What is this blog about?
Looking at the many varied posts;
I can see that I have been thinking about time, and how it functions and we function within it. .
I have thought hard about the brain, how it is a very unique tool, and how to improve all it's functions to make my work better. I have learned it is plastic and changeable. We can change, we do change.
I have read and used and experimented with many aspects of health, fitness and nutrition. I have tried many things and tried to distill all the conflicting information to have a simple concise plan. I want to create and build and that is all about endurance.
I love authors and writing and creativity. I love creativity and believe it matters and it makes everything you do better. I write and I am trying to learn, and want to see what others are doing. I went to college on an art scholarship, studied literature, computers, and business
The more eyes and minds on a problem, the more efficient the solution.
You are your network. You become what your network is.
Good business is creative, I find business creative and interesting and when business is done well , it is a powerful force to make the world around it better and when done badly it is one of the most destructive.
I also believe firmly that specialization is for insects.
Great minds are many things, and can do many things, can be many things, and can makes many things better for them simply taking an interest in it. Creative people matter, look at some figures in history, Richard Feynman, Voltaire, Da Vinci, the list is long but these are all people who saw new potential in the everyday world.
Someone the other day was making fun of liberal arts majors. I promise you, you give me a team of ten liberal arts majors and pit them against ten MBA's, the liberal art's team will stand a chance of creating something new, because the world is full of people with tools and nothing to say and no original thoughts in their head. I could create a world with liberal art's majors. With MBA's I can refine a price point or talk at great length about Operations strategies but they, as a whole, do not create, they refine.
Keep in mind I am a liberal arts major and an MBA.
I find the world fascinating and people's reactions even more so, and believe that mental systems like Buddhism have tools and ways of life that are compelling and ways of living that work and have worked for thousands of years.
All these topics fascinate me and I it think shows in the posts on this blog.
What seems like a lack of focus is actually me finding ways to function in the world, trying to be creative in a world that up until recently valued only obedience and specialization.
I remember reading somewhere, I believe it was Plato, about the concept of Philosopher King, and since we are the Rulers of our lives and the CEO's of our finances self business, it is a good model to imulate, taking control of our lives, living our creative lives, with balance.
I am all about finding the balance.
And since the world changes constantly, balance matters and is also dynamic.
That is what this blog is about, is finding the tools to create the balance you need to create.
No matter who the artist, there needs to be a pocket of tools in hand to keep you functioning.
I’m a hard worker. I concentrate on my work very hard. So, you know, it’s easy. And I don’t do anything but write my fiction when I write.
How is your typical workday structured?
When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long—six months to a year—requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.
Haruki Murakami Interview - Paris Review
Hustle matters – Grit matters. Ideas are cheap.
You will have a million ideas, and they will happen constantly, and they will all seem great at the time, and you usually won’t do anything about them.
Ideas are constant and cheap. Ideas are not the key to your success.
The only thing that matters is what you take action on and the results you get. What you do matters, not what you think. Take action.
I don’t listen to what people say, I watch what they do. What the say tells you who they want to be or who they think they are, what they do tells you who they are. As you start toact, and things start to happen, other opportunities will come up, other possibilities will come your way. Action equals success. Ideas equal wishes.
7 ways to Improve Your Brain Plasticity
A Brain Fitness Plan
Change can only occur when the brain is alert and engaged, so you need to be rested. A tired brain is not a highly functional brain. Stay in good shape, go outside, walk each day, eat good food, enjoy the sun. An active and healthy body means an active and healthy brain.
2. Be Positive because Being Positive Works
Positive Change strengthens connections between neurons engaged at the same time towards a model of perfection. The brain wants to make connections that make your life and itself better, that improve its chance of survival. Knowing you can literally change the physical aspects of your brain means you can change.
3. Learn new things. Cross train, study things in groups.
Neurons that fire together wire together. Studies show your brain lights up when learning something new, and once habit, your brain lights up and the beginning and the end. Challenge yourself, learn a new language, take up a martial art, start painting or write a book, start a business., (www.lifestylebusinessbookclub.com). Training needs to be taxing and systematically improving.
4. Initial changes are just temporary. Incremental engaged steps, bit by bit produce lasting knowledge.
Study a little every time, I study in blocks of twenty minutes switching tasks or subjects, but you need to do a little bit every day, consistency matters. Then test yourself. Training should be incremental.
5. Brain plasticity can be positive or negative (bad habits)
Habits can work either way, good or bad, so be conscious of what you do habitually. What you do daily, you become. Control your habits, know what causes you to do something, the cue to your habit, learn what the routine is, and then know the reward. What do you get out of the habit.
Think about it. Then hack it.
Tweak the cue.
Find a better way to achieve the reward. Also, being part of a group helps reinforce the change.
6. Memory is crucial for learning and can be improved.
Memory is a skill, not a born gift. It takes work and practice.
A quote from Walking With Einstein:
It was a technique he promised I could use to remember people’s names at parties and meetings. “The trick is actually deceptively simple,” he said. “It is always to associate the sound of a person’s name with something you can clearly imagine. It’s all about creating a vivid image in your mind that anchors your visual memory of the person’s face to a visual memory connected to the person’s name. When you need to reach back and remember the person’s name at some later date, the image you created will simply pop back into your mind ... So, hmm, you said your name was Josh Foer, eh?” He raised an eyebrow and gave his chin a melodramatic stroke. “Well, I’d imagine you joshing me where we first met, outside the competition hall, and I’d imagine myself breaking into four pieces in response. Four/Foer, get it? That little image is more entertaining—to me, at least—than your mere name, and should stick nicely in the mind.”
