One Mindset Shift You Can Adopt To Do the Hard Things in Life

Before my mindset shift, I remember reading one book that taught me to see purchases in terms of my hourly rate. For example, if my time is worth $100/hour (calculated from my salary and hours worked), and I wanted to purchase a MacBook for $1,500, the laptop represented 15 hours worked. The book then asked the readers to evaluate whether the purchase was worth the time spent. Spending 15 hours at a job you don’t like doesn’t sound very appealing to me, but if the purchase outweighed the time spent, then by all means purchase the laptop.

Every dollar saved represents several dollars in the future

After getting into investing (ETFs, stocks, etc.), I now see purchases in a much different light. Every dollar I save represents potentially more money in the future. Would I rather have a dollar now or two dollars a few years later? Doesn’t sound like much, but when you get into the thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, it can be a significant difference.

With my mindset shift, I realized I didn’t only have to think about money that way, I could think of the hard things in life in the same manner.

Every hour working out represents several hours of ‘life’ in the future

Whenever I know I have to work out, at the moment, I would weigh my time working out vs. doing easier things such as YouTube, eating a snack, or getting more sleep. But if I thought about the investment of time working out with a 3–5x return, I would choose the workout every single time.

Every hour of journaling represents several hours of clarity and new lessons

The key benefit of journaling? Reflection. Without reflection, all you are doing is regurgitating your thoughts or other thinkers on paper. Journaling is about reflecting on the books you’ve read, the problems you have encountered, the state of your relationships, and more.

Every hour of meditating represents several hours of focus during the day

When I first started meditating, I thought it was stupid. Why do nothing for 15, 30 or even 60 minutes when I could just work during that same time? Mind you, I didn’t see the benefits of meditation until I had done several weeks of it, but the mental clarity and mindfulness you gain from meditating pays you dividends of time.

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Wang Yip

Wang Yip


Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at