Fifty Life Hacks

Brains Zilvold Coaching & Training Blog
14 min read

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This week I turned 50 years old. Many people ask me what it is like to reach this age. I am grateful that I still have a strong body and an enthusiastic mind.

I have 50 (simple) life hacks for you in this blog. Some I discovered myself, and some I learned from others. The practical life hacks have helped me work faster, be more effective, elevate my mindset, and be a better father and husband. A person who likes to facilitate to elevate others so that they can experience more happiness, enthusiasm, and maybe love.

I have divided lifehacks into different categories, and I hope they help you to enjoy life more.


1. Remember
To better remember something, put your watch on the wrist where you normally never wear a watch. It helps me to remember to do or not to forget something.

2. Focus
Grab a glass of water. Turn off all possible distractions. Work, write, or read for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you can drink a glass of water. This life hack is called the ‘Pomodoro technique.’ It helps me to be more productive.

3. Read books Fast

Now that I am 50, I have less time to read books. What helps is to flip through a new book and read a few pages. If it doesn’t appeal to me or if I don’t get excited about it, then I won’t read it. I notice that I read books that interest me much faster.

4. Read books even faster
I’ve also found that you read a page faster if you let your eyes scan a sentence faster than you read it.

5. To better remember other people’s names and words
Pair the new person’s name with someone with the same name you already know. If it’s a new name, pair it with a word you already know. This is also possible to remember new words that you learn. For example, “Tahi” is 1 in Maori. I remember this because it sounds like Tahiti, and the Maori originate, among other islands, from Tahiti.

To perform

6. More self-confidence
Stand in front of a mirror and smile at yourself. Say: “l like you, or I love you.”

7. For more self-confidence
With your left thumb, briefly press your left index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger, one after the other. Repeat this and do the same with your right fingers.

8. For even more self-confidence
Tremble with your hands. The Maori do this before and during their traditional dance, the Haka. They thus make contact with the energy of the ground, energy for more self-confidence.

9. Smile!
I feel much better when I smile (without looking in the mirror). Laughter helps me develop a growth mindset where things are possible.


10. When You can’t sleep
Tell yourself that you are lying down so your body can rest. Do this even if you have many thoughts.

11. Breathing technique I
Are you nervous, stressed, or can’t sleep? Breathe in through your nose for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds and exhale through your mouth for five seconds. Then hold your breath for another five seconds and repeat. If you do this for two minutes, you will feel much calmer.

12. Breathing Technique II

Another good life hack for calming down (before bedtime or before an exciting meeting) is to breathe through your left nostril. Place your right thumb on your right nostril and rest your index finger between your eyebrows. Take a deep breath, then put your left thumb on your left nostril. Then exhale through your right nostril. Next, place your right thumb on your right nostril and take a deep breath. Repeat ten times.

I’ve found that the opposite actually helps one become more active. You become more alert and active by inhaling with your right nostril and exhaling with your left nostril. It helps to prepare well before a physical effort.


13. Look into other people’s eyes
We often find it scary to look into someone else’s eyes because we make ourselves vulnerable. What helps me connect with someone is looking a little longer in the eye when we greet each other. The other feels seen.

14. Turn your feet towards the person you are talking to
This shows that you are interested in the other person and don’t want to walk away. It creates real attention and connection.

15. To remember the names of others
Repeat the other person’s name while talking to them. “You know Mark, in my experience…“.

16. Empathy
Stop saying “Mmm. Mmm” when you’re listening to someone. Repeat what the other person says or what it does to you. You experience more empathy or compassion. Your conversation partner also feels heard, and there is more connection. Read this blog to learn more about empathy.

17. Don’t swear
I notice that swear words are very powerful and always have a negative effect (and cost me energy). It may be stupid what you’ve done, but be kind to yourself and others.

18. How to avoid becoming infatuated
I fell in love quickly because I could intensely enjoy the energy and love of others. On a business trip, someone told me I should close my window because I stared too long (at women). By consciously imagining closing a window (near my crotch), I can enjoy this love without having to do anything with it. It brings balance, peace, and more love can flow from heart to heart.

19. State your needs
You create clarity when you have a conflict with someone by telling them what your needs are (and what you want).

20. Stay in touch
We are all connected. Call, text, email, or occasionally write to those you love or care about. We all crave connection and to be seen.

21. Be nice
Maybe someone is being rude towards you. Then don’t react unkindly. That person may have had bad news earlier in the day.

22. Try to make someone else’s day better
We are here to serve and can do that by helping someone brighten their day. Help, keep a door open, smile or give someone more attention. When you give unconditional (love), you get a multiple in return. Also, read caffè Sospeso.


23. Diapers
When I first became a father in 2003, the diaper was always leaking. That’s why I always had to change my son. Nothing ever leaked again by making sure the florets were facing out by the legs!

