- A Chart to Explain Your Entire Worldview
- 11 fascinating ways to make your life infinitely better in 2017
- 5 Mindset Mistakes That Are Making Your Life Harder Than It Has to Be
- 1. You think everything is about you
- 2. You have an all or nothing mentality
- 3. You aim for constant happiness
- 4. You allow negative people into your life
- 5. You ignore the health basics
A Chart to Explain Your Entire Worldview
The grid comes from the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, but has been long divorced from that context. It is now used by people who have never sat around a table pretending to be druids and clerics, or possibly even heard of the game.
Alignment charts are easy to customize, and they have a crisp legibility.
They spread easily because they clash with other people’s instincts: I get viscerally angry looking at an absolutely wrong alignment chart of Gilmore Girls characters, which might prompt me to make my own.
Here’s a suit alignment chart pic..com/nQ44D5NugM
— Emilia Petrarca (@EmiliaPetrarca) March 5, 2019
The pleasure of filling out an alignment chart is similar to that of playing a simple brainteaser, or completing an elementary-school worksheet: You’re making judgment calls, sorting, putting objects into little boxes—and you end up with something neat and composed. It has the allure of surety. If we could decide, once and for all, what is the exact best way to live, maybe everything would fall into place.
The two-axis moral-alignment chart appeared in a 1977 version of the Dungeons & Dragons handbook, three years after the game was first released. In the game, players select a moral alignment for their characters at the start, to guide the way that they will make decisions throughout. It’s meant to prevent people from behaving randomly, and gives the story some structure.
Read: The friends who have been playing the same game of Dungeons & Dragons for 30 Years
A “good” moral alignment means a character will lean toward altruism and personal sacrifice. Evil means harming and oppressing. A neutral person is one who wouldn’t kill somebody for no reason, but wouldn’t protect anybody for no reason either.
Along the side axis, lawfulness, in the game’s third-edition handbook, “implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability.” Chaos, meanwhile, “implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility.
On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility.”
The handbook recommends good and lawful alignments, because evil characters are distracting and disruptive, and neutral characters are untrustworthy (“they are honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others if it suits him/her”). Penalties are incurred for switching alignments in the midst of a game, or for acting egregiously character.
Kicking off the internet life of the alignment chart, a template was posted to the now-defunct Pinterest-progenitor Polyvore in 2012, allowing charts of game characters and memes to start circulating on websites such as Reddit, Tumblr, and 4chan.
In 2014, people still referred to the template as “the D&D alignment chart” and sometimes acknowledged themselves as “ridiculously nerdy” for sharing it. But while most of the charts posted around that time covered subjects that came from fandoms or from meme culture, some branched out into more mainstream topics.
See: a Shia LaBeouf alignment chart, which put his character from Even Stevens in the “neutral evil” spot. And another, which put Indiana Jones Shia in that spot instead.
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11 fascinating ways to make your life infinitely better in 2017
Here are some practical ways to improve the quality of your life in 2017.
1- Set clear limits for yourself in 2017
One of the most rewarding things you can do in 2017 is to set new limits for yourself. Setting limits allows you to decide clearly what you will tolerate this year. This way, you will be more decisive and clear.
It's important that you tell people around you about your boundaries. You don't need them to be upset with you due to these newly introduced limits.
If you are unsure what boundaries you need to set this year, try finding out things that bother you. For example, unfair criticism could disturb your mood and fill you with negative energy. Similarly, if someone is unkind or not showing respect, you could easily get into a bad mood.
2- Start enjoying sleep
If you want to live happily, you need to get quality sleep every night. Adults need 8 hours of sleep while teenagers need nearly 10 or 12 hours of sleep, depending on their daily activities and food intake.
When you don’t sleep well, or for long enough, your body fails to repair itself. As a result, you wake up with fatigue. You will feel as if you don’t have enough energy to carry out morning rituals.
To improve your quality of sleep, be sure to create a silent environment. Background noises can disturb your sleep. Similarly, having different sleep timings on different days of the week could confuse your brain and therefore disturb sleep. To counter this, be sure to follow the same sleep and wake time for the entire week, including weekends.
3- Exercise daily for at least 20 minutes
When you exercise daily, you can fight depression and anxiety. Flexing your muscles boosts your brain and help it release dopamine – a chemical responsible for making you happy.
If you can't dedicate time to exercise, then try adding it to your lifestyle. For example, take stairs instead of elevators, park your car as far away as possible, so you have to walk to your destination, and go on foot when your destination is within the 1-mile radius.
4- Set your priorities
One of the most important things to do this year is to set priorities for your long-term and short-term goals. Is it more important right now to get a new job or would your life benefit more from completing your education this year?
