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Scott Stockdale

Scott Stockdale

2 months ago

A Day in the Life of Lex Fridman Can Help You Hit 6-Month Goals

More on Personal Growth

Jari Roomer

Jari Roomer

2 months ago

Successful people have this one skill.

Without self-control, you'll waste time chasing dopamine fixes.

I found a powerful quote in Tony Robbins' Awaken The Giant Within:

“Most of the challenges that we have in our personal lives come from a short-term focus” — Tony Robbins

Most people are short-term oriented, but highly successful people are long-term oriented.

Successful people act in line with their long-term goals and values, while the rest are distracted by short-term pleasures and dopamine fixes.

Instant gratification wrecks lives

Instant pleasure is fleeting. Quickly fading effects leave you craving more stimulation.

Before you know it, you're in a cycle of quick fixes. This explains binging on food, social media, and Netflix.

These things cause a dopamine spike, which is entertaining. This dopamine spike crashes quickly, leaving you craving more stimulation.

It's fine to watch TV or play video games occasionally. Problems arise when brain impulses aren't controlled. You waste hours chasing dopamine fixes.

Instant gratification becomes problematic when it interferes with long-term goals, happiness, and life fulfillment.

Most rewarding things require delay

Life's greatest rewards require patience and delayed gratification. They must be earned through patience, consistency, and effort.

Ex:

  • A fit, healthy body

  • A deep connection with your spouse

  • A thriving career/business

  • A healthy financial situation

These are some of life's most rewarding things, but they take work and patience. They all require the ability to delay gratification.

To have a healthy bank account, you must save (and invest) a large portion of your monthly income. This means no new tech or clothes.

If you want a fit, healthy body, you must eat better and exercise three times a week. So no fast food and Netflix.

It's a battle between what you want now and what you want most.

Successful people choose what they want most over what they want now. It's a major difference.

Instant vs. delayed gratification

Most people subconsciously prefer instant rewards over future rewards, even if the future rewards are more significant.

We humans aren't logical. Emotions and instincts drive us. So we act against our goals and values.

Fortunately, instant gratification bias can be overridden. This is a modern superpower. Effective methods include:

#1: Train your brain to handle overstimulation

Training your brain to function without constant stimulation is a powerful change. Boredom can lead to long-term rewards.

Unlike impulsive shopping, saving money is boring. Having lots of cash is amazing.

Compared to video games, deep work is boring. A successful online business is rewarding.

Reading books is boring compared to scrolling through funny videos on social media. Knowledge is invaluable.

You can't do these things if your brain is overstimulated. Your impulses will control you. To reduce overstimulation addiction, try:

  • Daily meditation (10 minutes is enough)

  • Daily study/work for 90 minutes (no distractions allowed)

  • First hour of the day without phone, social media, and Netflix

  • Nature walks, journaling, reading, sports, etc.

#2: Make Important Activities Less Intimidating

Instant gratification helps us cope with stress. Starting a book or business can be intimidating. Video games and social media offer a quick escape in such situations.

Make intimidating tasks less so. Break them down into small tasks. Start a new business/side-hustle by:

  • Get domain name

  • Design website

  • Write out a business plan

  • Research competition/peers

  • Approach first potential client

Instead of one big mountain, divide it into smaller sub-tasks. This makes a task easier and less intimidating.

#3: Plan ahead for important activities

Distractions will invade unplanned time. Your time is dictated by your impulses, which are usually Netflix, social media, fast food, and video games. It wants quick rewards and dopamine fixes.

Plan your days and be proactive with your time. Studies show that scheduling activities makes you 3x more likely to do them.

To achieve big goals, you must plan. Don't gamble.

Want to get fit? Schedule next week's workouts. Want a side-job? Schedule your work time.

Leon Ho

Leon Ho

21 days ago

Digital Brainbuilding (Your Second Brain)

The human brain is amazing. As more scientists examine the brain, we learn how much it can store.

The human brain has 1 billion neurons, according to Scientific American. Each neuron creates 1,000 connections, totaling over a trillion. If each neuron could store one memory, we'd run out of room. [1]

What if you could store and access more info, freeing up brain space for problem-solving and creativity?

Build a second brain to keep up with rising knowledge (what I refer to as a Digital Brain). Effectively managing information entails realizing you can't recall everything.

