Reschooling Tool #17: Use Tips for a Better Life as Touchstones

Because I devote much of my energy to figuring out how to lead a happier and more fulfilling life, I love lists of advice for doing so. Like the Five Buddhist Precepts, I keep them in the back of my mind and revisit the lists when I feel I’m getting off track. Realistically, I know that I won’t follow all of the advice all of the time, but I can make my best effort.

Here are a couple of lists my radar lately:

1. Tips for a Better Life

Janine Julia Jankovitz, a new Jackson friend of mine and fellow writer, wrote a post listing Nithya Shanti’s 38 Tips for a Better Life. They include 10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants and 29. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful.

Janine takes issue with 17. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar, and I do, too. As a lifelong foodie, I refuse to eat any meals like a beggar. (Of course, I’m very grateful for the luxury.)

2. 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son

The tagline of this blog is “Let’s get some things straight before I get old and uncool.” It offers witty advice like 315. You can’t cram for a dentist’s exam and 311. Don’t date your bartender. As of this writing, the author is only on Rule #333, so there are plenty more to come.

One of these days, I’ll make my own lists of tips for a better life and rules for my unborn child. For today I’ll start with a few that have been on my mind:

1. Before you tease someone, ask yourself if you actually mean to criticize. And if you do, stop.

2. Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty, and sleep when you’re tired. Don’t put it off.

3. Feeling unproductive? Close Facebook now.

Now if I can only learn to follow my own advice.

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Your Two Cents: Leave a Comment!

What are some of your Tips for a Better Life/Rules for Your Unborn Child?

Comments (7)

  1. janine

    First- I’m honored you mentioned my blog on RSY! I’m glad someone reads my work :)

    Second- “if you’re feeling unproductive, close facebook now”. I laughed out loud when I read that. It’s. so. true.

    Third- I like the idea of collecting a list for an unborn child of mine before that unborn child is born and makes me uncool. I’m going to do that. Maybe after my writing exercise with Nithya.

    Fourth- I can *kind of* understand eating like a beggar, but i don’t like the way he puts it. For that exercise i’m going to have to figure out how to re-word it.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Reschooling Tool #17: Use Tips for a Better Life as Touchstones « JanineJulia’s Blog

  3. janine

    One more thing,

    I mentioned your blog on my site as well, do you mind if i post the logo of RSY on the post?

    Reply
  4. Melia

    I’m having a No-Facebook day today so I can actually get something done. It will be an interesting experiment in self-control.

    I think I’ll start collecting a list of advice for my future children, too. At least it’ll make me feel wise.

    Sure, go ahead and use the logo! Thanks for mentioning the blog. :)

    Reply
  5. Alicia C.

    Three things I ask myself at least once a week: 1) Are you really hungry, or just bored? 2) Are you THAT hungry? 3) Do you NEED it, or do you just WANT it?

    The food questions have especially lead me to develop healthier eating habits than the average American. However, they pose problems when eating out as I am asked constantly, “Are you anorexic?”, “Aren’t you hungry?”, and “Do you want to take that home?” They’re HUGE portions, people! That’s why we’re a country with a high overweight population. Another problem is the leftovers. I generally do not like leftovers. Food never tastes the same when I reheat it at home, and often I am not in the mood to eat the same meal four hours later. I don’t live with anyone else and my family does not share my palate so I feel wasteful when I turn down a box or doggy bag and let the food go into a garbage can. Overall though, I feel it all leads to living a better life.

    Reply
  6. Margaret

    Similar quirk as Alicia: often (but not always) I ask myself if I really need to eat something. I have to pause and think, what did I ALREADY eat today?, and it is actually hard to remember! Remembering is hard work, so I am trying to cross-train- remembering food eaten, bills scheduled, splurges taken, etc. I think this will help with Alzheimer’s later…
    More generally, on the subject of touchstones, I found a quote (on Real Simple, believe it or not) that actually really captured what I am about at the moment:
    “When I open my eyes and look at the wide world, I become great; when I close my eyes and look within, I become greater still.”
    Here’s to finding Peace in our Selves.

    Reply
  7. Melia

    I developed a rocky relationship with food only after my weight became unbalanced a few years back. I feel that after three and a half years, I’m finally returning to my set point. I’ve always been an emotional eater (seeking chocolate and other comfort foods when upset, stressed, or bored) but only after an unexplained weight loss and gain did I feel out of control with eating. It’s difficult when women hold themselves to such an unrealistic ideal, and it seems as if every other woman is talking about being on a diet.

    The book French Women Don’t Get Fat totally changed the way I thought about food. The main principle is eating for pleasure. The author recommends savoring (eating slowly) a bit of lots of different fresh foods, remembering that the most pleasure is in the first few bites. The book is about a total healthy lifestyle that includes walking, laughing, sleeping, and even yawning. And Alicia, doggy bags don’t even exist in France. :)

    Love the quote, Margaret. I am still hoping that one day I will see greatness when I look inside myself, and I hope the same for other people. Peace of mind and heart is one of my greatest goals.

    Reply

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