24. Record conversations with your parents
Now that I’m fifty, I realize my mother could pass away. Other older people I love may also translate. I recorded a candid conversation with my father the summer before he died. During our talk, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and how he met my mother. I listen to this conversation if I miss him or if I could use some support. It helps me connect with my ancestors for wisdom or guidance.

25. Do a checkout
When my children were little, I often asked them what was not so nice that day and what was good. Sometimes I still do, and I ask what went wrong and what did go well that day. As a result, you let go of negative thoughts and fall asleep faster with a good feeling.


26. For a fresh fridge
A saucer with baking soda ensures that the refrigerator has fewer unpleasant odors.

27. Groceries
Make a week menu and do your shopping once a week. This saves time and money! Sort the groceries into different shopping bags. It also saves time unpacking!

28. Get more out of a (ketchup) bottle
Do not shake away from you, but rather forcefully towards you.

Various practical life hacks

29. Voicemail
Change your voicemail often. You can use it to inform the caller about what is going on in your life and motivate them to leave a message.

30. Candle I
Always have a candle in the car. There are countries where you must put a vignette/sticker on your windshield window. They are usually difficult to remove. By first rubbing some candle wax on the part of the window where the vignette will be, you can remove it much better.

31. Candle II
The question is whether we will ever have a cold winter again. If the temperatures fall well below zero, your car doors can freeze. To prevent this from happening, it is useful to rub a candle on the rubbers of the doors. If you get stuck in a snowstorm, you can light a candle (provided you have a light) to warm up the car quickly.

32. Book your plane ticket on Tuesday
My experience is booking a plane ticket on Tuesday. They are often cheaper than on other days. I once wrote a private blog about this. What also helps is to delete cookies or book via a VPN connection.


33. Practice ‘money management’
That means: saving automatically, putting money aside to invest (in yourself), doing fun things, and giving away to charities. Your wealth grows more easily, and you have to worry less about money.


34. Look in the sun in the morning
A wonderful life hack to wake up and start the day strong and focused.

35. Block ‘me’ moments in your calendar
Life is busy enough. You also have to take care of yourself and do things to relax. That can also mean hanging on the couch. I don’t feel guilty about that at all.


36. Against nausea
Put your hands together and rest them against your chest. Look down at your hands and breathe deeply. My nausea will be gone soon!

37. Headache I
Sometimes I suffer from severe headaches. A glass of cold water always works wonders.

38. Headache II
What also helps is to rub mint oil on my temples.

39. Fasting
I used to fast every Friday by not eating anything for 24 hours and drinking only water. What helps now is an intermittent or partial fast, where I don’t eat anything for half a day. Or I do a mental fast where I constantly think about something positive and loving. It helps me to cleanse physically and mentally.

40. Wound on finger or thumb
It can bleed heavily, making it difficult to work with a band-aid in the kitchen. The band-aid gets wet and comes off. Cut a finger or thumb off a latex glove and place it over the wound for good protection when working in the kitchen.

41. Snoring
I snore. That’s because I like to sleep on my back. What helps against snoring is to put a small piece of tape (the size of a postage stamp) on your lips so that you can still breathe between your lips. My wife says it makes me snore a lot less! I also sleep better because I breathe more through my nose.

42. Take a cold shower
In addition to helping you lower your energy bill, taking a cold shower seems to have many health benefits. It helps me to prevent muscle soreness after physical exertion. Also, it helps me to wake up. Try a cryo sauna. It makes me very creative!


43. For more ideas
Write down ten ideas every day. It strengthens your creative muscle.

44. Brainstorm better
Do not brainstorm in a small room but a large room or outside.


45. Sing HU and contemplate
HU, pronounced “Hugh,” helps me relax and experience more connection with the universe. It gives me comfort and opens my heart. Click on this link to hear it and contemplate while listening to it.

46. ​​Cry
I cry because it relieves, it feels good, I can let go, and my eyes become clean. But above all, crying purifies the Soul.

47. For more joy and happiness
Read these 100 ways!

Personal development

48. Keep a diary
To avoid forgetting important experiences, I keep a diary. A diary is ideal for reflection. It also helps me to understand better and let go of certain events. I also have a dream diary.

49. Discover your WHY

When I discovered my WHY, I had more direction in my life. My WHY is action-oriented and always positive. It helps me with my choices, relationships, and work. It is a driving force in my life. Do you want to discover yours too? I can help you. Contact me today for a no-obligation appointment.

50. Work with a coach

Besides writing reflections in a diary, I benefit greatly from a good conversation with a coach. They can help me to create clarity, find new insights about myself,  and stay committed. They may also be a cleric or therapist.


51. Celebrate your successes (and your birthday)!

I got this tip from Bastiaan. He is right. We often remember negative experiences. Celebrating your successes increases your happiness and opens the door to more opportunities for success. Read more about how and why you should celebrate your success here.

Picture: Marius van Vlijmen

Are you looking for more life hacks? Read my blogs!

What is your favorite life hack? Which of the above life hacks appeals to you the most?Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article. and I are looking forward to reading from you!

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Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

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