19 Things You Can Do Now That Will Still Help You in the Future
No matter how much you develop the necessary skills to improve any given aspect of your life, you can always improve and get better.
There is no book, no method, no person, nor tool that can bring you to perfection in any area of your life. Getting better and improving yourself is a never-ending process.
These ideas can have significant impact on your life and career now and in the future.
- Take keen interest in thought-provoking posts.
The likes of Brain Pickings (insightful long form posts on life, art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more) can expand your scope on different subjects.
If you can’t commit to long form posts, find useful audiobooks instead. Relevant audiobooks or podcasts are some of the greatest self-improvement and personal transformational technology tools in the world.
2. Never stop learning.
This is one of the most underrated virtues and a prerequisite for mental health. And it doesn’t have to be a new language, or a musical instrument, if you don’t have the time.
New words, games. ideas, philosophies etc. Reading a random wiki page everyday, solving crossword or sudoku can be equally refreshing for the brain.
3. Find a new door.
When was the last time you questioned the existing convention, conceptualized problems differently, approached problems in new, innovative way. It’s about time you figured out what could be improved, challenged, done different, done with less effort to achieve more.
Start questioning everything. Consider everything. Go through every possibility until you know for a fact it can or cannot be done.
4. Learn how to talk on the phone with people you don’t know.
It still terrifies most people. You could use some of your free time to read about ways to conquer the fear. The best way to conquer your fear though is constant practice.
5. Start some kind of little side venture to learn entrepreneurial principles.
Pursue your passion. Even if you fail, you at least tried. Buy and sell stuff on Craigslist, do anything. You might need them if you’re in between jobs. Your spare time could be put to good use.
6. Take a course on your favourite subject and another on topics that are very new to you.
It will force you to expand your world view on different topics that could be of importance in the future.
7. By all means, find time to meditate.
Preferably every morning. If you can’t do that at least ensure that you quieten your mind for 10 mins during the day. Don’t think about anything. Just listen to yourself breathe. And BE.
8. Sort out your thoughts, verbalize them, and then write down what comes to mind.
Take time to think through ideas, projects or your interests and enjoy the peace that comes with just doing nothing for a short period of time.
9. Work smart and stick with something.
Learn how to turn off the distractions of social media and focus on what matters most to you. You’ll instantly be ahead of a majority of your generation.
10. Take an interest in psychology.
Psychology helps us analyze our thoughts and actions, and helps us understand our own motivations. If you want to improve, you must first be capable of looking at yourself from an objective point of view, from outside yourself.
11. Work on your habits and on your willpower, constantly.
Our ability to improve is largely determined by our habits. Our habits influence the way we respond to any given situation, and ultimately they define how efficient we can become.
12. Travel. Explore. Experiment.
The more things you will explore more experience you will have. And these experiences will cherish you, in future. So earn them, before it is too late. Do not be afraid to take risks.
13. Pick up an athletic hobby.
Find something you can do through the years, or your sedentary academic lifestyle will do horrible things to your posture, back, and gut.
14. Be prepared for the unexpected.
Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans. It may not necessarily be unpleasant or bad but even if it is, try to handle it in the best possible manner.
15. Keep improving in the field you are best at.
Focus on fascinates you most. The more you know about the topics that are close to your heart, the more you will be able to benefit from it in the future. Choose yourself and develop that passion today.
16. Balance in life is essential.
Don’t over do. Don’t neglect. Like when playing a stringed instrument, the string must not be too loose or you don’t get any music from it. If it’s too tight, it can break. When just right, it can be the source of magnificent music.
Balance is the key: rest and activity; diving deep within and plunging into activity. Swing between silence and dynamism, rest and activity. All should be there, all in proper balance.
17. Challenge yourself, and you will grow.
Learning a new topic will not only teach you a new set of facts and figures, it will teach you a new way of looking at and making sense of aspects of your everyday life or of the society or your business. You should be willing to take new perspectives to day-to-day work.
18. Learn how to deal with interpersonal conflicts.
Read Crucial Conversations and practice — it’s a lifechanger.
19. Start reading outside your scope.
Read a business magazine, journal or blog in an industry other than your own, or grab a few ebooks from other close niches that teaches how tasks or business processes are accomplished in that sector. You could apply some of those ideas in your recent strategy.
Try reading something you’d never have touched otherwise — if you read literary fiction, try a mystery or science fiction novel; if you read a lot of hard-boiled detective novels, try a mystery novel. Business readers could try reading outside business books and blogs.
The author is the founder and curator at Postanly, a free weekly newsletter that delivers the most insightful and popular long-form posts from top publishers.