This text is an extension of this lengthier post, as well as this more brief one. It focuses on concrete life hacks that will get a person – males in particular – look better, feel better, and experience more valuable things in life. It is directed towards active persons who put demands on themselves. Rather than to try to live the perfect life it is more about to do the best under the individual circumstances. “I am I and my circumstance; and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself”, as the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset has asserted.
1. Consume protein
Regardless of place of sojourn or residence, go find youself some quality, mainly animal proteins. Proteins constitute the basis for a healthy, strong and athletic physique. This is not the same as to say that other (macro) nutrients are unimportant – each and everyone should strive for a balanced diet – but proteins are one’s priority, and vital.
In the Western world it is generally very easy to find proteins, whereas in other locations it is sometimes a bit trickier – quark and cottage cheese can be hard to find in for instance certain parts of Southeast Asia or Africa. But eggs, fish, beef and chicken can be found even in the most distant places. While travelling in emerging markets or far-off locations, I often pay extra for more fish and chicken, in order to cover the requirement, while eating less of foodstuffs such as bread, rice and sauce.
2. Get into shape while saving money for a trip
To travel and to experience trully interesting things ought to be a top priority, although not throughout one’s entire existence. While one saves money and plan for a trip, it is wise to focus on other siginificant things, not the least to come into decent shape.
Let’s face it: if you are going to visit Bali, or New York, or Paris, or some other interesting location, do you want to appear as a random and average tourist or be a top version of yourself (and if not for other reasons, then because it makes you feel better about yourself, and plus looks better in pictures)? 10 per cent of body fat or slightly lower is a good benchmark, regardless of degree of muscularity. Everything above is below one’s true potential.
3. Invest in fashion – not electronics
Besides from a very limited number of professional gamers and YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie – who make up much less than a per mille of the total global middle class – the consumption of electronics will not get you anywhere. It is mere distraction and pastime – at best more or less worthless and somewhat relaxing for those few who actually deserve a moment of numbness after a hard day of work. However, most don’t. The same goes for social media, TV series and films, although there are some particular products that should catch one’s attention. Selection is the key in this regard, both time- and money-wise.
Fashion on the other hand is, in conjuction with physical development and personal hygiene, worth to invest in to a reasonable extent. It makes you feel better about yourself and appear better in the eyes of most beholders. In a competitive society, it is sometimes good demeanor that is the key difference between loneliness or a good relationship, or at least a couple of temporary liaisons.
Just think about it: Who would a girl/woman rather hang out with (if we for the sake of the argument ignore other crucial factors such as personal chemistry): The well-dressed guy with 10% per cent of body fat, or the complacent sucker for social media and online games that is dressed in yesterday’s shirt? Hence, dress well, at least often. For inspiration, check out for instance Exo’s video just below.
4. If you withdraw from the city – do something constructive in the meantime
This conception will perhaps change in the future, but to live in the countryside or in a small town is just boring. The goal should be to live in a city of at least a reasonable size. However, sometimes one just have to stand a period of time of withdrawal from the urban landscape. It can even be a wise choice to do it deliberately, if the goal is to eventually move somewhere else, more akin to one’s individual taste. (Some prefer Uppsala more than New York.)
For instance, at the end of my master studies I resided in my parent’s big house for more than a year. They are just a normal middle-income household, but since they are fine with to live outside city areas, they have taken the opportunity to rent big and quite impressive buildings in the past. To rent a small mansion (herrgård or slottsflygel in Swedish) is actually good life hack if one prefers that kind of living. It is not very expensive but will get you a lot of space in return.
Instead of complaining too much, I grasped the situation and did what I thought was the best things to do: worked out 4-5 times a week, joined the local football team, read tons of books, and dated to the extent to which it was possible in that context. I also visited my friends in Norrköping and Stockholm quite frequently, so that I was not cut off from social life. Occasionally, I also invited people to the big house for dinners and parties. Overall, I think that this time was great in many ways.
Most importantly, I saved money so that I could travel parts of Europe, The U.S., and Southeast Asia. Another limited period of my life, I spent in a small town, working as a upper-secondary school teacher. Much like while living with my parents, I concentrated on work, meeting some new friends, training and saving disposable income, but always focused on the next step. Thanks to the savings I could afford to go to Iceland, Austria, Morocco and East Asia. That would probably have been much more difficult, although not impossible, if I had lived a more costly urban life.
5. Read at least one good book per month
To read relevant literature makes you smarter, more focused, and extend one’s inner universe beyond the limitations of computers, TV screens and smart phones. If you have more time and read relatively fast, it is reasonable to deal with more than a whole book per month. Sometimes one can read as much as two or three in a week. But overall, only one entire title per month is a decent aim in this respect.
And linked to the above concept: read before you travel and while you travel. For some it is the perfect, perhaps only opportunity to read. In conjunction with trips, there tend to be plenty of time to wait – at the airport, on the airplane, and while travelling with bus or train – and which makes it the best time to consume literature.