It is not hard to find tons of life pro tips on the Internet designed to make your life easier. Some life hacks are meant for everyone. Life hacks can also be age-specific, meaning they are made for a specific group of people that fit within an age range.
There is a subreddit called Life Pro Tips on Reddit, and over there, you will find a countless number of posts shared by users on how their life hacks benefited them (and possibly others). Spend enough time on the subreddit, and you will find several life hacks that are supposedly meant for twenty-year-olds. Then again, you do not have to look for life hacks for twenty-somethings on Reddit. The Internet is a colossal database, housing a seemingly infinite number of articles giving advice to those who are about to become young adults.
You would think that the more information you have on hand, the more likely you are at making wise decisions and taking calculated risks. However, not all pieces of advice are helpful, and most may agree with that sentiment. As a twenty-year-old who is prone to critical thinking, I believe that most of these pearls of wisdom are inaccurate. Below are five life hacks that they proclaim to be tested and true, accompanied by my “corrections.”
“If you solve each of your emotional dismays immediately (rather than ignoring/delaying them), then everything is going to be okay.”
Solving emotional and psychological problems is always a sound action since you should care for your mind the same you would for your body. Your twenties is a prime time to do this since you have developed a greater sense of self to see which areas of your life need to be improved, and you may even qualify for an insurance scheme that can cover the therapy costs, should things go south.
With that in mind, tackling emotional problems in your twenties is not a one-time event. It is not like after a year of interacting with a mental health counsellor, your life takes off harmoniously, and you will no longer have to deal with problems in the future. Problems are always present, and you will encounter some of them afterwards. When your mental health begins to fall apart, you may find yourself seeing the same mental health counsellor again. If the situation becomes even more severe, you might be required to eliminate all the unhealthy elements from your diet – for good.
Personal improvement and emotional healing will forever remain gigantically significant aspects of your health. Mistreating them as nuisances to be eliminated off a checklist is no different than self-sabotaging yourself.
“Count your blessing, and everything is going to be okay.”
I have read many personal development books written by well-known authors such as Stephen R. Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and Dale Carnegie (author of How to Stop Worrying & Start Living). In many cases, those books highlighted that your problems exist because you are not grateful. Apart from the sheer ignorance of such a remark, it conveys a misconception typically written on greeting cards and communicated by life coaches: “Your suffering is cured as soon as you find gratefulness in your life.” Forgive my language, but that is absolute bullsh*t. Expressing your gratefulness means you are mature enough to see and embrace around and within you, not just the goodness and beauty but also the struggles and imperfections in your life.
Carrying a load of issues does not make you an unfortunate or a despicable human being. Being grateful will not sugar-coat your life with euphoria and excitement. However, focusing on gratitude will uplift your inner self. If you are having a miserable day in the office and you need to lean on someone’s shoulder while tears are flowing down your cheeks, expressing your gratitude does not solve the problem. However, once you regain your composure, I dare you to consider one or two things in your life that turns on your happy face. A compliment from the receptionist, going for a run, listening to your favourite tunes – regardless of how small it is. Just consider that for a moment, and I assure you your heart will beat more vibrantly.
“Cut out the ‘cancerous individuals’ in your life, and everything is going to be okay.”
To my beloved Internet: People are not trash – they are not intended to be thrown away once their usefulness has come to an end. Not you, not your boss, not your little brother, and not even that intimidating colleague of yours at work.
When will we ever stop spurring this idea that the moment a friend or acquittance has a rough time, they suddenly earned the right to be removed from our friends list? This idea is precariously close to recommending that you must get rid of friends who have a history of mental health problems. Rather than snubbing out their existence because of their shortcomings, you should educate yourself on how to set healthy boundaries and how to maintain healthy relationships with them.
There are always going to be negative- and narrow-minded people in your life. That is a guarantee. No matter how many friends you unfriend and relationships you cancelled, you are not doing yourself any favour. So, why not suck it up and start to become a mature young adult by dealing with the situation head-on instead of navigating away from it?
“Explore the world, and everything is going to be okay.”
What nonsense is this? Real-life travels are nothing compared to travel scenes that you typically find in films.
Impromptu getaways require you to extract a hefty amount of money from your bank account. Do not get me wrong – I am not entirely against travelling, and I believe travelling is beneficial for everyone. Travelling makes you a better person because it exposes you to new experiences and new people, it teaches you to be self-confident and obviously, it is exhilarating.
However, what if you cannot afford spontaneous vacations, guided tours and international flights? What if you are afraid of the notion of leaving your native land or aerophobic? What now? Well, I am here to inform you that travelling does not mean you need to leave the country. I am sure your country has many magical destinations that you can visit. Staycations offer the same (if not a larger variety of) benefits as international trips. Heck, visit your national zoo or have a camping trip at one of the national forest reserves. Head out for a local adventure without needing to spend lots of money. Now, that is one travel experience that is sure to change you.
“Just do what terrifies you, and everything will be okay.”
Do you know what terrifies me? Walking through a dark alley by myself at night. Eating adult rabbit food. However, doing either of those things does not make me braver – it just makes me stupider. Who gave this piece of sh*t advice in the first place?
“Does it terrify you?” is an awful piece of advice for inciting action. For heaven’s sake, let the real questions reign supreme. Hence, when you are sceptical about whether to turn one day to day one, ask yourself, “Will the payoff be worth the sacrifices I have to make?” or “Does it motivate me to go even further?”
Life is not a one-size-fits-all package. Each of us has a set of shortcomings that is unique from each other. Hence, it is rare to find a life hack that can be applied across everyone, regardless of their circumstances. However, it is worth noting that your life does not need to be confined by these life hacks. You do you and do what works for you, not what works for your friend, colleague or your mother.