Be clear in your head. Then write down your goals. Studies have found that when you write down goals and hang them somewhere so that you could see them every day, you are more ly to pursue them.
5- Change your home-work cycle and start going to new places in between
If you are living a busy life, you will feel trapped in the work-home cycle. To make positive changes this year, break this cycle by adding one more place that makes you feel happy. It could be a cafe or a park where you could spend some time, away from work and home.
6- Prepare for a productive morning
It’s important that you prepare for the morning by taking out a few minutes each night. Create your to-do list and plan your morning rituals. That way, you will remain organized and enjoy better productivity the next day.
7- Set up your home gym
You might not be able to go to a gym every day, especially when it’s a few blocks away from where you live.
The best way to counter this situation in 2017 is to use websites such as garage gym planner for guidelines and tips. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to setup a home gym.
Go for cheap exercise machines and if you have to buy something expensive, look out for discount deals and used stuff.
8- Do something that makes you smile
You don’t want to spend a day without doing something that will make you smile. A smile is a powerful brain tonic that could easily take away depression and anxiety. Do something every day that will bring a smile to your face.
9- Enjoy your victories and learn to celebrate them with others
If you have achieved something, you’d love to tell everyone about it. But the real happiness comes from celebrating it with others instead of just telling them. Bring everyone together and throw a party.
10- Make a list of things that make you happy
One of the best things you can do this year to making your life infinitely better in 2017 is to create a list of things that make you happy. Keep this list close to you and try to accomplish as many of the things from the list as you can during this year.
11- Quit your electronic devices and social media for a day
Try this, and you will see how it will become your most important ritual this year. Leave your electronic devices behind, forget about updating your status, and go out somewhere. Spend time closer to nature.
Do this once a month, and you will get huge pay-offs.
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5 Mindset Mistakes That Are Making Your Life Harder Than It Has to Be
In it, he argues that many make things unintentionally harder for ourselves with unhelpful habits, burdensome mindset mistakes, and out-of-whack expectations. Shedding these errors will make your burden just a little bit lighter.
The wise post inspired me to scour my own past columns, other internet sources, and interesting recent research for more examples of common mistakes that make life harder than it really has to be. Here's what I came up with.
1. You think everything is about you
Was the cashier at the convenience store grumpy to you? Is your friend not instantly texting you back? Is your partner looking a little distant? Chances are excellent none of this behavior is about you. Maybe the cashier's kid was up all night with the flu. Maybe your husband is struggling with a big work presentation. Maybe your friend is stuck in traffic.
If you go around thinking everyone else's behavior is about you, you are guaranteed to be making your life way harder than it has to be. Instead, assume that others' actions could just as easily be about their own private struggles, biases, or pain. You'll be happier, less discouraged, and less frequently angry.
2. You have an all or nothing mentality
When I was young my father delivered this bit of tough love: “You're never going to be the best at anything.” He was right.
The chances of being number one in the world at something — of being Usain Bolt, or Elon Musk, or Oprah Winfrey — is vanishingly small.
If you're always seeking more — more success, more perfection, more than the guy next door has — you will never be satisfied. If you're always waiting to arrive at the pinnacle to be happy, you're always going to be miserable.
Or as blog Mark & Angel Hack Life has put it, don't have an all or nothing mentality. “There's no such thing as perfect success, just as there's no such thing as perfect failure.
This is why labeling things in extremes – all or nothing – success or failure – is an exercise in futility. What does exist, however, is a continuous series of imperfect moments filled with infinite possibilities and opportunities.
Appreciate the grey area between the extremes – the journey,” they instruct.
3. You aim for constant happiness
What could possibly be wrong with Americans' recent obsession with happiness? According to a ton of research, constantly striving to feel good, actually often backfires.
By unrealistically raising our expectations and teaching us to believe that constant, unending bliss is possible, this focus on happiness just makes people feel bad about themselves when they inevitably face struggles and low moods.
4. You allow negative people into your life
Surrounding yourself with negativity won't just kill your joy and drive you crazy, the stress from all their drama can even seriously harm your health. The solution is pretty straightforward: don't engage with the drama queens and moaners and you're life will get instantly easier.
5. You ignore the health basics
Sure, chocolate bars are tasty and everyone enjoys a late night out once in awhile, but if you regularly ignore the basic health advice you've doubtlessly heard a thousand times by eating junk, sleeping a crazy schedule, or skipping exercise entirely, you are going to feel crap.
And then, yes, life will feel harder than it has to be. People don't endlessly nag you about this sort of health advice just to annoy you. Following a few sensible recommendations really can make every other aspect of your life feel just a little bit easier.
Published on: Sep 25, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.