Everybody needs CAKES!

Live Life to the Full - Every Week

It's all too easy to spend hours reading motivational books in the quest for a fulfilled and enjoyable life, but there are far more valuable ways to spend your time that have the same result. Jet5 has come up with a short, sweet and easily remembered formula that hopes to do just that: the CAKES principle. Hardly any time will be lost reading this, yet it may change your life forever...

" The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts, and our brains."
Paul Simon

Yes, it's an Acronym, and it comes with only two rules:

  1. Your week must contain all five of the basic components, or 'CAKES'. Each letter represents something that you must do, not a specific thing but rather a TYPE of thing.
  2. Don't double-up. If you try to make one thing count for more than one category you will be cheating yourself out of the full benefits, but not to worry — these things will become habits, and enjoyable ones at that! You get to choose every single thing that makes up your personal CAKES. So choose things you want to do, enjoy doing, love doing, or want to love doing... and it will be easy.

  3. C

    Do something Creative. Doesn't matter what: make music, art of any kind, woodwork, new hair-braiding. Not "arty"? Well pick something crafty. Make something you want. Decorate your room. Pick posters. Get someone who is to work with you on some creative project or other. Photography? Gardening? Model making, website design... there's always something. Always!


    Do something Active. It needs to get you out of breath. Serious or social sport, a walk, swim, weight-lifting, run, cycle, climb a hill - anything. If you find this one hard to keep up, team up with someone else. Or join a club and really commit. If you are not used to regular exercise this can be a challenge. Use your imagination; yoga, pressups, rowing... you get the picture, now go and get yourself out of puff!


    Do something Kind. This simply means doing something purely for the benefit of someone else. Even if you don't feel like it, make yourself phone someone then go and visit them. Or do something special for someone who is under pressure, or even just looking a bit down. Write a letter or an email to someone you haven't seen for ages. Walk a neighbour's dog, cook extra and hand it in to an elderly friend. You know exactly what I mean, just get on and do it!


    Do something Educational. Anything which involves you learning something. Watch a documentary, read a book, master a musical instrument, get a new game and play it. Anything new, anything that leaves you knowing more than you did before! Yes, do this every week. Subscribe to a science magazine and read it. Learn computer programming. Learn a foreign language. Learn to service your car, bike, tools. No ideas? The internet is your guide, there will be something you can get into!


    And then... and only then... do something Selfish. Something just for yourself, for your personal fun, enjoyment, pleasure. Just remember the one big CAKES rule; in any one week don't ever, EVER do this one until you have done the other four!

    Hey, exactly how is this magically going to make my life better?

    Because all these behaviours result in brain training! Your brain is plastic; over time behaviour that is initially an effort gradually becomes a habit, then effortlessly and slowly and surely becomes part of your personality. The ingredients of CAKES feed and develop many different neural circuits, which actually physically change. The overall result enables you to cope more easily with whatever life throws at you. Drop even one CAKES ingredient, and the effect will be reduced. A successful and settled life requires you to have each of these abilities. You will amaze yourself how much more able you are to take things on ... and succeed!

    Alan Hope is Jet5 — and CAKES every week!