Listen up everyone! or better said, read up everyone! I am going to change the pacing and the style of this series. This guide should not be focused on my writing prowess or even on philosophical aspects of life. My goal here is to make you laugh (at me or with me), to make you understand my thoughts and enjoy yourself… to help you live a happier lifestyle. So no more fancy words and no more retrospective bullshit. Now, lets dive into this chapter!
Lifehack: how to live more with a one stock life!
Yup, you read correctly. I know a way for you to potentially live and experience an incredible amount of things that you could simply not accomplish in a single lifetime. It is pretty simple to do. Here is how:
Firstly, listen when people talk about stuff.
And that’s it. That’s all the steps you need to follow to live more with a limited amount of time. Pretty simple right? Wrong! It is harder than you might think. Now some of you probably think I’m stupid when I say that wasting your time listening to others is supposed to help you live more. In fact, it does sound contradictory… but it isn’t. Here is a concrete example of how it could help you:
You’re at your friends house and he keeps rambling on and on about this shitty situation that happened to him today. Now you have 2 options (if you’re a decent human being, there are a lot of other options if you are a bag of shit). First option: you listen intently (acting like the great friend he/she thinks you are); you even might try to console and help that person (but lets not go overboard here, most of us are not that nice). Second option: you ask yourself if you really need to listen to all this negativity while he/she talks and talks; you already have your own life to deal with. In this option, you will probably feign comprehension; nod your head once in a while (lets face it, you would probably lose your friend when he/she discovered how selfish you’ve been!). Now, both options have some merit and their own uses. Here’s the twist. A week later, you are confronted with the same shitty situation your friend was rambling about, only, this time, you are the victim. If you followed option numero uno, you’re good to go. You know exactly what to do because you’ve already solved the issue with your friend. In this scenario, you “wasted” time in a conversation with your friend that probably helped him out and ultimately saved you from all the anxiety and problems the same problem would have caused you. Win Win. Lets see how option 2 would pan out. Yeah, awesome, you did not waste an entire evening listening to your friend and letting his negativity affect your life. However, now you’re faced with a problem that you do not know how to deal with. You live through the consequences (plus some added regret; whispers in your head saying: you should’ve listened to him you egotistical bastard!).
I do understand that this might never happen. I do understand that this scenario is pretty specific. However, I find that there is no negative outcome of listening intently to your friends, family, coworkers, hell… people in general. You’re going to live so much more if you take the time to listen intently to others. If someone takes the time to talk to you. Hear them out and analyze what information they are offering you! Here is a list of all you will gain if you do.
- Solutions to problems that may arise in your own life (yes, like the example I just gave you, you’re so perceptive! Look at you already improving yourself). Here’s another example.
- Ex: You’re talking to a friend again: Your relationship is awful, poor you dude. Wait, you left her? How did you do that? How did it work out for you? What would you have done differently? Any regrets? Oh wow, I just realized I’m in a toxic relationship too. Let me just apply everything I’ve learned from you so that I don’t suffer as you did. Thanks bro. What a happy coincidence! The first guy could talk about his problems and be listened (first win) and the second did not have to suffer as much when he applied everything he had learned (second win!).
- Experience things that you might have never lived
- Ex: Wow! You went to Japan? How was it? What did you do there? Did you enjoy yourself? We both know you’ll probably never go to Japan. But, now, you’ve lived through a shadow of that awesome trip; a small experience of what it was like. In addition, you’ve made someone happy because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love talking about their amazing trips?
- Learning stuff
- This one is kind of obvious for anyone who has had to suffer through North-American education. You can learn a lot by listening to people but not simply from teachers, tutors or mentors. Everyone around you has something to offer. You can also analyse people: Oh wow, that guy is so dumb! This other guy is so charismatic! Stop and consider what gave you this impression. Copy the things you’ve enjoyed seeing in others and try to avoid the things that you’ve disliked (odds are that if you like or don’t like certain mannerisms, you’re probably not the only one. Copy the ones you like and prevent yourself from doing the ones you despise!).
- Sharing happiness
- I will probably talk about the contagiousness of happiness in later posts. However, here is a brief overview of the concept. We all know how fast smiles can spread. In fact, you don’t even need to know the cause of a smile to smile yourself. If you see a man laughing on the bus (or anywhere for that matter), you’re instinct is to smile or even laugh. You might appreciate the fact that this person is enjoying himself or you might simply be a dick and find him stupid for laughing in public. In both cases, you’re probably smiling or laughing (with him or at him) and then the happiness chain will continue with you.
- We do not need a reason for smiling or to simply be happy, but, when we do, it will be more profound. It will be an earnest (synonym of sincere… sorry, I know I promised I would try to not use big words… but they are so pretty) happiness. If you know the cause of your conversation partner’s happiness, you might be more inclined to empathize with him and feel a portion of that person’s joy. It will be a greater and longer lasting happiness. Of course, this only works if you are capable of empathy/sympathy (sorry for all you robots reading this).
Ultimately, if you follow this lifehack, you will have lived part of everything everyone around you has experienced. You won’t have to suffer as much because you will be ready for certain problems before they ever happen to you. You will discover more and in a much faster way. Learning from your mistakes is a long process and implies that you will have to make many mistakes yourself. What if you learn from the mistakes of everyone one around you instead? Isn’t that much better? No pain and all the gain, I say fuck yeah I’m in. Plus, there is the small but incredible bonus of sharing and spreading happiness! Stop living your own life your own way and take advantage of the fact that we live in a connected society. Lets share our progress and not simply our pain.