Every action requires information. You need the correct information to learn a new skill, complete a project at work, or establish a business. You must manage information properly to advance your profession and improve your life.

How to construct a second brain to organize information and achieve goals.

What Is a Second Brain?

How often do you forget an article or book's key point? Have you ever wasted hours looking for a saved file?

If so, you're not alone. Information overload affects millions of individuals worldwide. Information overload drains mental resources and causes anxiety.

This is when the second brain comes in.

Building a second brain doesn't involve duplicating the human brain. Building a system that captures, organizes, retrieves, and archives ideas and thoughts. The second brain improves memory, organization, and recall.

Digital tools are preferable to analog for building a second brain.

Digital tools are portable and accessible. Due to these benefits, we'll focus on digital second-brain building.

Brainware

Digital Brains are external hard drives. It stores, organizes, and retrieves. This means improving your memory won't be difficult. 

Memory has three components in computing:

Recording — storing the information

Organization — archiving it in a logical manner

Recall — retrieving it again when you need it

For example:

Due to rigorous security settings, many websites need you to create complicated passwords with special characters.

You must now memorize (Record), organize (Organize), and input this new password the next time you check in (Recall).

Even in this simple example, there are many pieces to remember. We can't recognize this new password with our usual patterns. If we don't use the password every day, we'll forget it. You'll type the wrong password when you try to remember it.

It's common. Is it because the information is complicated? Nope. Passwords are basically letters, numbers, and symbols.

It happens because our brains aren't meant to memorize these. Digital Brains can do heavy lifting.

Why You Need a Digital Brain

Dual minds are best. Birth brain is limited.

The cerebral cortex has 125 trillion synapses, according to a Stanford Study. The human brain can hold 2.5 million terabytes of digital data. [2]

Building a second brain improves learning and memory.

Learn and store information effectively

Faster information recall

Organize information to see connections and patterns

Build a Digital Brain to learn more and reach your goals faster. Building a second brain requires time and work, but you'll have more time for vital undertakings. 

Why you need a Digital Brain:

1. Use Brainpower Effectively

Your brain has boundaries, like any organ. This is true while solving a complex question or activity. If you can't focus on a work project, you won't finish it on time.

Second brain reduces distractions. A robust structure helps you handle complicated challenges quickly and stay on track. Without distractions, it's easy to focus on vital activities.

2. Staying Organized

Professional and personal duties must be balanced. With so much to do, it's easy to neglect crucial duties. This is especially true for skill-building. Digital Brain will keep you organized and stress-free.

Life success requires action. Organized people get things done. Organizing your information will give you time for crucial tasks.

You'll finish projects faster with good materials and methods. As you succeed, you'll gain creative confidence. You can then tackle greater jobs.

3. Creativity Process

Creativity drives today's world. Creativity is mysterious and surprising for millions worldwide. Immersing yourself in others' associations, triggers, thoughts, and ideas can generate inspiration and creativity.

Building a second brain is crucial to establishing your creative process and building habits that will help you reach your goals. Creativity doesn't require perfection or overthinking.

4. Transforming Your Knowledge Into Opportunities

This is the age of entrepreneurship. Today, you can publish online, build an audience, and make money.

Whether it's a business or hobby, you'll have several job alternatives. Knowledge can boost your economy with ideas and insights.

5. Improving Thinking and Uncovering Connections

Modern career success depends on how you think. Instead of overthinking or perfecting, collect the best images, stories, metaphors, anecdotes, and observations.

This will increase your creativity and reveal connections. Increasing your imagination can help you achieve your goals, according to research. [3]

Your ability to recognize trends will help you stay ahead of the pack.

6. Credibility for a New Job or Business

Your main asset is experience-based expertise. Others won't be able to learn without your help. Technology makes knowledge tangible.

This lets you use your time as you choose while helping others. Changing professions or establishing a new business become learning opportunities when you have a Digital Brain.

7. Using Learning Resources

Millions of people use internet learning materials to improve their lives. Online resources abound. These include books, forums, podcasts, articles, and webinars.

These resources are mostly free or inexpensive. Organizing your knowledge can save you time and money. Building a Digital Brain helps you learn faster. You'll make rapid progress by enjoying learning.

How does a second brain feel?

Digital Brain has helped me arrange my job and family life for years.

