Life Hacking For The Rest Of Us


Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

It’s impossible to keep up.

Every day I see self-help articles about life hacking with tips, tricks, and never-ending lists of things to do in order to become a successful human being. According to these articles, If I do these things I’ll run like a machine. I’ll be living life at 500%, 100% of the time.

The thing is, I’m not a machine. I’m tired of tracking every little thing. It gives me ptsd from my 20’s when I documented my weight twice a day along with every bit of food I ate. I spent so much time qualifying myself by scratching into a tiny notebook with a precision pen that I was missing out on life itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I track certain things for fun: exercise, meditation, reading and writing. And just when I think I’m doing a halfway decent job, I see more headlines for other things I need to stop or start doing, practice, digest (mentally or physically), or communicate.

Apparently in order to be successful in life, I need to do one-hundred burpies before the sun rises while listening to some podcast with tech bros congratulating each other on doing work, summarily packaged prosaically as “hustle.”

There are also voices to stop and start listening to, and for the life of me I don’t know if they mean other people or certain parts of myself. To all these authors, podcast hosts, and ‘grammers, I gotta say: Why tho? Does it have to be this way? Let’s hit pause for a sec and consider the following:

Rest is underrated.

Am I supposed to berate myself for getting a full eight hours of sleep? And if I binge-watch season six Friends while devouring a bag of Milanos am I not cut out for success?

Must I be ashamed as I wear a thick, juicy facemask, scrolling miles on social media – despite the fact that I’ll  most likely feel like a million bucks come tomorrow?

Besides, we all work differently.

I don’t want to finish one book every week. I enjoy taking notes and savoring the sentences. And after a couple of burnouts, it simply isn’t sustainable for me to work 70+ hours a week.

Can we please just slow things down a bit?

Besides, too many rules are hard to follow. To be our best selves, well – that should be enough.

The real metric for success is happiness, and that looks different for everybody.

The meaning of life is what it means to you. It may be a life stacked full of sidebars and variables, but at least we can find it on our own terms, in our own way.

That’s real growth worth chasing.

Read the original version of this post at The Collective Of Us.

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