A Lazy Man’s Guide To Self-Improvment

Hate yourself? Wanna be less shitty? Good for you! Like most going on this journey, there’s a good chance you’re not sure where to start. Maybe all the normal self-help advice just seem too hard. If you’re starting from zero, a lot of self-improvement tactics can feel inaccessible. They come with high costs in time, money and energy. Fortunately, there are easier, low-cost things you can do. Little tools to increase your confidence, be more productive and just be a better person. Here’s a list of 11 simple ways to improve your life. A lazy man’s guide to self-improvement. I’ve personally done a lot of these and can, at least anecdotally, vouch for their value. Some of them are inspired by advice by friends like Isaac Morehouse or books like Six PIllars of Self Esteem

1) Look in the mirror while naked for 10 minutes straight every day

I don’t think there’s a better way to deal with negative body image than just diving into it head first. Force yourself to look in the mirror, really look at yourself. The goal here isn’t necessarily to make yourself love your body. Instead, you want to just acknowledge the reality of it. Neither changing your body or learning to love it can begin without first accepting what your body really is.

2) Read a chapter of a book once a week

When was the last time you actually read a book?  42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college. Even if you just read one book a year, maybe just a chapter a week, you would be better off than an absurdly large amount of people. You want to be more interesting you gotta have interesting things to talk about. If you wanna be smarter you need to engage your brain in ways like reading. Consume as much content as you can. If you just don’t enjoy reading, consider picking up some graphic novels or diving into audio books.

3) Write one blog post once a week

Writing has similar positive effects as reading. It challenges your mind in a way that doesn’t always happen during the day to day grind. Keeping a blog can be a great way to collect your thoughts. It can be written like a diary or used as a medium for exploring ideas. One blog post a week is super accessible. It doesn’t have to be a huge essay. You could write one or two paragraphs about an idea you had. Or maybe write a review of your favorite album. You may find yourself with the feeling along the lines of, “No one cares what I have to say. Who I am to publish a blog? Who would even read that?”. Ignore that. The writing is about you, not the audience. Besides, you will be surprised how many people actually find your content enjoyable

4) Work out twice a week

I know this is one of the harder tasks on this list. However, if you can manage to did it, just twice a week, you WILL feel better about yourself. You will sleep better, you will look better, your posture will improve. This is hard as hell for some, but it is probably the most valuable habit you can develop. Set up a simple routine. Maybe start with a small set number of pushups and pull ups and adjust as you go. If you can track down some cheap weights, start lifting.

5) Clean your room

This is extremely useful if you’re trying to add more structure to your life. It’s great if you want to develop more conscientiousness, meaning the ability to be more organized and responsible overall. Your room can be understood as a reflection of your inner world. If you wanna stop being so messy in your relationships, job, etc. Learn to stop being messy in your immediate surroundings. If you can at least make your bed every day, you’ll find yourself coming home to knowing you’ve accomplished at least one thing.

6) Learn an instrument

Study after study has shown that learning an instrument is one of the best things you can do to exercise your brain. It can help you become more creative and more in tune with your emotions. Music can also help you understand the world in a more analytical way. As you dive into music theory you may discover an interest in mathematics and logic. Sound hard and unlazy? Trying picking up simple instruments like the ukulele. They’re cheap and don’t have too many strings.

7) Take regular showers

If you have gone through any serious depressions, I’m sure you know that taking a shower can be difficult at times. Self-care becomes an afterthought to the dominant desire to stay alive. If you can muster the energy, force yourself to shower every day. A clean feelings body can make a clean feeling mind. Especially cold showers. To quote this article about why cold showers are beneficial, “This is because wet and cold causes our surface vessels to vasoconstrict (tighten up) making blood move from the surface of your body to the core, as a means to conserve heat. Not only does it conserve heat,  it also reflexively bathes the brain and vital organs in fresh blood. This movement will bring nutrition, oxygen and also help gently detoxify the area.”

8) Go to bed one hour earlier

Everyone needs more sleep. You probably spend that last hour on your phone anyway.  Some people think if they aren’t pushing themselves to stay up an extra hour to work, then they are missing out on productivity. There’s often an error in this thinking. It’s very likely the quality of your work per minute will go down. Often getting that extra hour is the difference when being semi-productive and fully productive. If you have troubling falling asleep, consider using some sort of red tint on your phone screen. The blue lights in computers and phones can cause our brains to stay awake.

9) Use an alarm clock on your days off

If you understand that getting more sleep is important, you should also try to understand how important consistent sleeping schedules can be. If you use an alarm on the weekdays, it can be very beneficial to continue that use over the weekend. This will help keep your sleeping schedule consistent. You’ll probably stop hating Mondays too, as you won’t be so jarred awake by the alarm.

10) Hug your friends more

Particularly men can benefit from this advice. There is evidence that the lack of physical touch for men is literally killing them. Increasing chances of heart problems and mental issues. There was once a time where men touching each other in platonic intimate ways was not so rare. I hope to see a return to that. Hug your bros and tell them you love them.

11) Add educational content to your meme consumption

Pretty much everyone wastes time scrolling their Facebook feed for memes or watching random youtube videos. It can be a good idea to cut back on social media. Alternatively, you can just make your social media usage more productive. If every other meme or video is educational, then you’re on the path to learning new things. Maybe like a philosophy meme page and google all the new phrases that come up. Sub to a youtube channel that does an in-depth analysis of your favorite films. You can literally learn through shitposting.

 

Alright, you lazy fuck. You can tackle at least one of these this month. Shoot me an email if this was helpful at all. gabrieljmitchell@gmail.com

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Doing What I Want

“like if freedom means doing what I want, well, don’t I gotta want something?”