No need to remember 1001 passwords. I never forget anything on my wife's grocery lists. Never miss a meeting. I can access essential information and papers anytime, anywhere.

Delegating memory to a second brain reduces tension and anxiety because you'll know what to do with every piece of information.

No information will be forgotten, boosting your confidence. Better manage your fears and concerns by writing them down and establishing a strategy. You'll understand the plethora of daily information and have a clear head.

How to Develop Your Digital Brain (Your Second Brain)

It's cheap but requires work.

Digital Brain development requires:

Recording — storing the information

Organization — archiving it in a logical manner

Recall — retrieving it again when you need it

1. Decide what information matters before recording.

To succeed in today's environment, you must manage massive amounts of data. Articles, books, webinars, podcasts, emails, and texts provide value. Remembering everything is impossible and overwhelming.

What information do you need to achieve your goals?

You must consolidate ideas and create a strategy to reach your aims. Your biological brain can imagine and create with a Digital Brain.

2. Use the Right Tool

We usually record information without any preparation - we brainstorm in a word processor, email ourselves a message, or take notes while reading.

This information isn't used. You must store information in a central location.

Different information needs different instruments.

Evernote is a top note-taking program. Audio clips, Slack chats, PDFs, text notes, photos, scanned handwritten pages, emails, and webpages can be added.

Pocket is a great software for saving and organizing content. Images, videos, and text can be sorted. Web-optimized design

Calendar apps help you manage your time and enhance your productivity by reminding you of your most important tasks. Calendar apps flourish. The best calendar apps are easy to use, have many features, and work across devices. These calendars include Google, Apple, and Outlook.

To-do list/checklist apps are useful for managing tasks. Easy-to-use, versatility, budget, and cross-platform compatibility are important when picking to-do list apps. Google Keep, Google Tasks, and Apple Notes are good to-do apps.

3. Organize data for easy retrieval

How should you organize collected data?

When you collect and organize data, you'll see connections. An article about networking can assist you comprehend web marketing. Saved business cards can help you find new clients.

Choosing the correct tools helps organize data. Here are some tools selection criteria:

  • Can the tool sync across devices?

  • Personal or team?

  • Has a search function for easy information retrieval?

  • Does it provide easy data categorization?

  • Can users create lists or collections?

  • Does it offer easy idea-information connections?

  • Does it mind map and visually organize thoughts?

Conclusion

Building a Digital Brain (second brain) helps us save information, think creatively, and implement ideas. Your second brain is a biological extension. It prevents amnesia, allowing you to tackle bigger creative difficulties.

People who love learning often consume information without using it. Every day, they postpone life-improving experiences until they're forgotten. Useful information becomes strength. 

Reference

[1] ^ Scientific American: What Is the Memory Capacity of the Human Brain?

[2] ^ Clinical Neurology Specialists: What is the Memory Capacity of a Human Brain?

[3] ^ National Library of Medicine: Imagining Success: Multiple Achievement Goals and the Effectiveness of Imagery

Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

2 months ago

Ten words and phrases to avoid in presentations

Don't say this in public!

Want to wow your audience? Want to deliver a successful presentation? Do you want practical takeaways from your presentation?

Then avoid these phrases.

Public speaking is difficult. People fear public speaking, according to research.

"Public speaking is people's biggest fear, according to studies. Number two is death. "Sounds right?" — Comedian Jerry Seinfeld

Yes, public speaking is scary. These words and phrases will make your presentation harder.

Using unnecessary words can weaken your message.

You may have prepared well for your presentation and feel confident. During your presentation, you may freeze up. You may blank or forget.

Effective delivery is even more important than skillful public speaking.

Here are 10 presentation pitfalls.

1. I or Me

Presentations are about the audience, not you. Replace "I or me" with "you, we, or us." Focus on your audience. Reward them with expertise and intriguing views about your issue.

Serve your audience actionable items during your presentation, and you'll do well. Your audience will have a harder time listening and engaging if you're self-centered.

2. Sorry if/for

Your presentation is fine. These phrases make you sound insecure and unprepared. Don't pressure the audience to tell you not to apologize. Your audience should focus on your presentation and essential messages.

3. Excuse the Eye Chart, or This slide's busy

Why add this slide if you're utilizing these phrases? If you don't like this slide, change it before presenting. After the presentation, extra data can be provided.

