Skip to main content

Posts about reading (old posts, page 2)

How to Stop Checking Your (My) Phone

As I battle my physical demons, the newsletter will probably be on this slightly off cadence as I struggle mightily throughout the week, thinking about what to write, failing and then at the last minute panicking and sharing a short snippet of something I love and enjoy.

LMP

I hope you do too :)

So where was I? Oh yea, my favourite personal development, web researcher, Mr. Barker has this to share on what the issue is with our minds and how we can all gain some perspective and a bit more happiness by not checking our phones ever so often.

From How To Stop Checking Your Phone: 4 Secrets From Research,

We’re not looking at the problem correctly. For starters:

You do not have a short attention span.
We have a “mind control” problem. But it’s not other people’s ability to control your mind. It’s your own.
We spend so much time trying to get others attention yet the true determinant of our happiness is where we direct our own.
So what do we do? Throw our phones in a wood chipper?

Well, I wouldn’t :) So what do we do?
We gain Attentional Control.
By strengthening the part of our brains called the Prefrontal Cortex (hereinafter referred to as the PFC), our thinking brain against the onslaughts of our lizard brain.

Here’s his 4 step plan in a nutshell.

1. Get your sleep. Get your exercise. Be healthy.

No sleep. PFC weak. That simple.
Even one round of exercise will improve your PFC strength.

2. Control your context.

Basically, what’s around you?
How is it that the phone slips into your hand and your thumbs go scrolling without you even realising it?
For me, I am a tech news junkie.
So if I am in a queue, or on the potty, or going to bed, I read!

And to fix that, I now rely on a simple trick I learnt in Atomic Habits.
Make any behaviour you want to encourage easier to do, and any behaviour you want to discourage harder to do.
So now, the news apps are not easily accessible, twitter is no longer installed, there are no notifications, and I have to type a complicated password to unlock the phone.
I am pleased to report, that while I am not completely cured, my consumption has dropped significantly.

3. Mindfulness

Well, this is my good habit!
Apparently it’s a good habit everyone should have.
Because, it is a superstrengthener of your PFC!
I even wrote a whole blog post about it.
Need I say more?

Well, I think Eric’s being a little sneaky here. When I look up, I see changes to mind, body and soul.
So in an even smaller nutshell, what he actually aims at is

4. Be the change, you want to see in yourself!

Once again, this is an idea I read in Atomic Habits.
The best way to sustain and build a habit?
By deciding that this is what I am like.
I hate exercise and physio, but I do it.
Why? Because I am a man with a broken back, who has learnt his lesson and wants to be healthy and pain free, and who exercises in order to stay that way.
I don’t stress about smoking.
Why? Because I am not a person who wants to ruin his life by being a smoker.
Vegetarians don’t stress about eating meat.
Why? Because they just don’t eat meat.

I decide, who I want to be :)
Like the old bon mot goes, It’s simple, not easy.
And it’s worth it.



P.S. Subscribe to my mailing list!
P.P.S. Feed my insatiable reading habit.


I Am Here, (Trying Really Hard to Show Up)

Sorry, but not sorry about the lack of the weekly email yesterday :)
The phone is dead, the computer’s crashed and the net is not working.
In short, Murphy definitely has not left the building.
But if I am to be successful at what I do, if I aim to earn your trust, I need to show up :)
To quote Seth,

Showing up on time, with a smile on your face is almost always more important than what you actually say or do.

and this

“I am here”

Showing up matters more than ever, particularly if you promised you would.

Not just showing up in person, but showing up emotionally, or with support, or with a resource that was inconvenient for you to produce.

We're no longer judging you by what sort of widgets your factory makes. we’re judging you by what we can expect from you in the future.

Which is what today’s little mail is about.
I am just writing this, so that I can say,
I am here.
I am showing up.
And thank you all for reading my little screed.
You folks, are wonderful people :)

P.S. Subscribe to my mailing list!
P.P.S. Feed my insatiable reading habit.


Inessential Turns 20!

From the celebratory post,

Old proverb: “The best time to start a blog was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today.” :)

This is what I want for my blogs to become too.
Not popular, but to have a long active life, full of stuff that inspires me and helps others.


Gaiman on Writing

The truth is, I think, […] for me inspiration comes from a bunch of places.

(Counting on his fingers …) Desperation, deadlines …

A lot of times, ideas will turn up while you are doing something else.

And most of all, I think, ideas come from confluence.

They come from two things flowing together, they come, essentially from day-dreaming. It’s … it’s something I suspect that’s something that every human being does.

Writers tend to train themselves to notice when they’ve had ideas. Not that they get anymore ideas or get inspired more than anyone else. We just notice. We notice when it happens, a little bit more.

You go,well, you know, everybody knows that if you get bitten by a werewolf, when the moon is full, you will turn into a wolf. You know that.

And then there’s that moment when you’re sitting thinking, so what happens if a werewolf bites a goldfish?

Or what if the werewolf sinks its fangs into a chair? And what if you’re sitting in that chair and the moonlight touches it? Slowly it starts feeling more and more wolfish and it growls and what about the … you know? And oh my god! Then you’d have to set it in the winter, cuz you’d need the snow for people to try and figure out why you’ve got chair leg marks in the snow. By the body. That has its throat ripped out.

And suddenly, you have a story!

The whole video is funny, yet so full of wisdom.



P.S. Subscribe to my mailing list! P.P.S. Feed my insatiable reading habit.


Write More

via Neil Gaiman

chaot1k-daydreams asked: Hey, Mr. Gaiman, sorry to bother you. I just had a couple questions? I’m trying to become a better writer and write more, but I feel like I’m falling out of my own style when I write. I either write too much or too little, over-embellish or make it feel bland, and I’m not quite sure what I’m doing wrong by I feel like it’s both wrong and not what I want to write. I was hoping you might have some advice?

Write more.
It sounds a bit silly but that’s how you eventually find out what you sound like.


The Best Writing Advice I Could Give You

Sometimes Seth Godin makes it easy for me to do the newsletter.
There’s a pithy post that says everything I want to say.
So, to the kids I coach, this is the best writing advice I could give you!
(Everything below the break is Seth, (emphases mine))


Decorating a car with bling, mudflaps and an airhorn is a form of signalling. You can show your peers that you have the resources to waste on superfluous adornments.

(Did you see what I just did there? I could have said, “You can show your friends that you have money to burn,” but I didn’t.)

Overwriting has a long tradition, particularly among academics. Make it a bit more complex and wordy than it needs to be. Write run-on sentences. Apparently, complicated writing must be more true.

One reason for this commitment to overwriting is that it keeps the hordes away. It’s difficult to read and hard to imagine writing. And so scarcity is created.

And yet, the articles and books that stand the test of time are straightforward. They’re memorable. They can be understood by the reader you seek to serve.

Simply write.

Write simply.

As few words as you need, but no fewer.

But simply write.


Subscribe to read more every week!