Transformational Life Hacks

To Understand Is To Know What To Do

This has to be one of the best ways for living the best life you can possibly live.

Transformational Life Hacks - Setting The Scene

An online search on life hacks will invariably provide you with multiple links to ways of increasing your productivity and efficiency in many areas of life.

But in this article I want to raise your sights and share two simple-to-understand science based principles that when combined will, over-time, transform your health, wealth and happiness.

I will tell you what to do, how to do it, and why you most likely won't!

There are no gimmicks here and this is absolutely not about how to "get rich quick".

Over the long run, the outcomes that you experience are determined by your responses to the events in your life.

I refer to this as the law of response and outcome.

The strength and quality of your response to the events in your life is determined by the skills and the experience you bring to it - and that is all based on knowing how to think effectively, and how to stop thinking.

My focus with this site is to educate you and to provide you with the resources to help you develop these skills and thus:

  1. How to live the balanced life which is one where you recognise the full spectrum of possible responses and consistently choose the right one, and to do this you need to know:
  2. How to apply multi-disciplinary thinking.

To miss-quote Ludwig Wittgenstein:

    To Understand Is To Know What To Do And How To Do It.

What Are These Life Hacks - And How Are They Transformational?

To cut straight to it, these are the 2 life hacks which when combined will, over time, transform your life:

  1. Mirrored Reciprocation
  2. Compounding

Why is this transformational?

Because this is about how to get what you really want out of life by giving other people what they really want.

This goes beyond the transactional and is about building a "win-win" that addresses our deepest needs as human beings.

If you make this a habit in your inte
ractions with other people and keep doing it throughout your life the compounded payback is very big in terms of:

  • Your mental, emotional and physical health,
  • Your wealth [both financial and non-financial], and
  • Your overall well-being, fulfillment and happiness.

This has to be one of the best ways for living the best life you can possibly live.

To miss-quote Peter Kaufman, this transformational life hack can be simply stated as:

    In your interactions with other people, go positive and go first, and be constant in doing it - be patient.

Life Hacks [1] Mirrored Reciprocation

Newtons Third Law Of Motion

What do we all want?

In many years of working in Singapore and traveling extensively throughout South East Asia and contrary to what I expected when I first went to the region, I learned that as human beings, despite our considerable ethnic and cultural differences, we all have far more in common than surface differences would suggest.

There is far more that unites us than divides us. We all share the same basic needs and have the same broad aspirations for ourselves and our loved ones.

There may much diversity in how we try to meet those needs but fundamentally we all want the same things.

What do we most want as human beings? What is it that you seek in your relationships with other people?

You want to find someone that you can trust 100%, who is principled, competent, loyal and kind, forgiving, understanding and unselfish. As Peter Kaufman puts it:

"All you have to do, if you want everything in life from everybody else, is first pay attention; listen to them; show them respect; give them meaning, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Convey to them that they matter to you.

And show you love them.

But you have to go first.

And what are you going to get back?"

Mirrored reciprocation!"

Every single person on this planet is looking for the same thing.

To get what you want you have to make the first move - you have to go first.

  1. If you encounter someone in a social situation for example standing in a queue at a bar waiting to buy a drink, or in an elevator, or on the same floor as your apartment and you ignore them - they will likely ignore you.
  2. If you scowl at them and look miserable - they will likely scowl back or ignore you.
  3. If you smile at them and say "Hi, how are you" and show interest - they will likely smile back and respond.

You have these same 3 choices in every interaction you have with other people.

Why? This is Newtons Third Law Of Motion at work: "For every action there will ways be an equal and opposite reaction." Or as Peter Kaufman frames it: mirrored reciprocation.

Why do you find it so hard to act on these very simple things?

Short answer - fear.

Fear of appearing vulnerable.

Fear of looking stupid.

Fear of rejection.

At root, your ego!

But what if I told you that 90 plus per cent of the time people will respond positively to you? 

Some calculate this as high as 98%, but let's stick with 90%.

Are you prepared to pay the price to receive all this?

Think about it, think about the 2-10% who ignore you or don't respond positively as the price you have to pay for the 90-98% of people responding positively and treating you well.

For much of my business career I have been involved in selling. When you run your own business, selling is an integral part of the job. 

In my early years as a young salesman I was taught how to deal with rejection and the two main aspects of this were firstly not to take rejection personally and secondly to see each rejection as taking me one step nearer a sale.

Extend this principle across your life over the next 20 - 50 years across literally multiple thousands of encounters with other people.

    Think of the positive benefits of those thousands and thousands of positive encounters in terms of all the good times, advice, friendships and companionship, the personal and business and financial opportunities, the love and the romance and the sex, the respect and ultimately the meaning they will bring into your life.

    And know that the reason you, along with most other people, most likely won't experience this is your fear.

    And know that at root of this fear is your ego.


How To Overcome Fear

Life Hacks [2] Compounding

Compounding applies to relationships.

Albert Einstein is alleged to have said that:

"The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest."

As I am sure you know, compounding is the process whereby a gain made on an invested resource is reinvested alongside the original resource, and further gains are made on that gain.

What is not so well known is that the principle of compounding applies to ANY resource. It is not just limited to finance and investment. It can apply to knowledge, expertise, thinking skills and a whole range of "soft skills" - including relationships.

If you combine and apply the 2 life hacks of mirrored reciprocation and compounding  across your life and do so consistently and persistently over the next 20 - 50 years across literally multiple thousands of encounters with other people the positive results this will bring you are truly staggering.

All that is required, as Peter Kaufman puts it, is:

"Dogged, incremental, constant progress over a very long time frame."

    Compounding is one of the most powerful life hacks because if you apply it and practice it consistently and persistently over a long period of the time the returns are exponential, that is to say vastly in excess of the effort invested.

Why do you find compounding so difficult?

Short answer, because it requires delayed gratification.

The human brain is hardwired for an "immediate return environment" but we live in a "delayed return environment".

Our brains are hardwired for instant gratification, they process and evaluate potential rewards by ascribing a higher value to the present and a discount to the future, so there is a conflict.

As evolutionary psychologists will tell you:

"You can take the person out of the Stone Age, not the Stone Age out of the person."

The solution?

The key to reconciling our brain’s need for immediate feedback and at the same time taking the necessary steps to realise the major benefits of delayed gratification is to have a daily routine that rewards you right away [immediate return] and at the same time resolves your future problems [delayed return].

There are 2 components to this approach:

  1. Focus on the process not the goal. Pay attention to your social skills.
  2. Measure the small steps in the process. Each day, review your social interactions on a daily basis.

    Small improvements accumulate into massive changes.

    Go positive and go first, and be constant in doing it.

Next Article: This Too Shall Pass

Return from "Transformative Life Hacks" to: Walking The Talk

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