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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Dean Yeong.

There are tons of bad habits we should stop, but I personally think these are a few. If you’re doing them right now, you should stop them immediately:

  • Stop talking before listening. We love to express our perspectives, thoughts, and opinion before we listen. Many arguments, misunderstandings and mistakes could be avoided if only we spend more time to listen.
  • Stop complaining. Complaining changes nothing — it only makes you feel worse.
  • Stop taking time for granted. You’re never too young — start doing what you need to do now. You’re old enough — start doing what you need to do now.
  • Stop caring too much about other’s opinions. Opinions are cheap. Most people give an opinion based on their best interests, not yours. Ignore them.
  • Stop comparing yourself with others. Comparing gets you nowhere. If you don’t have what someone else has, the fact is that you don’t have it (which you already knew). Dwelling on possessions or traits that others have doesn’t make anything better. Suck it up! Start competing.
  • Stop spending mindlessly for instant gratification. Trust me, buying more stuff won’t make you happier. It gets you to the temporary state of delusional euphoria, but you will end up feeling worse later. When the false sense of happiness goes away, know that the money you spent to secure it is gone, too.
  • Stop making decisions based on emotional cues. This applies to any emotions. It’s okay to celebrate when you’re happy and cry when you’re upset, but never make big decisions that will affect other areas of your life — financial, health, relationship — based on emotions. Be especially aware of anger and how it may be influencing your thinking.
  • Stop anything that is harmful to your body. Our body (health) is our time. When your body fails, your time is up. (I have to stress this: please STOP using your smartphone while driving!)

 

To make this answer better, here are some suggestions for how to improve your quality of life. If you’re not already doing them, start practicing them now:

  • Start reading. Reading is like time-travelling. You live someone else’s life many times over, but you never die. Reading is like picking the brain — you learn ideas in 20 minutes that took someone else 20 years to figure out. (Psst: I summarize every book I read, take a peek here .)
  • Start meditating. Breathe, do nothing, focus. Training yourself to be less reactive will be extremely helpful in this attention-demanding world.
  • Start doing meaningful work. Do the work you love or love the work you do. Own your job/career/business/work and embrace the challenges ahead.
  • Start working out, making better food choices and sleeping more. Do them if you want to buy some more time for yourself.
  • Start contributing. Go beyond yourself. Provide for your parents and your family, then go beyond that to help others who need help. That’s win-win-win for everyone.
  • Start taking tiny action toward your goals. Instant, big behavioral and lifestyle change is overrated. Also, when attempted at the same time, it can be overwhelming, even damaging. Transforming your life doesn’t happen in a day or two. Instead, take small, sustainable action  every single day to move toward your goals.
  • Start saving. People (financial experts) sell ideas via fears or desires. That’s why their advice is usually extreme — save! save! save! or spend! spend! spend! Saving is not the same as penny-pinching. Save for emergencies, save for rainy days, and save for future investment.
  • Start designing your environment. Be conscious with your living space. Design your work place for productivity. Hang out with people who are better than you. Your environment is your platform, if it’s not lifting you up, it’s dragging you down.

Finally, never stop learning, never stop smiling, never stop hustling.

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