Buongiorno! Welcome to this week's digest. This is a very special "Chillllllllll" edition, where we explore a variety of topics to help us enjoy life. This week's topics include sleep, removing distraction, embracing freedom, mitigating hedonic adaptation, and classic rock. Enjoy!
If you like this digest, please consider sharing with friends, baking paleo crack, and / or Moonwalking into the sunset. xoxoxo <3
My friend Therese Germain is a former BCG consultant turned dating expert, helping men and women take a more mindful approach to dating. Using her thoughtfulness, creativity, and a dash of BCG super powers, Therese helps singles build ‘human marketing’ strategies for their dating lives. The goal: empower you to be your best authentic self and achieve your dating goals. I describe her work as helping you figure out what you want, and how to get it.
PODCAST - Joe Rogan Experience #1109: Matthew Walker by Joe Rogan - Matt Walker is the real deal sleep expert / researcher / professor / diplomat (?!?!) who knows how to make a compelling argument. In two hours of listening (before bedtime =p), you will learn a ton about the vital importance of getting sufficient sleep.
What we've learned over the past 30-40 years is that all stages of sleep are important... If sleep does not serve an absolutely vital function, it is the biggest mistake that the evolutionary process ever made. And that counts for all of the stages of sleep... What we've discovered is that all of those different stages of sleep all have unique and separate functions, so you can't shortchange any one of them.
Sleep is the greatest legal performance enhancing drug that most people are probably neglecting.
Things that you can do out of the gate to get better sleep: 1) Regularity is the most important thing I can tell you. Go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time... 2) Light (Keep it dark) - In the last hour before bed, try to stay away from screens, but also just switch off half the lights in the house... 3) Keep it cool - Your brain needs to drop its temperature by two to three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate sleep...
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. Short sleep predicts all cause mortality.
Your brain has no capacity to regain all of the sleep that it's lost... Sleep is not like the bank. You can't accumulate a debt and then hope to pay it off at the weekend.
The number of people who can survive on six hours of sleep or less, without showing any impairment, rounded to a whole number, and expressed as a percent of the population, is zero.
You don't know you're sleep deprived when you're sleep deprived. Your subjective sense of how well you're doing with a lack of sleep is a miserable predictor of objectively how you're doing.
Junior [medical] residents working a 30 hour shift are 460% more likely to make diagnostic errors in the ICU relative to when they are working 16 hours. If you have elective surgery, you should ask your surgeon how much sleep they've had in the past 24 hours. If they've had 6 hours of sleep or less, you have a 170% increased risk of a major surgical error relative to that same surgeon if they've been well rested.
For his latest project, Eyal is imploring professionals everywhere to develop another kind of habit: a commitment to working when we’re working, and unplugging when we’re not.
Distraction is not just the external triggers, like the pings, rings and dings we all receive. It's anything that keeps you from doing what you planned to do.
“It turns out that about two-thirds of people never adjust their notification settings on their phones,” says Eyal. “It literally takes 15 minutes to uninstall the apps that you don't need to bother you.”
To become “indistractable”, understand the underlying mechanism of internal triggers. “The body gets us to act by making us feel these uncomfortable sensations that we seek to escape. It’s called homeostasis. If you feel cold, you put on a jacket. If you feel warm, you take it off. All human behavior — distraction included — starts from an internal trigger,” says Eyal.
As you pay closer attention to your triggers, be compassionate with yourself. Everyone avoids tasks from time to time. But if you start to identify patterns — tasks that you never want to start — consider whether there’s a larger story there.
In a Ulysses pact, you make a deal of sorts with future you, locking yourself into a given task for a given amount of time. Just as Ulysses set up a series of constraints so he could hear the sirens’ song but still make it out alive, you can plan around your own weakness in the face of distraction.
To get started, convene your leadership team and start hashing out the kind of company you want to be. The questions you need to ask aren’t complicated, but they are crucial: What kind of life do we want here? How are we going to use technology? When are we going to be off? When are we going to be on?
Freedom, though it has brought him independence and rationality, has made him isolated and, thereby, anxious and powerless. This isolation is unbearable and the alternatives he is confronted with are either to escape from the burden of his freedom into new dependencies and submission, or to advance to the full realization of positive freedom which is based upon the uniqueness and individuality of man.
Modern man still is anxious and tempted to surrender his freedom to dictators of all kinds, or to lose it by transforming himself into a small cog in the machine, well fed, and well clothed, yet not a free man but an automaton.
The majority of men have not yet acquired the maturity to be independent, to be rational, to be objective. They need myths and idols to endure the fact that man is all by himself, that there is no authority which gives meaning to life except man himself.
We have been compelled to recognize that millions in Germany were as eager to surrender their freedom as their fathers were to fight for it; that instead of wanting freedom, they sought for ways of escape from it; that other millions were indifferent and did not believe the defense of freedom to be worth fighting and dying for. We also recognize that the crisis of democracy is not a peculiarly Italian or German problem, but one confronting every modern state. Nor does it matter which symbols the enemies of human freedom choose: freedom is not less endangered if attacked in the name of anti-Fascism than in that of outright Fascism.
Is submission always to an overt authority, or is there also submission to internalized authorities, such as duty or conscience, to inner compulsions or to anonymous authorities like public opinion? Is there a hidden satisfaction in submitting, and what is its essence?
This lack of relatedness to values, symbols, patterns, we may call moral aloneness and state that moral aloneness is as intolerable as the physical aloneness, or rather that physical aloneness becomes unbearable only if it implies also moral aloneness… Religion and nationalism, as well as any custom and any belief however absurd and degrading, if it only connects the individual with others, are refuges from what man most dreads: isolation.
BLOG POST - Mr. Money Mustache: Hacking Hedonic Adaptation to Get Way More For Your Money - Sharing for the 'Putting it Into Practice' section at the end. Incredibly practical and unconventional heuristics for overcoming the inevitability of hedonic adaptation when investing in life upgrades. Focusing on what is most important, creating virtuous cycles, and building in strategic delays all seem like easy wins.
Consider each potential change (whether it is a purchase, a trip, or a lunch out at a restaurant) from the perspective of one year in the future. How much better will your life be in one year, if you make this decision right now?
Delay everything and space it out as much as possible. The anticipation of a treat often provides at least as much joy as the consummation. Simply doubling your waiting period will cut your spending on this stuff in half.
By cutting your upgrades into smaller pieces, you get to experience the thrill more often.
Put your priority on upgrades that remove a strong daily negative or a barrier to happiness.
Use your temptation to buy or consume new things as a habit trigger: catch yourself in the moment of weakness (because this happens automatically and frequently), and use this to do something good for you instead.
...keep a list of your top life priorities... somewhere that you see it many times per day. Stuff like better friendships, better parenting, health, financial independence, happiness, personal growth. Looking at this list before you decide to do anything – whether it’s planning a lunch or moving to a new house, can serve as a surprisingly powerful anchor to help you fine tune your happiness bumps...
MOST FAVORITE FROM THE PAST
MUSIC - Caravan by Van Morrison - My 'Relax' playlist was prominent this week, and Caravan always puts a silly smile on my face. This song reminds me of the documentary The Last Waltz, which was my first foray into the awesome breadth of classic rock (and my first exposure to the second greatest name of all time, Robbie Robertson).
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