7 Simple Things That Are Not Going To Change The World But We Recommend You Do
OK so this one is just a bit of fun really – as the title suggests nothing ground breaking here and not aimed as a way to tell folk how to live their lives – basically a few things that you may or may not think are worth doing.
1 – Food and Diet
Stop buying prepacked frozen meals – even the ones from diet companies that tell you they will help you lose weight (they are usually full of salt and sugars) – get back to making your meals from scratch. Try to shop for ingredients not meals. And we all know fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance is the best way to go. That’s not to say that you should stop eating meat, not at all, but get plenty of fresh stuff.
There are numerous websites and books available for this sort of thing so as always get as much information as you can and go from there.
We are all busy though and sometimes we simply just don’t have time or feel like making a meal after a full day at work.
Try to set aside one day a week or a fortnight or whatever works for you and simply cook meal after meal – sometimes making more than you would normally and then divide them up into portions in freezer proof boxes and stick them in the freezer to be used on one of those “busy” nights. You have just made what companies are charging you over the odds prices for.
Remember your body takes some major hits as it goes through life – general wear and tear and such, as well as periods of self-inflicted damage – most of us like a tipple every now and then, right? Use food as a way to going towards balancing that up. Think of food and herbs and spices as ingredients for magic potions that will go towards healing your body – in many ways they are and they will.
2 – Read.....Lots!
Read as much as you can as often as you can.
Whether you like trawling through Wikipedia, flicking from site to site, or old fashioned style with a book, keep reading. While we are on the subject of books though, actual books not e-books, we recommend that you always get a hard copy of what you are reading. We accept that you can carry “lots” of books on certain modern devices, but these should be treated as an aid to your reading and not exclusively how you read. At the end of the day, a book isn’t going to run out of battery, suddenly stop working or smash if you accidentally drop it on the floor.
Ultimately though as long we are all reading!
Try and vary your reading too. We all have preferences but try to look at different subjects and/or authors, and keep a good balance between non-fiction and fiction.
Educate yourselves. Get as much information as you can.
3 – Enjoy The Arts
Whether it is indeed reading, listening to or making music, film and TV, the stage, whatever it is, The Arts should be considered a must. It is expression in many different ways, which is ultimately communication.
Creativity also helps manage stress levels and stimulates the mind.
As with reading, try to get as many different perspectives as possible. Watch films that you maybe wouldn’t normally and watch old classics again and again – you always see something you didn’t see the first ninety-nine times you watched it!
Listen to as many different bands and artists as you can, not just modern bands either – music from any era , if you haven’t heard it before it’s new to you, right? Look at some of the bands and artists that you are already familiar with and find out who their influences are and then listen to them, and then theirs and so on.
4 – Get Your News From MULTIPLE Media Outlets
Get the same news stories from different TV channels, different newspapers and different internet sites (including some of the fringe and “out there” sites). Somewhere between all of their angles and perspectives will be the truth and real events of any situation.
MTFTM Tip: whatever is going on here at MTFTM headquarters, whether we are writing the latest piece or cooking Mrs. MTFTM’s dinner or whatever it is, we normally have one of the mainstream news channels on a TV, muted, just to see what stories they are pushing, any breaking news or even news that other outlets are speaking about that this one maybe isn’t. Then basically cross reference this with all of the above platforms we previously mentioned – sometimes you will be surprised.
5 – Laugh Lots (even when maybe you shouldn’t!)
All that news watching, reading and making sure you are eating the “right” things can leave one with a very serious mind – so laugh. Make sure you always try to see the funny side of any situation – even if you just laugh to yourself in your head, after all bursting out in the giggles at a funeral wouldn’t be great.
Basically a good sense of humour, especially sarcastic, darker senses of humour suggest intelligence – to laugh at a situation, even in a flippant off the cuff way, you have to have first grasped what is going on and indeed empathised with the people involved.
And there is nothing wrong with just sitting back and watching some “bad” TV and unwinding a little – basically, be aware, be informed, but don’t take life or yourself TOO seriously.
6 – Stay Positive
If you only see the bad or the negative in a situation then chances are you will lean towards and ultimately go down such a path – life becomes almost self-prophesising.
If you are, without sounding harsh, a negative person, then it will be hard to go against your natural traits – and we all need that sense of suspicion about us, it sometimes serves us well – but generally speaking try to see the positive in situations. Even when things are unlikely to be a breeze, no-one around you usually needs things like that pointing out any further and a negative attitude just makes it harder to overcome the original problem in the first place.
By staying positive aside from giving yourself and others around you a boost when you may really need one, you may start to look at creative and at first “absurd” solutions to your problem (see also point 5 – laugh) and out of this positive attitude will at times, come the answer.
It’s a hard thing to prove, but positive mental attitude is important – as self-prophesising as a negative one can be it also works the other way – if you think you can do something then chances are you can, and will.
7 – Confidence Not Arrogance
OK so this is a lot of things in one go – basically self-analyse yourself, regularly put yourself in other people’s shoes in relation to things you have said and done, and essentially be accountable to yourself.
It is important to be confident – after all if you don’t believe in yourself then you can’t expect anyone else to believe in you – but don’t at any point think that you have all the answers, and your confidence should never result in other people feeling belittled or looked down on.
Listen to everyone and take on board what people say. Quite often you will pick up bits of information that you were unaware of or perspectives that you may have not considered. And every now and then you will hear something that may completely change your views on any given issue.
Basically just try to be a good person. Whatever your interests, beliefs or even vices are, just treat people right and don’t hurt anyone. That in itself can be a very satisfying thing.
[Marcus Lowth July 2015]
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