Archives for posts with tag: Happiness

What did we call life hacks before we called them life hacks? That phrase has only been around for a few years but already I can’t think of what term we used to describe the short-cuts or tricks of getting by in life that we pick up as we pass through the decades of our earthly existence.

Anything that gives us the inside track on a task and saves us time improves our personal productivity, wellbeing and happiness. There are myriad life hacks we use every day without even thinking about them.

I drive a lot of different cars. I travel overseas once a month and hire a car when I’m over there. Whenever I’m picking up my hire car I generally ask the staff member I’m dealing with if the car has blue tooth for hooking up my mobile phone (they almost all do nowadays) and which side of the car the fuel cap is on so I know how to pull into a fuelling station on the correct side to fill up the tank. If I forget, I have to get out of the car and look for it.

I’ve been driving for over 30 years. Imagine my surprise and astonishment, then, when someone told me earlier this year that on almost every car dashboard there is a little icon of a fuel pump and an arrow indicating which side you dispense fuel from. Brilliant! I’d noticed the icon many times but hadn’t registered the significance of the arrow. I’m sure most of you knew this one already, and are tut-tutting to yourself, safe in the knowledge that you’re probably oodles of life hacks ahead of me.

For me, however, it was another life hack acquired. Another micro-improvement.


It’s all too easy, all too often, to feel like we’re on a treadmill, sucked onto the conveyor belt of the myriad bits and pieces we need to do in work and out of work. It’s easy to get frustrated. I know I do.

But then I think about my own personal situation. I’m not one of the infinitesimally small portion that owns half the global assets in the world, not by a long chalk. But I was born into an English-speaking environment, which helps in an increasingly shrinking world.

I was also born in the second half 20th century, in an era of unprecedented technological advancement, in a country with a plentiful supply of food, drink, education and utilities, most of the time.

I live in a first world country in a particularly peaceful and settled corner of the planet, especially when you look at other less fortunate areas.

I have a job, with an income, and a roof over my family’s head that I can afford to maintain and stock¬†every month. I can’t afford to do many of the things I want to do with my home, but then that’s like painting the Forth Bridge.

So does that put me in the top 20% of the top 20% of the top 20% of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants? Possibly. That’s a lot to be thankful and happy for.

I’m fortunate, and should be content. A lot of us are pretty fortunate, especially if we have the time and access to write or read this post.

It’s all relative, really.