Don't apologize for unclear slides. Hide or delete a broken PowerPoint slide. If so, divide your message into multiple slides or remove the "business" slide.

4. Sorry I'm Nervous

Some think expressing yourself will win over the audience. Nerves are horrible. Even public speakers are nervous.

Nerves aren't noticeable. What's the point? Let the audience judge your nervousness. Please don't make this obvious.

5. I'm not a speaker or I've never done this before.

These phrases destroy credibility. People won't listen and will check their phones or computers.

Why present if you use these phrases?

Good speakers aren't necessarily public speakers. Be confident in what you say. When you're confident, many people will like your presentation.

6. Our Key Differentiators Are

Overused term. It's widely utilized. This seems "salesy," and your "important differentiators" are probably like a competitor's.

This statement has been diluted; say, "what makes us different is..."

7. Next Slide

Many slides or stories? Your presentation needs transitions. They help your viewers understand your argument.

You didn't transition well when you said "next slide." Think about organic transitions.

8. I Didn’t Have Enough Time, or I’m Running Out of Time

The phrase "I didn't have enough time" implies that you didn't care about your presentation. This shows the viewers you rushed and didn't care.

Saying "I'm out of time" shows poor time management. It means you didn't rehearse enough and plan your time well.

9. I've been asked to speak on

This phrase is used to emphasize your importance. This phrase conveys conceit.

When you say this sentence, you tell others you're intelligent, skilled, and appealing. Don't utilize this term; focus on your topic.

10. Moving On, or All I Have

These phrases don't consider your transitions or presentation's end. People recall a presentation's beginning and end.

How you end your discussion affects how people remember it. You must end your presentation strongly and use natural transitions.


Conclusion

10 phrases to avoid in a presentation. I or me, sorry if or sorry for, pardon the Eye Chart or this busy slide, forgive me if I appear worried, or I'm really nervous, and I'm not good at public speaking, I'm not a speaker, or I've never done this before.

Please don't use these phrases: next slide, I didn't have enough time, I've been asked to speak about, or that's all I have.

We shouldn't make public speaking more difficult than it is. We shouldn't exacerbate a difficult issue. Better public speakers avoid these words and phrases.

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” — Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father


This is a summary. See the original post here.

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Pat Vieljeux

Pat Vieljeux

1 month ago

The three-year business plan is obsolete for startups.

If asked, run.

Austin Distel — Unsplash

An entrepreneur asked me about her pitch deck. A Platform as a Service (PaaS).

She told me she hadn't done her 5-year forecasts but would soon.

I said, Don't bother. I added "time-wasting."

“I've been asked”, she said.

“Who asked?”

“a VC”

“5-year forecast?”

“Yes”

“Get another VC. If he asks, it's because he doesn't understand your solution or to waste your time.”

Some VCs are lagging. They're still using steam engines.

10-years ago, 5-year forecasts were requested.

Since then, we've adopted a 3-year plan.

But It's outdated.

Max one year.

What has happened?

Revolutionary technology. NO-CODE.

Revolution's consequences?

Product viability tests are shorter. Hugely. SaaS and PaaS.

Let me explain:

  • Building a minimum viable product (MVP) that works only takes a few months.

  • 1 to 2 months for practical testing.

  • Your company plan can be validated or rejected in 4 months as a consequence.

After validation, you can ask for VC money. Even while a prototype can generate revenue, you may not require any.

Good VCs won't ask for a 3-year business plan in that instance.

One-year, though.

If you want, establish a three-year plan, but realize that the second year will be different.

You may have changed your business model by then.

A VC isn't interested in a three-year business plan because your solution may change.

Your ability to create revenue will be key.

  • But also, to pivot.

  • They will be interested in your value proposition.

  • They will want to know what differentiates you from other competitors and why people will buy your product over another.

  • What will interest them is your resilience, your ability to bounce back.

  • Not to mention your mindset. The fact that you won’t get discouraged at the slightest setback.

  • The grit you have when facing adversity, as challenges will surely mark your journey.

  • The authenticity of your approach. They’ll want to know that you’re not just in it for the money, let alone to show off.

  • The fact that you put your guts into it and that you are passionate about it. Because entrepreneurship is a leap of faith, a leap into the void.

  • They’ll want to make sure you are prepared for it because it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

  • They’ll want to know your background and why you got into it.

