more. These concepts synergise and all feed back into each other.

Creativity is mixing and matching ideas from our past and present, producing something new.

You do not have to share everything you create with anyone else. Create for yourself.

The process of making something with your hands using the tools at your disposal, guided by some image from your mind, is incredibly fulfilling.

Principle 5:

Presence Increases Enjoyment (PIE)


Be present around other people.

It’s easy to continuously check your phone for messages and notifications for short term gratification.

The messages and notifications will still be there after you’re done.

The best experiences in life are social ones, shared with others.

Be With Others and Share Yourself

Being present with others will develop stronger relationships and you’ll enjoy them more too.

By listening with your full attention, you’ll be able to give your most valuable advice.

When you bring value to others, you are often rewarded too. It feels good when you connect with other people and help them.

They are more prone to help and listen to you too. It’s not a zero-sum game.

As you provide value, more value will be added to both of your lives.

Creativity, new ideas and even purpose can be born out of deep conversations with people you care about.

Principle 6:

Self Awareness Pays Dividends


The more you know about you, the better you can shape your life to your wants and needs.

If you’re going through life following the advice and pressure of “what you’re supposed to do,” you’re denying yourself the ability to build a life in line with YOU.

The road to self awareness is a tough one. It takes time and effort.

self awareness pays

If You Know You, The World Is Your Oyster

Self awareness is a huge category.

It involves your physical body, self identity, behaviors, emotions, how the world affects your thinking and so much more.

Harder still is that the self is dynamic, not static.

The brain grows and learns throughout one’s lifetime. Your likes, desires and dislikes will change as you grow.

It’s uncomfortable to find out what has limited you and how you are today but so rewarding to do that which was always outside your self identity.

Understanding such complexity and breadth within yourself is an enormous task but there are many rewards along the way.

Figuring out why you exhibit certain behaviors or why you have certain interests is an incredible meal for the mind.

And paradoxically, you change a little bit each time you get to know your self even more.

Invest in your ever changing self and build a lifestyle in line with you! You are worth the effort!

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