Cheat Sheets for Life Featured
Book Review, Nonfiction, Self-Help

Cheat Sheets for Life by Ayesha S. Ratnayake


Learn life-changing insights from hundreds of bestsellers – by reading just one book.

Discover 750+ ways to improve your life – according to hundreds of bestselling books.

As a busy CEO, Ayesha hated her lengthy commutes – until she turned them into her own mobile library. Soon, she was completing over 70 audiobooks each year on happiness, health, productivity, and success – while stuck in traffic.

She began capturing and categorising the most valuable research from her readings for rapid reference. In doing so, she realised that it was possible to derive a handbook for life based on the expertise of hundreds of researchers. So, she set about doing just that.

The output is Cheat Sheets for Life – a concise handbook of science-backed advice on 17 dimensions of life, from health to money to leadership to relationships.

In Cheat Sheets for Life, you’ll learn:

  • How playing the classic game “Tetris” can protect your mood
  • The superfood that is “the most important dietary predictor of lifespan”
  • Why you don’t need to have 8 glasses of water a day – and what to do instead
  • The simple technique you can use to double your weight loss
  • How to increase your chances of finding a partner by 25-46%
  • The one factor that can predict your relationship satisfaction 10 years from now
  • Why using all your vacation days boosts your chance of getting a raise
  • Why you should keep a cute baby’s photo in your wallet
  • How to decide whether to quit your job
  • And 740+ more valuable insights!

Cheat Sheets for Life aims to be the last book you’ll ever need to pick up to improve your life. Using time-tested research, it strives to give even the busiest individual a foolproof guide to leading an optimised life.


I can always use a boost in my life, be it my happiness, relationships, health, financial security, work, etc.. Ms. Ratnayake’s concise handbook gives me that and much more. Though some advice is old school, and other advice is fresh, it’s all empowering and motivating to give it a try again and build your life portfolio.  

Out of the 750 great tips and advice listed in the book, I narrowed down the five most interesting to me:

  • Strike a powerful pose (think Wonder Woman or Superman) when you need a boost of confidence before a big task.
  • Golfers tend to have a 40% lower death rate than others of the same age, sex, and socioeconomic status.
  • A study found that frequent dancing reduced the risk of developing dementia by a staggering 76%, more so than any other physical or cognitive activity. Hip hop dancers see the biggest happiness boost compared with other exercisers.
  • Using your middle initial creates a positive impression of your intellect and abilities. Be sure to include it on your CV and work reports.
  • When you are feeling blue, writing your negative traits with your non-dominant hand and positive traits with your dominant hand boosts confidence.

I was also intrigued by the number of different apps one can choose to make your life better. Some are listed below:

  • Mental health apps like Uplift for depression or MindEase for anxiety.
  • Reading apps for optimizing your learning
  • Apps that play nature sounds for meditation and decompressing.
  • Apps like Lazyjar that make you pay out a sum of money if you don’t practice your health habits.

Ms. Ratnayake is a life-long learner who pulled these tips from a large number of notable resources which she lists in the back of the book.  I have to admit that I am also a frequent reader of self-help books and am familiar with a number of suggestions in this book, but it doesn’t hurt to revisit them and apply them to my life today. After all, they are conveniently combined in one handbook instead of in multiple volumes taking up space on my bookcase. The author conveniently breaks down the chapters into 18 dimensions of life which are broken down even more by sub-categories and then by numbered tips which makes it easier to quickly look through the content to find what you need.

I recommend this book for those people who may need a refresher course on anything from health to money to parenting without sifting through many self-help books on their shelves.

Thank you to Ms. Ratnayake for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Cheat Sheets for Life

Buy the book


Ayesha S. RatnayakeA Sri Lankan born in Fiji, Ayesha S. Ratnayake (MBA, Chartered Marketer) has 10+ years of experience in marketing and management. She has served as CEO, Director, and Shareholder of a technology firm where she led the development of an enterprise software product. She has also served as Co-founder and Director of a marketing communications agency. Ayesha is a startup mentor and a mental health advocate.

Follow Ayesha on her website

Leave a Reply