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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Parental bias and bad advice

Parental bias and bad advice.

I was at Voice and Exit a few weeks ago. One of the speakers Derek Magill was doing a talk titled “Fuck College”. Lots of good content in it but one section really stood out. When discussing the biggest barriers to the Praxis business (an entrepreneur internship program) he brought up parents. Even though the data and personal experiences of students suggest college isn’t the best path for everyone parents were the major force encouraging students to not drop/opt out and join an alternative. There is a certain safety bias parents have that keep them from being able to see the potential good in alternatives. Out of their love they are simply ill-equipped to support their happiness and fulfillment of their child.

I know I’ve personally experienced this. I received some bad relationship advice like abstinence growing up. A peice of advice that empirically leads to STDs and teen pregnancy. But it was loving advice given by parents who were scared of potential heart break and HIV in their children. Out of their fear for my safety they give bad advice.

It is the nature of the parent-child relationship for things like this to happen. Be wary of the suggestions and advice of family. Their love for you can be damaging along with all the good.