Tag Archives: lifetips

9 Rules for Success by British Novelist Amelia E. Barr, 1901

by 

“”Genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.”

The secret of success – like its very definition – remains amorphous and forever elusive. For Thoreau, it was a matter of greeting each day with joy; for Jad Abumrad, it comes after some necessary “gut churn”; for Jackson Pollock’s dad, it was aboutbeing fully awake to the world; for entrepreneur Paul Graham, it’s aboutpurpose rather than prestige; for designer Paula Scher, it meansbeginning every day with a capacity for growth. But perhaps, above all, success is about defining it yourself.

Still, those who have succeed – by their own definition, as well as history’s – might be able to glean some insight into the inner workings of accomplishment. From the 1901 volume How They Succeeded: Life Stories of Successful Men Told by Themselves (public library;public domain) comes a wonderful essay by British novelist Amelia E. Barr (1831-1919) who, the despite devastating loss of her husband and three of their six children to yellow fever in 1867, went on to become a dedicated and diligent writer, eventually reaching critical success at the age of fifty-two.

At the end of her essay, under a section titled “Words of Counsel,” Barr offers nine tips for success, echoing some familiar themes – Tchaikovsky’s insistence on work ethic over inspiration, Ray Bradbury’s case for perseverance in the face of rejection, the importance of having a good routine and working with joy, and the necessary reminder that success requires a deliberate investment of effort and good writing takes time.

  1. Men and women succeed because they take pains to succeed. Industry and patience are almost genius; and successful people are often more distinguished for resolution and perseverance than for unusual gifts. They make determination and unity of purpose supply the place of ability.
  2. Success is the reward of those who “spurn delights and live laborious days.” We learn to do things by doing them. One of the great secrets of success is “pegging away.” No disappointment must discourage, and a run back must often be allowed, in order to take a longer leap forward.
  3. No opposition must be taken to heart. Our enemies often help us more than our friends. Besides, a head-wind is better than no wind. Who ever got anywhere in a dead calm?
  4. A fatal mistake is to imagine that success is some stroke of luck. This world is run with far too tight a rein for luck to interfere. Fortune sells her wares; she never gives them. In some form or other, we pay for her favors; or we go empty away.
  5. We have been told, for centuries, to watch for opportunities, and to strike while the iron is hot. Very good; but I think better of Oliver Cromwell’s amendment – “make the iron hot by striking it.”
  6. Everything good needs time. Don’t do work in a hurry. Go into details; it pays in every way. Time means power for your work. Mediocrity is always in a rush; but whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing with consideration. For genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.
  7. Be orderly. Slatternly work is never good work. It is either affectation, or there is some radical defect in the intellect. I would distrust even the spiritual life of one whose methods and work were dirty, untidy, and without clearness and order.
  8. Never be above your profession. I have had many letters from people who wanted all the emoluments and honors of literature, and who yet said, “Literature is the accident of my life; I am a lawyer, or a doctor, or a lady, or a gentleman.”Literature is no accident. She is a mistress who demands the whole heart, the whole intellect, and the whole time of a devotee.
  9. Don’t fail through defects of temper and over-sensitiveness at moments of trial. One of the great helps to success is to be cheerful; to go to work with a full sense of life; to be determined to put hindrances out of the way; to prevail over them and to get the mastery. Above all things else, be cheerful; there is no beatitude for the despairing.

    Apparent success may be reached by sheer impudence, in defiance of offensive demerit. But men who get what they are manifestly unfit for, are made to feel what people think of them. Charlatanry may flourish; but when its bay tree is greenest, it is held far lower than genuine effort. The world is just; it may, it does, patronize quacks; but it never puts them on a level with true men.

    It is better to have the opportunity of victory, than to be spared the struggle; for success comes but as the result of arduous experience. The foundations of my success were laid before I can well remember; it was after at least forty-five years of conscious labor that I reached the object of my hope. Many a time my head failed me, my hands failed me, my feet failed me, but, thank God, my heart never failed me.

