If your goal is to live a boring life and be like everyone else, you are probably well on your way. However, if your life goal is to make your own decisions and live on your own terms; look at what the masses are doing, then start doing the opposite. Changing your life isn’t difficult. These 25 straightforward ways to live differently are small changes that result in a big difference. Try giving them a shot.
25: Think Big
Most people aim for what they think is attainable, but in reality, they are only giving in to limiting beliefs. It’s just as easy to think big as it is to think small; it only takes a small shift in your mindset. Besides, when you think small, you have to compete with everyone else who thinks that way. Think big, and you’ll be in a class of your own.
24: Make yourself wealthy, not someone else
Who owns the company you work for? If it’s not you, then you are working to make someone else wealthy. If you’re going to work hard, why not work hard for yourself?
23: Get inspired daily
Most people go through life without ever getting their heart pumping. Figure out what makes you tick — what gets you going — and drink from that well daily.
22: Get out of your comfort zone
Do something every day that scares you. Better yet, put yourself in the position where you have no choice but to be scared. The higher your tolerance for fear and uncertainty, the more likely you are to be remarkable.
The percentage of people who never see the outside world is staggering. If you want to understand how the world works, you need to get outside your bubble.
20: Refuse planned obsolescence
Consumer electronics companies make it seem like they worked all fiscal year to come up with these brilliant innovations for the next product release. The truth is that it’s all a ploy to get you to wait in line for a few lousy gigabytes of memory. These companies purposely release new features very, very slowly.
19: Explore medical tourism
Guess what? The best doctors in the world are not necessarily in your country. I had $3,000 worth of simple dental work done for $400 in Costa Rica. My dentist spoke perfect English, studied under American professors, and used the same materials as my dentist in New York. Better yet, he gave me a free initial consultation and was open to negotiating on price.
18: Stop commuting 9 to 5
Sit in traffic? Be jammed into the subway? That sounds like the rat race to me. Find out when you are most productive and where. Go to that place at that time. Maybe it means you’re in bed on your laptop until 10 a.m.
17: Don’t rely on doctors
Health professionals with PhDs are products of the machine — a reactionary health care system designed to make a profit. It’s not their fault — they were taught in school how to fix you once you’re already broken. True health means being proactive.
16: Don’t rely on the government
Want to take life into your own hands? Don’t leave it up to a bureaucracy. If you expect the government to take care of you, it’s simply not going to happen. If you want to live differently, remember that nobody will look out for your well-being like you will.
15: Stop eating food that’s killing you
It’s pretty plain and simple: We all know that the food we are eating will eventually kill us. Yet we all sneak french fries, sugars, excessive animal products, and anything with terrible chemicals in it. No, moderation won’t kill us, but why do we succumb to what the rest of the masses do?
14: Do you
Between society, your family, and your friends, everyone has their own agendas for what they want to see you do. We live in a world where we strive for others’ approval without truly asking ourselves what we want. “Live the dream” means your dream, not someone else’s.
13: Untrain your mind
Bigger isn’t better when it comes to material things. As Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.” Bigger salary, bigger house, bigger car: it’s more stuff occupying a BIG part of your life, and it’s probably financed by mo’ debt.
12: Stop paying for education
All the information we need to educate ourselves is out there. Matt Damon said it best in Good Will Hunting: “In 50 years, you’re gonna start doing some thinking on your own, and you’re gonna come up with the fact…you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you could’ve gotten for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.”
11: Only buy stuff you can afford
It’s a shocking thought, I know. Stop with the retail therapy at the expense of your credit card. Just because the rest of America lives beyond its means doesn’t mean you have to.
10: Work out for 30 minutes, max
Most people go to the gym, mess around for 60 or 90 minutes, do something half-heartedly on the elliptical trainer, and roam from machine to machine. Work out at full intensity, pour sweat, and feel the burn! You’ll see twice the results if you actually push yourself instead of just showing up.
9: Work for 90 minutes, max
Studies show that your brain can only focus for an hour and a half, so don’t force it! Work as hard and as fast as you can for 90 minutes, and then take a break. When you “work” aimlessly for hours on end, you never really accomplish anything.
8: Work outdoors
Sure, there is a tremendous value in showing up to the office and being with your team every day, but this doesn’t mean you can’t sit in the park for an hour and answer emails. Take your phone calls to a quiet place in the sun to get vitamin D and fresh air.
7: Stand, don’t sit
Our bodies were simply not designed to be hunched over a computer all day. Make yourself mobile, and walk around when you have a phone call. Try out a standing desk, which many leaders, including Jack Dorsey, have transitioned to.
6: Go minimalist
Seriously, you don’t need all that stuff. You don’t use it, and it weighs you down. Sell items that you don’t use on eBay. Getting rid of your excess baggage is an extremely freeing feeling.
5: Stop drinking bottled water
Again, you’re wasting money and destroying the environment. Get a water bottle with a filter, and take your first step towards living a sustainable lifestyle.
4: Use reusable coffee cups
Think about all the Starbucks cups you’ve sent to the landfill. Starbucks will give you a discount for bringing in your own cup, so take advantage. Save the environment and save money. It’s a no-brainer.
3: Stop push notifications
Why do you get alerts every time someone comments on Facebook, sends you spam, or “likes” your Instagram picture? If you want to be productive, check these means of communication on your own terms and turn off all push notifications on your phone.
2: Become cell phone-free
You don’t have to disconnect your service, but why not try “Cell Phone-Free Sundays”? There is no one more important than those you spend your Sundays with. Do yourself and/or your family a favor and disconnect.
1: Cut your cable
Stop being brainwashed and getting sucked into channel flipping. If you really want to occupy your mind with something worthwhile, start building up your book collection. Turn your living room into a library.
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Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.
This article originally appeared at List25.Subscribe to the Podcast