Brain Food #709
How to slightly improve your life without really trying
Thoughts of the day
It felt appropriate to start the last week of January on a lighter note, by visiting some of the 100 ways to slightly improve your life without really trying, a list compiled by The Guardian staff at the beginning of the year that features small, sometimes obvious actions or attitudes we could be adopting to make life more pleasant.
Some personal favourites:
28 Always be willing to miss the next train.
54 Always bring something – wine, flowers – to a dinner/birthday party, even if they say not to.
56 Call an old friend out of the blue.
66 Don’t save things for “best”. Wear them – enjoy them.
94 Give compliments widely and freely.
Though not all of them may seem applicable or relevant, they might bring a smile to your face and nudge you to think differently about what makes a ‘good’ life.
Thoreau wrote, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
And so, though we continue to chase lofty goals, and strive for continuous self-improvement through constant, hard work, the threat of hedonic adaptation remains. What we can do from time to time is remember that making life just a little bit better might be easier, and much simpler, than we think.
Thank you for reading today’s Brain Food. Brain Food is a short daily newsletter that aims to make you think every day, without taking up too much of your time. If you know someone who would like it, why not forward it to them? And if you have just come across Brain Food, you can subscribe to it below:
For longer thoughts and Brain Food highlights from the archives, visit Medium.