14 Life 'Cheat Codes' That Will Make You More Successful Than 99% Of Your Competition

Want to get ahead in life? Use a few life hacks to do exactly that.

Last updated on Jun 11, 2024

successful competitive woman Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

While many people don't care about competing with others, it's impossible to not want to compare yourself to others. 

We all want to be unique and in a category of our own. And because thinking about competition is a powerful instinct we are all born with, when used appropriately, that competitive instinct can help push you to keep bettering yourself.

Here are 14 life cheats that will make you more successful than your competition

1. Get comfortable with failure

man embracing failure Nathan Cowley / Pexels

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. But if you despise or fear failing, you're not going to try, and you'll lose. That's why it's important to become comfortable with the possibility of failing, or at least be neutral about it.

RELATED: 15 Uncomfortable Signs You're Succeeding At Life — Even If It Doesn't Feel Like It


2. Change your identity

woman changing her looks Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels

Don't say, "I'm trying to eat clean." Instead, say, "I'm the kind of person 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. Instead, become.


3. Play money games with no ceiling

woman holding money Karolina Kaboompics / Pexels

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. So, have a job to pay the bills, but try to build a business on the side where the sky's the limit. That will put you ahead of your competition.


4. Find an ambitious friend

go-getter best friends Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

A 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, one who is ambitious to achieve their goals. It will do incredible things for you without you even realizing it.

RELATED: 5 Tiny Signs You Have Impressively Powerful Discipline

5. Design your environment

man enjoying his home Marina Abrosimova / Pexels

You can assume control while designing your environment, but once it's designed, it will influence your life day in and day out. You lose at least some control after that.

For example, if you have alcohol in your fridge, you're going to gain weight. It's difficult to not drink it when it's sitting in your fridge. On the other hand, if your fridge is filled with veggies, that's what you'll eat.

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 will continue to pay dividends forever.


6. Journal about self-improvement

woman journaling George Milton / Pexels

Teaching is the best way to learn, so if you teach self-improvement to others (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. So, journal or write about self-help, on any platform that pleases you. Don't do it for money, followers, or fame. Do it to better yourself. Because when you focus on self-improvement, you set yourself way ahead of your competition.

7. Look at the sky first thing in the morning

woman opening curtains Thirdman / Pexels

When you wake up, rush to the balcony or outside 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. Be sure to not look at the sun directly, as it will hurt your eyes.

RELATED: 7 Signs You're Doing Things To Sabotage Your Own Happiness (And How To Stop)


8. Stop avoiding pain

man comforting crying woman SHVETS production / Pexels

The lyrics in "Believer" by Imagine Dragons says, "Pain... Oh, let the bullets fly, oh, let them rain. My life, my love, my drive, it came from... pain," and it's incredibly true.

Look back over your life and you 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.

The lesson here is to stop avoiding pain. Instead, seek it. The pain will go away, but the lessons and the drive will stay.

9. Stop trying to figure everything out yourself

woman thinking quietly Samson Katt / Pexels

You don't have to spend all that extra time doing so. Instead, you can give yourself a head-start by learning from someone who has achieved exactly what you wish to achieve.

In the age of the internet, everyone is releasing affordable (much cheaper than college) digital courses. Use them to your advantage. Find a good teacher, see if they have a course, buy it if you can afford it, suspend your disbelief and follow their advice.


10. Choose an enjoyable path, not the shortest path

man thinking about his life path Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

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.

But choosing a somewhat longer path that's enjoyable guarantees sustainability and consistency. This makes it the fastest route, even if it's not the shortest route.

RELATED: 15 Signs You're A Better Person Than You Think You Are

11. Try fasting

woman drinking water to fast Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Fasting is wonderful. It clears your intestines. It removes the brain fog accumulated over the week. It kills precancerous cellsstimulates growth hormones, makes you more productive, burns fat, and makes you mentally tougher.

So, try doing one 24-to-36-hour fast once a week, or every two weeks. But 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. Take 20-to-30-minute power naps

woman taking nap in hammock KATRIN BOLOVTSOVA / Pexels

Power naps are extraordinary. They are an important tool 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.

But doing so can provide you with increased creativity, put you in a better mood, and bring you one step closer to putting you ahead of everyone else.


13. Look sharp

fashionable man Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

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. You just need to be well groomed and dress well.


14. Prioritize consistency over intensity

consistent woman RDNE Stock project / Pexels

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

So when you make a plan for your goals, it will 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: 7 Rare Signs You're Highly Respected By Everyone Around You

Akshad Singi, M.D. is a writer whose work has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, Medium, and more.