Relistening to the album Die The Nightmare and this line stood out to me. It highlights where my latest struggles are. I’m at a really awesome spot in life. Cool house, awesome friends, self employed. I have an unprecedented amount of freedom and stability. My needs have been met. I no longer have to work out of desperation. But how do I work when I’m not motivated by starvation? How do I fill my time when I have almost unlimited options? What do I do with my new freedom?

I have what I need, but what do I want?

Fortunately, I am starting to figure it out. I’vee been slowing down my decision making process. I’m taking the time to ask myself if I really WANT the thing I’m about to choose. 

I will learn from this anxiety of freedom and I will grow.

Thoughts from a tolerance break

It’s been a little over a week since I last smoked pot. I’m on what you could call a tolerance break, letting my brain readjust to sobriety so that it’s easier to get high when I get back to it. A tolerance break is always a great time to reflect on my drug use so here’s some thoughts before I return to the Devil’s Lettuce.

It’s great that cannabis is so easy to quit

I smoked pretty much daily up until last week when I stopped. It really says great things about this drug that you be a frequent user like me and have little trouble cutting cold turkey. If I had been doing coke everyday for a few weeks I’d probably be finding some excuse to sell my PlayStation for another line at this point. That isn’t to say cannabis isn’t addictive in some sense. Anything fun is addictive. But it’s addictive to the same degree as a good TV show or a fun book, you wanna do it again not because you’re compelled but simply because it’s a habit and it’s super fun.

I’m not more or less productive without weed

There’s this unfortunate stigma around smoking pot, that it makes you brain dead and unproductive. Though it’s true sometimes while high I’d rather melt into the couch with a plate of tacos than get any work done it’s not really a universal smoking experience. When stoned I often find myself energized to do creative work. Some of my best art was a result of THC igniting the creative spark in my brain. My tolerance break hasn’t really affected my productivity overall. I read less and I’m doing less spray paint art but I’m still kicking ass the same way I was while smoking daily. It’s important to pay attention to how individual strains change my work habits (I’m not gonna go for a jog on a 90% indica) but for the most part, I believe weed has little noticeable effect on my ability to get shit done.

I do sleep better without it

Probably the only real noticeable side effect of not smoking is my sleeping patterns. When I smoked daily, especially when I had more indica than sativa, I’d pretty much always take a nap halfway through my day. This would totally mess up my sleeping schedule. Making me wake up at 6am some morning and 1pm others. An important thing to pay attention to and keeping this in mind maybe I’ll learn to only smoke at night or only buy sativa.

Nothing new

Overall, haven’t learned much that I didn’t already know. It’s nice to take a break and reflect, it reminds me that contrary to the propaganda smoking doesn’t make me a junkie. Sobriety is it’s own type of adventure and it’s just another possible perspective to see my day from. Looking forward to getting high at a lower cost now that my tolerance is back down.

3 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned

I’m no guru but i’ve been around. Here’s some important things i’ve learned

1)  Everyone is an impostor

You know that feeling you get sometimes that you’re out of your league? Maybe it’s in the workplace and you feel like you’re not at all qualified for your job. Maybe it’s chatting up some cutie at a party and you think they’re way too good for you.
Well guess what!? Everyone feels that way. Everyone gets these feelings. The hot shot VP at your business feels totally in over his head every day. That adorable young thing at the party is just as nervous as you are. The trick to getting over impostor syndrome is learning everyone is an impostor.

2) Always be honest with yourself

The worst thing you can do is not be true to your desires and emotions. If you want something don’t try to suppress your feelings. You don’t have to act on them but you need to be fully honest with yourself about them. The more you know about yourself the easier it is grow as a person. Embrace authenticity.

3) Don’t run from struggles

The best sights are seen from the top of the mountain not from the bottom. You have to make that hike. If you’re scared of pushing yourself through the pain you’ll never get elevated.

Meaning and emotions – Some thoughts on art

The piece is interesting because it makes you feel something. Regardless of the intentions of a creator, the meaning in the art is ultimately observer dependent. It’s subject to the experiences of the individuals who is.. well… experiencing it. Could meaning in life be similar?

Meaning and emotions – Some thoughts on art

Meaning in art.

As any edgy young philosopher, I’ve dabbled pretty significantly in Nihilism, especially existential nihilism. It can loosely be understood as the rejection of objective meaning in life. Grime, but interesting.
One thought that made it easier to transition to a meaning as subjective, choose your own adventure, world view, was how I’ve begun to see meaning in art. Consider an intriguing work of art. The piece is interesting because it makes you feel something. Regardless of the intentions of a creator, the meaning in the art is ultimately observer dependent. It’s subject to the experiences of the individuals who is.. well… experiencing it. Could meaning in life be similar?

Emotional sincerity and art.

A hearty level of emotional sincerity in art is essential for an authentic and impactful experience. Even the best example of an inauthentic successful band, the sex pistols, still had an emotional sincerity that developed their art. Corporate sell outs sure. Half of the band couldn’t even play instruments sure. But It would be fucking stupid to say, Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten and all the boys didn’t have a personal and sincere punk rock ethos and lifestyle.

Yet emotional sincerity doesn’t need to be translated into complete honesty. There’s no need to include every detail of a break up when performing a break-up song. In fact, a good break-up song channels the emotion of the break up without needing to tap into the specifics. It should appeal in a broad way to anyone who’s had a break-up. A good artist learns to take the emotional sincerity of a personal experience while still creating art for a broader audience than just himself.