Life Is Not a Hack; Who Should Decide How You Are Going To Live

Everywhere you look, there are advice and hacks and techniques on how to live LIFE.

Being a full-time book blogger, I have read more than 200 self-help books. In each and every book, I found advice, best-selling advice to make my life better, happier, more successful, and whatnot.

Being a YouTuber and writer, perhaps, that’s what I am supposed to do as well — TO TELL YOU HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.

But I guess, that’s where the root cause of the majority of our problems lies. You and I expect that this blog, this YouTube video, this book, or this podcast can solve the mystery of your life. We are manipulated into believing that people who are giving advice have Figured Out life.

We are manipulated into believing that waking up at 5 am will make us peaceful, we are manipulated into believing that working 8 hours a day is a definition of hard work, and we are manipulated into believing that following ‘5 techniques’ can make you successful, productive, and happy. Perhaps, that is the reason we keep promising ourselves to start a new diet, new workout routine, new working style, and new productivity routine from Monday.

But does anything change on Monday? Well, not really!

Because deep down, you know that your life is not a problem that can be solved with certain hacks. You know that your problems are unique and they cannot be solved with the same 5 rules that everyone is asking you to follow. You know that your dreams are different so you need a customized path of your own.

If you can see yourself here, and if you think that you want to live a life, here are some observations from my life that might help you.

Since the internet has become our second home, it is way easier to access any information on any topic. And I believe that is the reason why we consume content even if we don’t need it.

A video with an attention-grabbing thumbnail pops up in your feed and duh! You start watching it. Sharing my personal example, I post Medium articles once in two days. And I used to watch 6–7 YouTube videos every morning to justify that I am being productive and doing research for my articles. Now, only God and my inner self knows that I don’t take any idea from those YouTube videos.

The point is, I was trapped. I was addicted. And that’s how I started watching those videos that I never thought I needed.

What I have realized is if you consume more than your mental capability, you will neither remember what you learned nor will be actively involved.

Besides, consuming content that you didn’t deliberately search for can create unnecessary desires in your mind.

To be more mindful of what I am consuming and how much content I am consuming, I created a principle which is — FOLLOW ONLY THOSE CREATORS WHO HAVE SIMILAR VALUES/PRINCIPLES.

This way, I am more conscious about who I choose to listen to, and who I choose to ignore. For example; I am in love with slow living and for that, I follow ‘Malama Life’ and I am not so much into productivity so I choose to ignore any video that falls under that category. If I am not watching productivity videos,

a) I am actually productive

b) I don’t let any impossible expectations enter my mind.

Now, the rest is on you. You have to decide what kind of life you want to live and who is the best person to listen to. Following every creator in every category is just going to disturb your mental peace and make you believe that ‘you are not living your life the way you should be’

If I ask, what do you do for yourself? What’s that one thing that keeps your soul young and alive, what would be your answer?

Well, don’t worry, if you don’t have an answer. The problem is our life is too busy to even think of doing what we love. The world is moving fast. We are running a race against time. Our career and professional growth all depend on how fast we can run.

Now, obviously, who will waste time doing something that doesn’t fall under

  1. Making money category
  2. Productivity category or
  3. Success Category

But here is a thing, your life is beyond churning through a to-do list, your life isn’t about being productive like a machine, your life is not about being available for everyone 24/7 while missing from your own side, your life isn’t about JUST making money, your life isn’t about following some techniques or hacks.

Your life is YOURS.

Your life is made of days when you live for your happiness for your peace, your life is doing at least ONE thing for the little baby inside you who is willing to enjoy love and life.

So, common, make your life yours. Do ONE thing that gives you peace, and happiness and takes you away from this crowded world, away from perfection and envy, away from everyone.

It could be reading a book with a cup of hot chocolate on your balcony. It could be grabbing tea while journaling in bed. It could be watching a Christmas movie with lights off. It could be dancing like a 5-year-old to your favorite song. It could be cooking something that you love while listing ‘I would never fall in love until I found her’ (Okay, the last one is for me)

The bottom line is to MAKE YOUR LIFE YOUR OWN by taking out time for yourself for doing the things you love.

Up until my graduation, I used to ignore everything that is by definition a waste of time. Since high school, I did everything to get a good job and a secure future.

And guess what? I was not happy after getting a great job at the age of 20. I was feeling suffocated and I knew if I stayed any longer, my entire life would be a series of Monday blues. And I am thankful that I left my job. I am thankful that I didn’t ignore that little voice inside my head who wanted to start writing on Medium.

I am thankful that I let my curiosity guide me rather than letting some hacks tell me how to live life. And my suggestion to you is the same,

Let your curiosity lead you. Allow yourself to follow the little seed of curiosity instead of following the ‘rules/hacks’ of other’s life.

Be curious about yourself. Ask yourself questions about what you like, what you don’t, what you enjoy, what makes you bored, what brings happiness to your face, and what makes you shed tears. Don’t ignore the voice of that little child inside you. If something makes you excited, dig deeper into it. Don’t just settle in with one job, one profession, one hobby. The child in you wants to try out different things so let that little child lead you to try and explore different possibilities. And then see how you find your passion, your reason to be alive and happy, your reason to wake up every morning with joy, your reason to sleep with an excitement to explore the next day.

I am an introvert with no friends in my hometown to enjoy life or make my 20s wild. But does that mean my life cannot be fun and exciting?

Well, I don’t think so. I think life can be way more exciting and fun when you become EXCITED about life.

Just as you have subscribed to a bunch of newsletters and YouTube channels so you don’t miss updates from your favorite creator. You have to subscribe to the channel of your intuition and heart so that you don’t miss any signal from inside you.

For example; As I shared I don’t have any friends where I live so the introvert in me got excited. Now, I go to my favorite cafe (or the only cafe available here), take a book with me, and read there (or pretend to read) It feels surreal to be alone with a book. It’s like a date with your favorite book. Sometimes, I take my cycle and ride it for 3–4 kilometers and it feels like I am some mysterious girl from a movie.

Similarly, I want you to get excited about life irrespective of the circumstances of your life. Life is not meant to be perfect so you cannot possibly expect to enjoy it once everything is perfect. Life is now with imperfections and problems. The challenge for each one of us is to make the best out of each day even if things don’t go as per your plan.

Get excited about life. Feel your breath getting out of control as you think of that ONE dream you always wanted to achieve. Life isn’t just about the problems and heartbreaks you are facing at this moment. Life is much more than this. Perhaps, the problems in your life come to test you, to see who you choose to focus on your dreams or the temporary problems.

There are more than seven wonders in this world that you still need to explore, there are lovely people who you need to meet, there are unsaid feelings in your heart that you still need to express, and there are countries that you still need to visit, there are books that you need to read, there are moments that you need to experience and most of all there is YOU who needs to LIVE, & LOVE. So never say, there is nothing interesting left. Because you still need to see and do a lot. Get up, feel the beauty, and get excited about what life holds for you.

I don’t know if I was able to make my point or not. But I HOPE after reading this article, you stop treating your life like a problem that needs to be solved or a bunch of rules that are pre-determined for everyone. I wrote this line in my journal yesterday, probably that will sum up this article:

“Make your life the best art piece that only you understand. It doesn’t have to be perfect or colorful. It just has to be yours with your own values and rules and principles”

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100K on Instagram. I talk about books, self-love, & self-improvement. For ghost writing gigs; renukawork1@gmail.com

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Renuka Gavrani

100K on Instagram. I talk about books, self-love, & self-improvement. For ghost writing gigs; renukawork1@gmail.com