Photo by Scott Hudson

Note from Nick: I’ve been not-so-patiently awaiting the launch of Loren Wade’s blog, Unlifer (it’s today, so go check it out!). If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. He’s an awesome guy and I’m honored to be a part of his launch team!

Lifehacking is commonly defined as, “making one’s daily life more efficient”.

There is one reoccurring theme in life; one that governs our minds, our hearts, and our souls. It’s commonly overlooked, undervalued, and many times viewed as cliché. You might think it’s too simple but if you really think about it and utilize it, it’s life changing.

The greatest lifehack of all time is love.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What does love have to do with lifehacking?” Well, everything.

Love is usually viewed as an affection or an attachment to something. That’s true, but it’s also more than that. It’s desire, it’s romance, it’s friendship, and even worship. If you get right down to it, there’s practical applications too. It’s not just lovey-dovey romance we expect it be. Love can mean so many things. I think Apostle Paul said it the best in his letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 13:4-8),

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

No matter what you believe about the Bible, there’s no denying that’s true. Did you know that the Greek language has four different words for love?

  • Agápe, or “selfless love”. This is overwhelming love for God or another person devoid of sexual meaning.
  • Éros, or “intimate love”. Not necessarily sexual, but it is a longing or passionate love.
  • Philia, or “friendly love”. This is friendship with family and friends.
  • Storge, or “affection”. Although not used as much, it could mean love for a child or even your enemies.

Considering all of these different interpretations and meanings for love, can you see how practical it would be? This brings us to practical application number one.

Love your enemies.

This may remind you of a famous quote from Jesus,

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

Maybe you don’t have any “enemies” per se, but you’re bound to have disagreements, arguments, or problems with someone. It’s inevitable. Leo Babauta of the very famous blog Zen Habits has an entire article on this one subject titled, 10 Tips for Life’s Greatest Challenge: Love Thy Enemy. He defines an enemy as anyone you really dislike. At one point in you life, someone has hurt you deeply and it still hurts to think about it.

The answer to this is simple, but tough: forgive them. Show them love in return.

Why forgive someone that hurt you? Because if you don’t, they have something held over you for the rest of your life.You are giving them control over you if you don’t let them go. You never know, you may even change that person’s life. Either way, it’s less of a burden on you and you will be happier for it. Just remember, forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not for the person being forgiven.

Practical application number two is more broad and just as life-changing.

Love your neighbor.

Though we commonly view neighbor as the guy who lives next door, it really means anyone. Beyond just your enemy, love people in general. Help people in need. Don’t be selfish. Give graciously. You’ve heard The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Believe it or not, The Golden Rule can be found in some form or another in almost every single belief or religion you can find. Ancient Babylon, China, Egypt, Greece, India, Tamizhagam, as well as at least 17 religions according to Wikipedia.

Loving your neighbor also has a second application: putting to death your selfish self.

Struggling with your friend? Be patient with them. Someone you know struggling with something? Be there for them. Someone need a favor? Help them. Loving your neighbor could even be as simple as listening to their problems. There’s probably millions of applications for this, but you get the point.

The last application might surprise you.

Love is fulfilling.

Loving people is very fulfilling in more ways than one, even though that may sound selfish. Not only will you feel happier for loving people, they will reciprocate. Love, and people will return with love. That’s not selfish, is it? I don’t think so. It’s paying it forward. The Golden Rule.

Furthermore, it’s fulfilling because you can accomplish anything. You were born with the inclination to accomplish something. Help people accomplish their goals and they will help you accomplish yours. Don’t walk through life alone. Find someone to love, something to live for, and something to put your heart into. Personally, this means I chose to give my life, love, worship, and adoration to Jesus Christ. That’s fulfilling to me.

Love can mean many things to many different people.

The fact remains that it makes life easier, you will accomplish more, and you feel more fulfilled.

That’s why I’ve chosen to call it the greatest lifehack of all time.

Loren Wade is the author of Unlifer, a blog dedicated to inspiring and empowering people with practical ways to lifehack a broken world. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.