Have you ever noticed how many books exist in the “Self-help” aisle of any given bookstore? There are hundreds upon hundreds. There are so many tips to improve your life if you search, but it can be challenging to find a focus, especially if you read a lot without truly adapting any tips or taking action. One individual felt overwhelmed and asked via Quora, “If you could give me one tip to improve my life, what would it be?” We’ve chosen the best answers that received the most upvotes 1.
Keep your promises (including those made to yourself)
This doesn’t just apply to the promises you make to other people, but the promises you make to yourself.
In nearly any film you watch, one of the characters is going to make a promise. Whether or not he keeps that promise will determine the entire plot for the remainder of the film. While most movies are fictional, like Harry Potter promising to find all the horcruxes and kill Voldemort, the kept promises still stick with us in reality. So imagine how impactful it would be if you began keeping all your promises 2.
“It doesn’t matter whether the story is big or small, long or short, funny or sad. It doesn’t matter how the challenge surfaces and who’s fighting for what. At some point, someone always says to themselves: ‘I will do this.’”
Realize that everything is temporary
This answer got 19k upvotes. The parable that exists as the root of this answer revolves around a king asking his subjects for a way to make himself happy when he’s sad and sad when he’s happy. After much thought and consideration, the conclusion they came to was this: Remember that this too shall pass.
“The quote teaches you to enjoy the moment. You may be at the happiest point in your life, but that happiness isn’t permanent, so you should enjoy it while it lasts. But, if you feel miserable, the quote shows you that your sadness isn’t indefinite. Soon you’ll be back to normal.”
When you’re in a difficult situation, it helps to remember it’s temporary; it won’t be difficult forever. Likewise, when you’re in a happy situation, it can be important to realize the same thing in order to avoid taking anything for granted. Enjoy the good times while they’re good, and remember good times will come when the situation seems bleak 3.
Simply run. You’ll learn to persist
Runnning teaches you to persist, even if your body wants to stop. It helps you learn to focus on a singular goal and not stop until you get there.
You’ll feel more confident and strong 4. It can also provide the perfect excuse to listen to a podcast or even that new album you’ve been meaning to check out. Bette says, “You will also be able to learn things because podcasts and books are some of the best things to listen to while you are on a long run.”
Give 100% (even if you may not want to)
In life, there are going to be times when we don’t want to give it our all. It could be situational, or we could just be having an off day. But it could be that the thing we’re doing is emotionally or physically challenging. In this moments, giving a half-hearted effort could seem like a solution, but that’s just not the case. No one ever shares a success story by starting with, “It all began when I was giving about 50% of an effort…” 5.
Even Will Smith knows the power of trying hard. In fact, he once said, “If it was something that I really committed myself to, I don’t think there’s anything that could stop me becoming President of the United States.”
Work smarter, not harder
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Most people would use all six hours to do the actual cutting, but planning for a task and sharpening skills can help you accomplish a task in much less time 6.
Live in reality, not a social media feed
We have all been guilty of it: scrolling endlessly through a social media newsfeed, even when someone is speaking to us. It can keep you up at night and make you super anti-social despite how much you feel that you’re interacting with other.
When you scroll endlessly on social media platforms, you’re wasting your time and becoming a little addicted to your smart device. When you spend a majority of your day flirting with girls you’ve never actually met, you could be doing something productive instead. But here’s the thing: deep down, you already know what’s good for you. So listen to yourself! It’s like Verma says, “Stop asking others [what’s good for you], analyze yourself, and start implementing those things in your life which you already know that are good for you(but haven’t tried to implement yet) and eventually you will get the solution to most of the problems in your life.” 7
So what do all of these tips have in common? It comes down to living in the present, taking care of yourself and remembering you are greater than any hardship. You have the power to change things, including your life, and the only thing holding you back is you. Imagine what a few simple changes could lead to in the long-term. So what are you waiting for? Start changing your life for the better today.