Anything worthwhile in life takes time. Sometimes a long time.
Take me for instance, I’ve been a runner since I was 16–I’m 41 now and still not the runner that I aspire to be. Why? Because Rome wasn’t built in a day, a week or a couple of months. It took time, patience and consistency.
We live in a world where everything is at our fingertips. If we want to know something we Google it or ask Siri. Gone are the days when we carefully researched areas of interest, took hand-written notes and consulted with others before drawing conclusions about what it is we wanted to know in the first place. Likewise, our cultural understanding of what used to be considered resourcefulness has greatly shifted into to quick and easy ‘How To’ lists.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not anti-technology or anti-new age, but what I am is anti-hacks.
For those of that are unfamiliar with this term, ‘hacks’ are quick and easy ways of achieving things. There are hacks for weight loss, finding a mate, quitting smoking, growing our hair out and so on. Everywhere we look there’s a new hack for any goal we wish to achieve. And the drawbacks of this are quite substantial…
- They promote laziness
Life hacks reduce what might have once been considered laborious work into quick and easy five step strategies. The hacking mindset flatters the part of us that’s lazy and always wants to take the path of least resistance.
- They don’t encourage optimization
Hacks invariably lead us to a life that’s less optimal, not more. The damage results not so much from the actual hacking practices themselves, but from the mindset their pursuit and adoption produces.
- They are often based on unreliable or ‘faulty’ science
Ever watched a weight loss hack on Youtube? Well I did recently. It was a video created by what seemed to be a very young girl about how to lose weight easily without trying. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the problem with this. Seeking advice from non-professionals can not only set us up for failure but also skew our view of what it takes to achieve our goals.
- They diminish our self-worth and often objectify us
Another common critique of life-hacking is that it objectifies people. Relationships for example, become systems to hack. Rather than natural human processes that happen organically.