My Unplanned Life Hacks

Cyrus Sethna
5 min readSep 30, 2022

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that life is unpredictable. Granted, uncertainty is an every day facet of our lives. But when was the last time the entire world was rocked by one massive calamity, and a calamity, which even us ‘evolved human beings’ found difficult to control?

According to me, uncertainty has well developed into the eighth ‘cardinal rule of life’ and we need to plan for it.

We often see content on the internet about the importance of financial literacy, investing, insurance, health coverages, and so on. Money, is not the means to a better life. But, like it or not, it is the ticket to our livelihood, security and happiness. So make sure you’re doing what you need to, in terms of securing your finances for your future. And if you haven’t started then please do!

Traditionalists like me, would feel they need to work towards things like a house in their name, a steady inflow of income, a safe yet compounding investment portfolio, health insurance, and then some additional money to have a bit of fun with... Maybe, splurge on a first class ticket on their next holiday?

On that note, lets dive into a few ‘hacks’ which have been invaluable to me:

  1. Get on a mileage program that suits you! For starters, you don’t need to break the bank to buy yourself a ticket to your dream destination. And if you don’t have ANY air miles to your name by now, then it’s time you got yourself a credit card that helps you accrue miles as you go through the regular, and sometimes not-so-regular expenses of life. Being able to travel and see the world is therapeutic, fulfilling, exciting and educative. For majority of the population, paying for those overtly priced flight tickets sure does feel uncomfortable, so choosing the right credit card and using it is a very underutilized activity by most people around. I actually had a friend who bought a car with his credit card! I’m quite frustrated about that because I bought mine a few months before him from the same company and was refused the luxury of doing so by the dealership! Anyway, if you think you don’t spend enough on a monthly basis to accrue enough miles- be patient. You never know when your spending power could increase. And maybe you can offer to book flights and hotels for your friends on your next group vacation! I just googled this- mileage programs first started in 1992; So if you still haven’t jumped on the benefits, you’re really late to the party!
  2. Get an alternate Residency or Passport (if you can)! Now, I know there are going to be some of you uber-patriotic readers who feel strongly against this, but I don’t think one should equate having a second residency or passport to being unpatriotic. Simply put, why have all your eggs in one basket? I am an Indian passport holder and feel completely stifled with the fact that: a) I need a visa to travel to over 180 countries, b) I don’t have sufficient access to live, work and study in other parts of the world. Being in the business of ‘visas and migration’ I know that my next insurance policy better be an alternate residency, and if India ever allows me, I’ll be getting a second passport too. I always love chatting about migration options. It’s so interesting each time I speak to a client and hear their perspectives on the subject. One thing is for sure though- everybody who sees the benefits, sees it as something akin to an insurance policy.
  3. Get active, get creative! I often feel blessed that my parents pushed me to play sports from a young age. The benefits of which I see tremendously in my daily life. This is mainly because exercise is never something that has to be ticked off for the sake of “doing it because I have to”. I am passionate about playing sport, or if I’m unable to, at least I am able and capable of sweating it out and challenging my mind and body. But it doesn’t end there! I think we also need another, more ‘creative’ hobby as a part of our arsenal. Play an instrument, master a dance form, rekindle your passion for drawing & painting. Basically do anything that will give you the strength and ability to ‘switch-off’ from any distress in your life. While writing this, I recall the countless hours of playing the guitar that saved my mental sanity during the extended periods of free time in lockdown at home.
  4. Get serious! Now here comes the boring stuff. I definitely shouldn’t be preaching but there’s just a load of junk around the internet these days. Almost all of us are culprits of rubbish TV shows and mind-numbing content on social media. While we do need a balance of stupidity and sanity in our lives, I tend to find I am most productive during the periods in which I am immersed in content that is more educative than nonsensical. I love watching TV shows that are motivating and teach me something. And I love reading stuff that teaches me things that I knew nothing of, barely five minutes ago. For many, this shift to ‘seriousness’ is a process in itself, but every good habit is formed by repeated consistency (rumoured to take just 21 days, till its set in stone)- so try this out.
  5. Get in lots of time with your loved ones! In a world where it is fashionable to be busy, we sometimes forget the innumerable benefits of regular contact with family and friends. Sure, there will be periods where balancing between work and your friends or family can be tricky. But you’ve got to remember to prioritise social interactions (rich- coming from an introvert like me!). For obvious reasons after experiencing a pandemic, I am extremely eager to be out and about, going for meals, and travelling with family and friends at every opportunity I get.

I’d like to leave you with this quote from one of my favorite authors (shout out to my close friends who must be laughing away by now!):

“The fragile wants tranquility, the antifragile grows from disorder, and the robust doesn’t care too much”-

So don’t care too much, but maybe delve a little into what could make your life (current & future) better! This list is definitely not exhaustive and I’d love to read some comments on what else could be added

Thanks for reading!

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Cyrus Sethna

Co-Founder at EASA. We deal in all visa related needs for Indian passport holders as well as Citizenship via Investment Programs across the world