For more of history’s timeless wisdom on writing, see H. P. Lovecraft’advice to aspiring writersF. Scott Fitzgerald’letter to his daughterZadie Smith’10 rules of writingKurt Vonnegut’8 keys to the power of the written wordDavid Ogilvy’10 no-bullshit tipsHenry Miller’11 commandmentsJack Kerouac’30 beliefs and techniquesJohn Steinbeck’6 pointersNeil Gaiman’8 rules,Margaret Atwood’10 practical tips, and Susan Sontag’ssynthesized learnings.”

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by | April 20, 2013 · 4:39 pm

lifetip #22

lifetip #22

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by | January 28, 2013 · 5:04 pm

lifetip #21

lifetip #21

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by | January 28, 2013 · 5:00 pm

lifetips #20

lifetips #20

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by | January 28, 2013 · 4:55 pm

“Off the Grid” Grilling

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by | January 28, 2013 · 2:34 pm

50 Life Hacks to Simplify your World

“Life hacks are little ways to make our lives easier. These low-budget tips and trick can help you organize and de-clutter space; prolong and preserve your products; or teach you something (e.g., tie a full Windsor) that you simply did not know before.

Most of these came from a great post on tumblr. There is also a great subreddit ‘r/lifehacks‘ with some fantastic tips as well.

 

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20. Separate egg yolks like a boss

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40. Ninja Fold

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Sources

– muxedo task: 99 Life Hacks to make your life easier!
– r/lifehacks: http://www.reddit.com/r/lifehacks/

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by | January 25, 2013 · 5:56 pm

22 Things You’re Doing Wrong

by Peggy Wang

It’s okay. These little tricks will help you become the highly advanced human you’ve always dreamed of being.

1. You’re Doing It Wrong: The BLT

You're Doing It Wrong: The BLT

THERE IS NOT BACON IN EVERY BITE.

Source: myrecipes.com
 

The Right Way to Make a BLT:

The Right Way to Make a BLT:

Basketweave that bacon.

 

2. You’re Doing It Wrong: Boiling Eggs

You're Doing It Wrong: Boiling Eggs
 

The Right Way to Boil Eggs:

The Right Way to Boil Eggs:

Add one teaspoon of baking soda. It’ll make the shell come off effortlessly.

 

3. How NOT to Eat a Cupcake:

How NOT to Eat a Cupcake:
 

The right way to eat a cupcake:

The right way to eat a cupcake:

Make a cupcake sandwich. Equal frosting to cake ratio in every bite.

 

4. You’re Doing It Wrong: Bobby Pins

You're Doing It Wrong: Bobby Pins

The bobby pins are constantly sliding out of your hair and coming loose.

 

The Right Way to Insert a Bobby Pin:

The Right Way to Insert a Bobby Pin:
 

5. You’re Doing It Wrong: Nail Polish

You're Doing It Wrong: Nail Polish
 

How to Properly Apply Nail Polish:

How to Properly Apply Nail Polish:
 

6. The Wrong Way to Make Cookies in the Summer:

The Wrong Way to Make Cookies in the Summer:

Everything gets even hotter with the oven on.

 

The right way:

The right way:

Best car air freshener ever.

 

7. How You Normally Fold a Fitted Sheet:

How You Normally Fold a Fitted Sheet:
 

The Right Way:

The Right Way:
 

8. You’re Doing It Wrong: Cleaning the Blender

You're Doing It Wrong: Cleaning the Blender

You reach your sponge down, accidentally cut yourself on one of the blades, and start bleeding everywhere.

 

The Right Way:

The Right Way:
Source: pinterest.com
 

9. You’re Doing It Wrong: Taco Eating

You're Doing It Wrong: Taco Eating

The shit is just spilling out everywhere.

Source: google.com
 

The Right Way:

The Right Way:

Use lettuce leaves as a taco liner. Even if the taco shell breaks, your taco contents are still contained.

 

10. You’re Doing It Wrong: Eating a Popsicle

You're Doing It Wrong: Eating a Popsicle

You’re a slob. You’re only human.

Source: family.go.com
 

The Right Way: Use a Cupcake Wrapper

The Right Way: Use a Cupcake Wrapper
 

11. If This Is Your Dresser, You’re Doing It Wrong

If This Is Your Dresser, You're Doing It Wrong
 

The Right Way to Fold Clothes

The Right Way to Fold Clothes

File folded clothes to save space.

