Hack this instead.
There are so many life hacks out there: morning routines, brushing with your opposite hand, intermittent fasting, swallow a live frog …
One trait about all life hacks (or hacks in general), is that they are meant to save you time by offering you “secret” hidden guilty-free shortcuts. While some of these hacks are probably practical and effective, life hacks by themselves, more likely than not, become permissions for us to skip the intellectual rigor to solve problems and to fall prey to unintentional negative consequences of excessive reductionism. (Fxxk yea that sounded so smart).
At the same time, there are things that we encounter on a day to day basis, that we don’t seem to spend enough time understanding how we (and our brains) approach them.
Let’s take a look at one of them: Food.
The facts are quite straight forward. We eat too much crap. Let’s not go down the route of fasting, veganism, or gluten-free yet. Those are hacks. Those are alternatives that appear to be easier than just eat better. “Eat better” simply means eating a bit more plant-based food, a bit less processed shit, and eat less. The reality is, these things are tough to achieve. We love meat, we can’t give up chips, and buffets are designed for the hunter-gatherer inside of all of us. So we then try and compensate, by adopting hacks to counter the mistakes and diluting the harm with superfoods.
However, if we take a bit more time and observe, it is a matter of how our brain works, how we react to our mind, when we are faced with these decisions: Steak and salad and cheesecake: what’s going on in my head? When did I give in? What were the things that got me to consider giving in?
By no means, it is easy to outsmart our own smarts. The fact that this is very hard is probably a good indication that we might want to actually work on it. This is because if we practice on master our damn mind, we have a much better chance of handling all the shit that will happen to us, in life. Plus, since these are such mundane minute day to day events, they, therefore, become frequent and consistent mental practices for us to improve. There are literally hundreds of moments every hour for us to practice.
Let’s compare this with some life hacks: One hack asks us to use our opposite hand while brushing our teeth. This hack supposedly allows us to work on different parts of our brain. If this hack indeed works, our brain will gain …. around 10 minutes of brain exercise per day. That’s 1% of our awaken state. Alternatively, if we utilize all those mundane moments in life to exercise our brain, simple math will tell us where we should spend our time.
After all the rants, here are five really mundane things that we could utilize as opportunities to observe our own monkey brains:
“What mental mistakes did I make that lead me to …”
Not sleep 7+ hours? 🛌
Not eat enough plants? 🥦
Not take the stairs? 🏃🏻♀️
Not call my loved ones? 👨👩👧👦
Check my phone … again? 📱
Pick one, start there, and that’s probably the best hack ever.