The Sudoko Theory of Life

Wait, what’s less than a theory? This is a small thing. Let’s call it the Sudoko Hypothesis of Life.

Whatever it is, it goes thisaway:

If you cannot see the solution, step away and come back to it

If you can clear your mind or, much better and much easier, fill your mind with another issue, another problem, you will come back to the puzzle and see the answer. Okay, maybe not the whole answer, this is Sudoko afterall. But you are guaranteed to see the next number to fill in.

You’re also guaranteed to wonder how in the hell you didn’t see it before, but give yourself a break, you needed a break.

Don’t plan ahead

On the one hand, this feels related to the idea that you shouldn’t make resolutions. But it also reminds me of a poster I used to see on the London Underground. It was an ad for something ostensibly philosophical but actually was more a promo for a religious thing. It went on and on about how we repeat our dreadful days over and over, we keep doing the same things again and again, and we needed this course of philosophy to make us do new things.

The last line said “Classes every Monday and Thursday”.

Anyway Steven Farquharson from a a blog called 2HelpfulGuys has this to say about planning:

When you are looking too far forward into the future the uncertainty can seem daunting.

But every marathon is finished step by step, every wall is built brick by brick and every life is lived day by day.

If you live your life trying to get as much out of each individual day as possible, you can rest assured that you have done all you can to achieve a life that makes you proud.

You have to design your days to design your life.

Design Your Days to Design Your Life – Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys (19 October 2014)

Read the full piece where you’ll see the final section says “As usual, I’ll see you next Sunday.”

Oh, I’m having this: an interactive guide to saving phone battery life

Wall Huggers we’re called and wall huggers we are. Mind you, before mobile phones I was always developing that second sense that tells you where you are most likely to find a mains socket. But for those times when you can’t plug in to an outlet, there is now this:

This interactive guide shows you how to make the most of your phone’s ​battery life. Just choose the make and model of your phone from the drop-down menu and learn how to stay juiced.

How To Save Your Smartphone’s Battery Life – (no author listed, it must be Don’t List Writers Day), Digg (24 October 2014)

Read the full piece.

Don’t spend too much time planning

Spend some, obviously. But when you have worked out a stunningly precise plan for a project you know that three things will happen, starting with:

1) Some of it will work out exactly as you intended and it’s great

Happy for you. But then:

2) Some of it will be wrong

You will have made mistakes, you will have misunderstood something. And:

3) Something unexpected happens

There is always something unexpected or it would be in your plan and you’d call it expected.

What worries me and occupies me a lot about this is how fragile we really are. You hear about impregnable secure places that get broken into because the plan didn’t consider that baddies could be hiding in the laundry truck. The greatest, biggest, best-defended castle is taken over because who’d be suspicious of those two monks?

There is a saying that you should hope for the best yet plan for the worst. Fine. But don’t plan too much because it’s pointless.

Be bad. A bit.

Seriously, this is not the point of a 99U article I read today and that I want to recommend to you. The article is really about being good all the time: specifically, don’t reward yourself with bad treats just because you’ve been good and productive this week.

But there is more to life than being steadily productive and good. And if bad is a dark chocolate Mars bar, you need to live a little more. What’s the point of being a writer if you don’t stray from the Boy Scout code?

Within limits, said William thinking of the legal ramifications of anything illegal you might now be considering.

That’s what I believe, as a writer with a chocolate problem. But take a look at 99U’s position – if not to agree with it, then at least to enjoy feeling bad.

Make life a little easier than it is

It’s funny how once you notice something or there is one particular thing on your mind, you see related issues everywhere. After today’s news story about how we make life harder for ourselves, I’ve found this on Lifehacker. Not only that, but it’s an old article the site has recently brought back up to the fore as if waiting for me.

Remember the last time you lost confidence after your boss was disappointed in your work—or maybe you were stood up by a friend? You second-guessed yourself after that, and ultimately your work or personal life suffered. The idea behind recalibrating your reality is pretty simple. When you get locked into a view of the world you get stuck in routines and you lose sight of different viewpoints. Recalibrating that view can help you solve problems, win arguments, and even be happier. But how do we actually do it? We’ll take a look at a few of the different methods you can use to recalibrate your perception of the world and yourself, but first, we have to understand how we perceive the world to begin with.

How to recalibrate your reality – Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker (republished 20 June 2014)

Take a few minutes and read the whole piece: it’s long and detailed and involved and very interesting.

Don’t make life harder than it is

You do this. You know you do. So do I:

Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.

Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.

10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be – Tim Hoch, Thought Catalog (17 June 2014)

That’s “You ascribe intent”, otherwise called number 1 in a series of 10. Some of the other 9 are pretty familiar too.

It’s all ultimately a plug for a book I haven’t read called The Truth About Everything (UK edition, US edition) but it’s a good plug. The ten points are well made and being aware of them, recognising them in yourself, isn’t a bad thing at all. Do have a read of the ten.