Source: google.com
 

12. You’re Doing It Wrong: Squeezing Lemons

You're Doing It Wrong: Squeezing Lemons
 

The Right Way: Use a Pair of Tongs

The Right Way: Use a Pair of Tongs

You’ll get much more juice out. Another tip: microwave for a few seconds. It’ll make the lemon softer and more squeezable.

 

13. You’re Doing It Wrong: Stale Ass Chips

You're Doing It Wrong: Stale Ass Chips
 
 

The Right Way: Master the Origami Bag Fold

The Right Way: Master the Origami Bag Fold
Source: pinterest.com
 

14. You’re Doing It Wrong: Peeling a Potato with a Peeler

You're Doing It Wrong: Peeling a Potato with a Peeler

You are wasting so much valuable potato!

 

The Right Way:

22 Things You're Doing Wrong

After boiling the potato, put into cold water for 5 minutes. Twist the potato skin off with your hands — it should come right off.

 

15. You’re Doing It Wrong: Living Through the Pain of New Shoes

You're Doing It Wrong: Living Through the Pain of New Shoes
 

The Right Way: Break In Your Shoes In Under Five Minutes

The Right Way: Break In Your Shoes In Under Five Minutes

Put on a thick pair of socks and then put on your shoes. Aim a hairdryer at the shoes, concentrating on the tighter spots. Wiggle your toes and feet around. Keep them on while they cool.

Remove the socks and test out shoes. They should be stretched out, but if not, just repeat the process.

 

16. The PB&J: You’re Doing It Wrong

The PB&J: You're Doing It Wrong

You haven’t quite mastered how not to get jelly all over yourself.

Source: google.com
 

You have no excuse.

Source: google.com
 

The Right Way to Make PB&J: The Pocket Method

The Right Way to Make PB&J: The Pocket Method
Source: pinterest.com
 

17. You’re Doing It Wrong: Opening a Banana at the Tip

You're Doing It Wrong: Opening a Banana at the Tip
 

The Fast, Efficient Way to Peel a Banana:

The Fast, Efficient Way to Peel a Banana:

Pinch the bottom ends and split open. You’ll end up with a cartoon-perfect banana peel, plus it eliminates the stringy stuff.

Watch the video tutorial.

Source: youtube.com
 

18. You’re Doing It Wrong: Cutting Cherry Tomatoes One by One

You're Doing It Wrong: Cutting Cherry Tomatoes One by One

As if you had all the goddamn time in the world to spend on a stupid salad.

 

The Right Way: Sandwich the Tomatoes Between Two Plastic Lids and Slice Across

The Right Way: Sandwich the Tomatoes Between Two Plastic Lids and Slice Across
Source: food52.com
 

19. You, Eating Pomegranates: WRONG!

You, Eating Pomegranates: WRONG!
 

The Right Way to Get Those Pomegranate Seeds Out Intact:

Cut the pomegranate in half, submerge in cold water, and extract the seeds from under the water. They’ll release effortlessly from the papery membrane and sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Source: youtube.com
 

20. How You Normally Eat Tic Tacs:

How You Normally Eat Tic Tacs:

An entire container of these dainty little candies, consumed in one sitting, like a heathen.

Source: gregmce
 

The Right Way:

The Right Way:

The Tic Tac dispenser is specifically engineered to allot ONE AT A TIME.

 

21. The Wrong Way to Enjoy a Bag of Chips:

The Wrong Way to Enjoy a Bag of Chips:

HAHA you actually use your hands to hold the bag??

 

Alas, There Is a Right Way:

Alas, There Is a Right Way:

Roll up the bottom to create a snack bowl. You can now serve chips at parties without having to dirty yet another bowl.

 

22. You’re Doing It Wrong: Smashing Beer Cans on Your Head

You're Doing It Wrong: Smashing Beer Cans on Your Head
 

The Proper Way to Crush a Can on Your Head:

22 Things You're Doing Wrong

Use your fingers to begin the process of the crushing. Get the full directions here.

 

Or, if you’re not a fratboy…

Or, if you're not a fratboy...

You could crush a can the civilized way.

Source: youtube.com

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by | January 8, 2013 · 4:18 pm