The Most Important ‘Life Hack’ I’ve Learned
Do you work hard every day? Do you spend all your energy on making a living? And do you also feel drained at the end of the day?
If so, there’s something wrong that needs fixing. And the solution is easier than you might think. I know this because I used to plant myself in front of the TV every evening with a bag of potato chips. I often felt tired and unhappy for no apparent reason.
Let’s be honest. If you’re currently not enjoying your life, and you’re not waking up every morning with a sense of excitement, you need to do something about it.
You deserve to live a good life. The people in your life deserve that as well.
And in this article, I want to share one ‘hack’ with you that has made a tremendous impact on the quality of my life. I’m very careful with calling something a hack because most things are not.
This thing truly is because it’s simple but has a huge impact on your life. And it’s very simple.
100% of my happiness comes from only one measure: My energy.
That’s my hack. And you know what? It’s not even a new concept. Like every idea in the world, it’s already thought of.
But like all ideas, it’s the execution that’s difficult. If you want to apply this hack to your life, you must know yourself.
I improve my self-knowledge by asking myself things like:
- Why am I in a good mood today?
- Why am I in a shitty mood today?
- Why am I happy in this moment?
- Why am I stressed right now?
To answer those questions, I keep a journal. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’m a big advocate of journaling. I also wrote an article about my journaling system.
And after a lot of journaling, I finally discovered a pattern.
High energy? Good mood, feeling confident, looking forward to the future, chest up, smiling, enjoying myself, and doing whatever the fuck I like.
Low energy? Bad mood, sad, afraid of the future, timid, shying away from eye contact, worrying, etc, etc.
Now, you might think that’s pretty obvious. But no one ever taught me to manage my energy. Not in school, not at work, and not in business. But managing it has made a big impact on the quality of my life.
“So how do you really manage your energy?”
In practice, it looks like this. Ask yourself:
- “What activities destroy my mood and drain my energy?”
- ”What activities make me feel good and give energy?”
Before the childish folks go out and say, “I love partying and spending all my money,” I want to say that if you want to be smartass — go and do that somewhere else.
Here’s an example of what I mean. I think writing is a hard and tedious activity. I don’t enjoy it at all, to be honest.
However, after I do it, I feel good about myself, and it gives me a lot of energy. So that makes it worth it to me. So it’s not about avoiding hard things. It’s about looking at the results activities have on your mood.
Here are three other things I’ve learned about managing your energy.
- Identify 20% of the activities that bring you the most results for every aspect of your life.
Look at your relationships, business, health, money. Then, focus on doing more of the activities that improve those aspects.
- Continuously re-evaluate.
Get feedback. Journal. And always ask yourself whether you’re on the right track. Life is not static. You must adjust your course manually. There’s no autopilot. So always take time every day to reflect and look forward.
- You don’t have to be in a good mood all the time.
That’s not realistic. I aim for being in a good mood 95% of the time. Also, you can be in a good mood and go through difficulty. Life is tough. So It’s better to be in a good mood to make it easier.
Look, life is long. And if you play it right, you can do most of the things you always wanted. You just need to have patience and manage your energy so you can ENJOY the things you do.
Start now by asking yourself: “What’s the one thing I can do today to improve my mood?”
Ask yourself the same question tomorrow.
And the day after that.
And so forth.