14 Life Cheat Codes That’ll Get You Ahead Of The Majority

Photo: Vovatol / Shutterstock
successful confident woman

From a much broader perspective, I don’t care about competing with others.

I want to be so uniquely unique — that it becomes impossible to compare myself to others. I want to be in a category, in a race of my own. I want to run fast. But I want to be alone on the track.

That said — I still think about competition. This is not because I’m a hypocrite. Well, maybe I am. But then again, who cares? As Walt Whitman said:

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.

RELATED: 6 Rare Signs You Have A Champion Mentality

I think about competing with others because it’s a powerful instinct that we’re all born with. And when used appropriately, your competitive instinct can help push you to keep bettering yourself.

Here are 14 life cheat codes that'll get you ahead of the majority:

1. Fall in love with failing

Most people think that failure is the opposite of success. However, it’s not. Failure is the prerequisite to success. If you keep failing consistently at the same thing, sooner or later, you’ll achieve success. However, if you despise or fear failing, you’re not going to try — and you’ll lose. That’s why it’s important to fall in love with failing — or at least, be neutral about it.

2. Change your identity

Don’t say, “I’m trying to eat clean.” Instead say, “I’m the kind of guy who orders a salad when everyone else orders a burger.” and then act according to your identity. When you “try” you’re telling your subconscious that you’re going against your identity — and that never works in the long term. Only when you change as a person can you repeatedly take good actions. Stop trying. Become.

3. Play money games with no ceiling

It’s okay to have a job. But jobs have a ceiling — your employer will never pay you outrageously. Building a business, on the other hand, has no ceiling. You can always find ways to scale your business so that you receive exponential benefits.

For example, you could sell millions of books as a writer. Or you can teach marketing skills online to thousands of people through digital courses. Of course, it’s not easy. But these are games that have no ceiling. My advice? Have a job to pay the bills — but try to build a ceiling-less business on the side.

4. Find a winner friend

A somewhat fat friend of mine tried to lose weight for years but failed. Then she started dating a guy who was a textbook fitness freak. And months later, she lost all the weight she wanted to and is now a fitness freak herself. Of course, she didn’t plan this. But it goes to say that who you hang out with matters. So… find a winner friend. It’ll do incredible things for you — without you even realizing it.

RELATED: 7 Unsexy Habits That Demolish Your Likeability

5. Design your environment

You can assume control while designing your environment — but once it’s designed, it’ll influence your life day in and day out. You lose at least some control after that. For example: if you have beers in your fridge, you’re going to gain weight. It’s difficult to not drink the beer when it’s sitting in your fridge.

On the other hand, if your fridge is filled with veggies — that’s what you’ll eat. Therefore, it’s wise to design your environment for greatness. Have books in your room, not video games. Have a standing desk in your room, not a bean bag chair. Take the time to design your environment to favor greatness — and it’ll continue to pay dividends forever.

6. Write about self-improvement online

Teaching is the best way to learn. So if you teach self-improvement online (even if you don’t know anything about it yet), you’ll begin to understand it much better than people who are just passively consuming knowledge. Consequently — your life will improve faster than others. Hence — write self-help online on any platform that pleases you. That’s the best advice I can give you. Don’t do it for money, followers, or fame. Do it to better yourself.

7. Look at the sky first thing in the morning.

When you wake up, rush to the balcony to look at the sky for as little as five minutes. When you do so, sunlight enters your eyes, and it ends up optimizing your sleep-wake cycle and the associated hormones.

This consequently optimizes your energy and productivity will come to you much more easily.
Note: Don’t look at the sun directly if it hurts your eyes. Duh!

8. Stop avoiding pain

I recently watched Imagine Dragons perform live. And the lyrics of one of their song goes, “Pain…Oh, let the bullets fly, oh, let them rain. My life, my love, my drive, it came from…Pain!” And I can’t help but realize how true that is.

Look back over your life and you too will realize that your most painful months or years were also the ones where you learned most about life; where you developed a reason to live a great life. Lesson? Stop avoiding pain. Seek it. The pain will go away, but the lessons and the drive will stay.

RELATED: 7 Unsexy Signs You Have Impressively High Social Intelligence

9. Buy digital courses

Stop trying to figure everything out yourself. You don’t have to spend that extra time.

You can give yourself a headstart by learning from someone who has achieved exactly what you wish to achieve. And in the age of the internet, everyone is releasing affordable (much cheaper than college) digital courses. Use them. Find a good teacher. See if they have a course. Buy it (if you can afford it). Suspend your disbelief and follow their advice verbatim.

10. Choose the enjoyable path, instead of the shortest path

When you make a plan to achieve a goal, your instinct will tell you to look for the shortest path to achieve something because of your desire for instant results. But the problem with the shortest path is that it paradoxically takes longer to walk on it because it’s not enjoyable.

So you quit often. You pause often. You walk in the reverse direction often. On the other hand, choosing a somewhat longer path — that’s enjoyable — guarantees sustainability and consistency. This ultimately makes it the fastest route, even if it’s not the shortest route.

11. Do one 24–36 hour fast once a week or every two weeks

Fasting is wonderful. It clears your intestines. Removes the brain fog accumulated over the week. Kills pre-cancerous cells. Stimulates growth hormone. Makes you more productive. Burns fat. Makes you mentally tougher.

And hence, it’s one of my favorite cheat codes in life. However, note that you must do this only if you have no eating disorders or any such tendencies. Consult your doctor before trying anything new.

12. Master the 20–30 minute power nap

Power naps are extraordinary.

They’re an important tool in my life to make the second half of the day as productive as possible. However, power naps are not easy. It’s a skill. You have to learn how to fall asleep fast. And also how to end your nap on time and not end up sleeping for hours. Like any other skill, it takes practice to master it.

13. Look sharp

It’s an obvious fact that looking good has its benefits. So… why not use them? Stop fixating on the superficiality of it. Stop hoping for a dream world where looks don’t matter. They do. People respond to how you look. And no — you don’t have to be a model. Just be well groomed, and dress well. That’ll help plenty.

14. Learn to prioritize consistency > intensity

This one’s tough. Again, your brain wants everything now.

So when you make a plan for your goals, it’ll go for the “maximize your day” approach. And inevitably, you’ll burn out. Quit. Restart. The cycle will repeat itself. You have to rewire your brain and teach it to prioritize consistency over intensity. This can be done by starting small but committing to showing up every day. No matter what.

RELATED: 4 Bad Micro-Habits That Drain Your Cognitive Battery

Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.