More notes on walking With Einstein are here: http://www.darylburnett.com/1/post/2012/03/memory-tips-from-the-book-moonwalking-with-einstein.html
7. Motivation is key. Be Engaged.
What you do needs to be interesting to motivate, if you want it, you will learn it, so much it interesting. Reward yourself when you progress. Have goal, a reason to improve.D
The Book Willpower has quickly become one of my favorite reads, and I have literally slowed down reading it to one section a week to make it last longer and to give me time to think about what I read.
It is worth owning.
A WRITER CHALLENGES THE VOICE OF SELF-CRITICISM
Excerpt form The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It
Ben, a twenty-four-year-old middle-school social studies teacher with literary aspirations, had set the goal to finish writing his novel by the end of summer vacation. This deadline required him to write ten pages a day, every day. In reality, he would write two to three pages one day, then feel so overwhelmed by how far behind he was that he skipped the next day completely. Realizing that he wasn’t going to finish the book by the start of the school year, he felt like a fraud. If he couldn’t make the effort now, when he had so much free time, how was he going to make any progress when he had homework to grade and lessons to plan? Ben started to doubt whether he should even bother with the goal, since he wasn’t making the progress he thought he should be. “A real writer would be able to churn those pages out,” he told himself. “A real writer would never play computer games instead of writing.” In this state of mind, he turned a critical eye to his writing and convinced himself it was garbage.
Ben had actually abandoned his goal when he found himself in my class that fall. He had enrolled in the class to learn how to motivate his students, but he recognized himself in the discussion about self-criticism. When he did the self-forgiveness exercise for his abandoned novel, the first thing he noticed was the fear and self-doubt behind his giving up. Not meeting his small goal to write ten pages a day made him afraid that he did not have the talent or dedication to realize his big goal of becoming a novelist. He took comfort in the idea that his setbacks were just part of being human, and not proof that he would never succeed. He remembered stories he had read about other writers who had struggled early in their careers. To find a more compassionate response to himself, he imagined how he would mentor a student who wanted to give up on a goal. Ben realized he would encourage the student to keep going if the goal was important. He would say that any effort made now would take the student closer to the goal. He certainly would not say to the student, “Who are you kidding? Your work is garbage.” From this exercise, Ben found renewed energy for writing and returned to his work-in-progress. He made a commitment to write once a week, a more reasonable goal for the school year, and one he felt comfortable holding himself accountable to.
Below is an exercise that psychologists use to help people find a more self-compassionate response to failure. Research shows that taking this point of view reduces guilt but increases personal accountability—the perfect combination to get you back on track with your willpower challenge.
1. What are you feeling? As you think about this failure, take a moment to notice and describe how you are feeling. What emotions are present? What are you are feeling in your body? Can you remember how you felt immediately after the failure? How would you describe that?
2. You’re only human. Everyone struggles with willpower challenges and everyone sometimes loses control. This is just a part of the human condition, and your setback does not mean there is something wrong with you. Consider the truth of these statements.
3. What would you say to a friend? Consider how you would comfort a close friend who experienced the same setback. What words of support would you offer?
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It by Ph.D., Kelly McGonigal
Pursue a life of focused creative work.
That is the goal for all of us, and the tools have never been better, easier, or less expensive than right this minute.
Dream. Write. Do. Now.
"The notion that the most outlandish thoughts could pay for your existence,” says Grant Morrison. “The most bizarre thoughts you may have had in 1994 on an Ecstasy tab can turn into money, which turns into houses, which turns into cat food. It’s the Yukon in our brain, it’s a gold rush, it’s all sitting there, and it’s worth money."
Our dreams and thoughts can change things, they can change the world but we need to do more than think them; our creative acts can do anything, and they are very powerful, and the oddest thought can change your life and others.
We need to chose to be active over passive. I kept creating web site after web site, until I realized that what I really wanted was to create.
Writing is not passive, not when done right.
Writing is getting in the trenches of what it means to alive, and it can show and deliver and high light all the possibilities thatit means to be human.
Say yes more than you say no.
Writing is a talent and a skill, but all the skill in the world doesn't mean anything if you have nothing to say or give.
Interesting lives leads to interesting creative acts when coupled with skill, practice, and discipline.
You can’t read your way to expertise. I have tried.
You have to do.
People who get things accomplished choose to work on things more consistently and with more ficus than average people.
They systematically work, making what they want to accomplish a series of habits to repeat.
So here is what I want you to do:
1. Today, I want you to pick one thing that you really want to do.
2. In the next 24 hours, I want you to do one thing to make that happen. Make it simple and short, 10 to 15 minutes to do. Mark on a calendar.
3. Then the following day do that one thing again. Mark it on the calendar.
4. Continue for 7 days and then calculate what you have done. How much did you get done in one day? Take that and multiply by 365, and that is what you will have done in a year.
Consistency is powerful. It creates productivity.
Woody Allen states “If you work only three to five hours a day you become very productive. It’s the steadiness of it that counts. Getting to the typewriter every day is what makes productivity.”
It takes Woody Allen a month to write a comedy and three months to write a drama so at three to five hours a day it shows me he writes every day, he’s consistent, and he doesn’t waste time.
John von Neumann’s says it the best in the following quote,
“The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models..”
My writing is basically model-building.
Though in my blog I don’t use mathematics, my approach is basically the same one as explained in the above quote.
Writing allows you to see all the potential things you can do, or see, or create.
Once you have many ideas, and you have thought of and written through the various ideas or models, then you do.
PS. This is the first post from my phone. Basically a test, and if it works, get ready.
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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