Life Hacking 101: How to Make the Best of Every Situation | Student Life

⏱️  4 min read

written by

isabela salman

August 4, 2020


It may not look like it, but everyone around you has faced at least one situation in his/her lifetime where solutions are seemingly unfathomable or unfavorable: not making the final cut after the job interview, losing the basketball game by a single point, falling short of getting a passing score in an AP exam, you name it. Such situations may make you feel vulnerable and even usher you towards a downward spiral of self-doubt and anxiety. The real and quintessential question, however, lies on why these situations have to be so negatively influential.

As human beings who are open to growth and improvement, we have to look at life through all lenses in order to find the right lens at a specific moment and in this case, there are four crucial points you should keep in mind at all times:

1. Different Perspectives Offer Different Views

There's always a different way to look at things and by seeing life from another point of view, one gets to understand the good and bad points from each perspective. If you don’t change your view, then you are deliberately missing the chance to gain personal insights and become more empathetic towards other people. For example, if you look at a coffee mug from the side, how will you see what’s in it other than looking at it from above? Likewise, your attitude towards a subject subconsciously influences your overall outlook towards it. If you look at something negatively, then it will also affect you negatively. You have to be able to shift your way of thinking to a manner that allows you to see the whole picture from every angle.

If you are still skeptical and in doubt at this point, just ask yourself two questions: "How might this help me?" and "What could this mean for me?" There'll be a 90% chance of you realizing by then that first impressions aren't always right.

2. Open Your Mind

Mind is matter, right? Don't block off anyone else’s input and try to be open to other views. The brain is very complex yet sometimes misunderstood that you have to keep in mind that your opinion isn’t a singular, absolute answer. Personally, I think that opinions are self-produced products churned by the thought process of individuals. By misinterpreting the definition of an opinion, you can create more social barriers as you isolate and block yourself off from everyone with a narrow mindset.

Instead of deviating and distancing yourself from the pack by starting your own, unique way, it is more convenient and beneficial to try to follow its path to gain an understanding of their movements and gain a connection with it through empathy and cognizance. Applying this analogy into real-life situations, you have to be considerate enough to hear them out on their perspectives and point-of-views on various matters while trying your best to see different options coming from the same question and/or argument.

Still struggling? Clear your mind by listening to music, drinking soothing beverages like tea, and distracting yourself from work before doing tasks and talking to others. Relaxing and subsequently relieving stress both were shown to make people more receptive to social interactions, which in turn leads to more open-minded discussions and forums where insights are shared and objectively assessed by all parties involved.

3. Take Away Mental Blocks

The biggest hurdles that prevent individuals from doing or creating is their own selves. Overthinking, in fact, is one of the primary human aspects responsible for stopping people from fully expressing themselves and witnessing the fruits of their creativity and inventiveness. Essentially, if you have an idea that you'd want to carry out in practice, just go for it. After all, you miss 100% of the shots that you don't make.

If you’re in a situation that you don’t want to be in, your brain tends to stop thinking of potential solutions on the spot because of your preoccupation with the present. As a result, you might get yourself into a mental block and put imaginary obstacles in your way. You probably don’t mean to, but it’s happening due to a fear of something you have already done or of something that could happen. Understanding the root of the mental blocks is a good step to start with and once you've tracked down the cause(s), start brainstorming solutions to counteract them.

4. Positivity is Key

The biggest thing in life is positivity. Where will negativity take you? Nowhere.

By thinking with a more positive state of mind, a big change will happen. Most people block themselves from creating, supporting, and advocating change. Maybe because someone told them they can’t or that they will fail. View things through a positive mindset by taking a mental step back and looking at the overaching picture. You should say things like “Yes, this will help me in the future!" or “I have definitely learned something through this experience” instead of "Ugh, I messed up again like the failure I am."

Positivity is one of the most common things that people neglect in the long run. In addition, your brain is healthier as it works more fully and productively when you are positive instead of negative. Thus, the negativity needs to be set aside and I encourage you to really take a moment for yourself to think about the positive side of whatever situation you may be in. Positivity will carry you forward and ensure success for you.

It might be tempting to just wallow in despair and binge-watch that Netflix series to relieve yourself from sadness every time you don't get a happy ending, but don't you think it's about time to change your coping mechanism into something that'll bring you growth in a quicker pace? Well, I think it IS time.

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