Are you currently in your 20s? The 20s can be a confusing time for many of us. It’s always when we have lots of things going on in our lives – college/getting an education work, starting a family, finding a life partner, purchasing your first house and so on. It’s also that time in our lives that we are discovering ourselves in a much deeper way and establishing our identities. 20s is also the time of youth. And like it or not, it’s usually dubbed the “golden era” of our lives and This will be the decade where you are at the prime of your life – the most energetic, the best looking, little responsibilities, and tons of opportunities at your feet.
So how then can we make the most of these 10 years? And not just that, what sorts of habits could we establish in our 20s that will set us on a good path for the rest of our lives? I outline some of my thoughts in these series of posts (more to come in the near future), gathering observations from strangers, friends and most of all, my own life.
Exercise: Exercising has its physical benefits, but most importantly it helps fight anxiety. It also improves your concentration and overall cognitive functioning. Exercising releases endorphins a chemical in the brain that reduces anxiety.
Meditation: Meditation helps by silencing the overactive mind for a while by focusing on a single point. For example, your breathing, sensations throughout the body and focusing on a key word. If you don’t know who to meditate you can use meditation apps or watch YouTube videos that can guide you through it.
Yoga: Yoga helps my moderating our body’s response to anxiety. Not only that, but it lowers blood pressure and chronic pain.
Kiss Someone You Love: Yep! This does alleviate anxiety, by releasing happy chemicals.
Sing: It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing, just blast your favorite song, and sing like crazy. I enjoy going for a car ride and singing like no one is watching.
Talk it out: Talking to a trustful friend, family member, teacher or therapist helps immensely. This also is beneficial because other people can tell you their points of views.
And thus another life lesson materialized, with applications to Mustachianism as well. And that lesson is that small efforts, repeated over time, will almost always surprise you.
It’s a natural weakness of the human brain that we don’t recognize this, because we have our leftover instincts of survival in the moment. But a ten dollar lunch each workday compounds to $37,600 every ten years. An extra beer or slice of bread beyond your base calorie requirements adds up to 152 pounds of fat* over the same period. A habit of being just a bit rude to your spouse in certain situations can brew itself into lifelong resentment and divorce, while a slightly different habit of patience and respect can keep you happily married for life.
For me, the habit of occasionally typing some shit into the computer has resulted in an enormous pile of articles on this blog. 360 of them, or over 1000 pages if you were to make it all into a (repetitive and poorly edited) book. It’s a whole empire now, which automatically brings in readers and generates surprising quantities of money, and all caused by a series of individually insignificant efforts over time. And although things seem slow to me right now, with continued efforts I can surely make this place far better, finish the book that really needs to be written, and reach the right people. Then, of course, we can save the human race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its own habitat, which has been the plan all along.
So how can everyone benefit from this effect? By watching where your time goes, and making small adjustments to make sure most of those minutes are aligned with your real life goals.
Watching TV, for example, or playing massively multiplayer online games, can feel relaxing and even stimulating at times. But those hours spent relaxing and stimulating yourself can really add up, and when you tally the eventual sum of the life benefits, it ends up awfully close to zero. Many other leisure pursuits (complaining, ATV riding, shopping) often end up the same way.
The key is therefore to trick yourself into doing more things that are good for you. Not just more good things, but over time having your life be almost entirely good things.
Tiny things, like learning one new thing you were afraid of trying before. Fixing the screen on your upstairs window. Or taking a very short walk when you don’t really have the time or inclination to go for a real walk. Reading just a tiny amount of the investing book before you eat a tiny amount of raw vegetables. I have some gymnastics rings hanging from straps mounted to part of the high ceiling in my kitchen. When I don’t feel like really working out, which is quite often, I will walk over and do just 5 pull-ups on those rings. Over the past month or two, I’ve done this lazy cop-out routine about 100 times, which adds to 500 pull-ups, which is not such a bad thing after all.
Sooner than you think, you’ll find that your days are starting to change shape. These constant needlings from Mr. Money Mustache seemed annoying at first, but you will end up getting rid of your TV and replacing it with a library card after all, and poking around in the Reading List area of this blog. Over time, you’ll become a Self Improvement Machine, a miniature Dalai Lama with happiness beams shooting out of each of your orifices, which in turn shine onto others and make them happier. All in all, a surprising effect for such a small effort.
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The basics of Research Methods. There’s so much to learn in AS and more is added in the second year. In an exam you could be asked to state which hypothesis is being used in an example, which experimental method would be best for a situation, or to create your own research plan.