  • They’ll also want to know your family history.

  • And what you’re like in real life.

So a 5-year plan…. You can bet they won’t give a damn. Like their first pair of shoes.

Web3Lunch

Web3Lunch

1 month ago

An employee of OpenSea might get a 40-year prison sentence for insider trading using NFTs.

GM Friens

The space had better days. Those greenish spikes...oh wow, haven't felt that in ages. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs have lost popularity. Google agrees. Both are declining.

As seen below, crypto interest spiked in May because of the Luna fall. NFT interest is similar to early October last year.

Google Trends

This makes me think NFTs are mostly hype and FOMO. No art or community. I've seen enough initiatives to know that communities stick around if they're profitable. Once it starts falling, they move on to the next project. The space has no long-term investments. Flip everything.

OpenSea trading volume has stayed steady for months. May's volume is 1.8 million ETH ($3.3 billion).

Source: Dune

Despite this, I think NFTs and crypto will stick around. In bad markets, builders gain most.

Only 4k developers are active on Ethereum blockchain. It's low. A great chance for the space enthusiasts.

An employee of OpenSea might get a 40-year prison sentence for insider trading using NFTs.

Nathaniel Chastian, an OpenSea employee, traded on insider knowledge. He'll serve 40 years for that.

Here's what happened if you're unfamiliar.

OpenSea is a secondary NFT marketplace. Their homepage featured remarkable drops. Whatever gets featured there, NFT prices will rise 5x.

Chastian was at OpenSea. He chose forthcoming NFTs for OpenSeas' webpage.

Using anonymous digital currency wallets and OpenSea accounts, he would buy NFTs before promoting them on the homepage, showcase them, and then sell them for at least 25 times the price he paid.

From June through September 2021, this happened. Later caught, fired. He's charged with wire fraud and money laundering, each carrying a 20-year maximum penalty.

Although web3 space is all about decentralization, a step like this is welcomed since it restores faith in the area. We hope to see more similar examples soon.

Here's the press release.

Source from Justice.gov

Understanding smart contracts

@cantino.eth has a Twitter thread on smart contracts. Must-read. Also, he appears educated about the space, so follow him.

Caleb Naysmith

Caleb Naysmith

2 months ago

Ads Coming to Medium?

Could this happen?

Medium isn't like other social media giants. It wasn't a dot-com startup that became a multi-trillion-dollar social media firm. It launched in 2012 but didn't gain popularity until later. Now, it's one of the largest sites by web traffic, but it's still little compared to most. Most of Medium's traffic is external, but they don't run advertisements, so it's all about memberships.

Medium isn't profitable, but they don't disclose how terrible the problem is. Most of the $163 million they raised has been spent or used for acquisitions. If the money turns off, Medium can't stop paying its writers since the site dies. Writers must be paid, but they can't substantially slash payment without hurting the platform. The existing model needs scale to be viable and has a low ceiling. Facebook and other free social media platforms are struggling to retain users. Here, you must pay to appreciate it, and it's bad for writers AND readers. If I had the same Medium stats on YouTube, I'd make thousands of dollars a month.

Then what? Medium has tried to monetize by offering writers a cut of new members, but that's unsustainable. People-based growth is limited. Imagine recruiting non-Facebook users and getting them to pay to join. Some may, but I'd rather write.

Alternatives:

  • Donation buttons

  • Tiered subscriptions ($5, $10, $25, etc.)

  • Expanding content

and these may be short-term fixes, but they're not as profitable as allowing ads. Advertisements can pay several dollars per click and cents every view. If you get 40,000 views a month like me, that's several thousand instead of a few hundred. Also, Medium would have enough money to split ad revenue with writers, who would make more. I'm among the top 6% of Medium writers. Only 6% of Medium writers make more than $100, and I made $500 with 35,000 views last month. Compared to YouTube, the top 1% of Medium authors make a lot. Mr. Beast and PewDiePie make MILLIONS a month, yet top Medium writers make tens of thousands. Sure, paying 3 or 4 people a few grand, or perhaps tens of thousands, will keep them around. What if great authors leveraged their following to go huge on YouTube and abandoned Medium? If people use Medium to get successful on other platforms, Medium will be continuously cycling through authors and paying them to stay.

Ads might make writing on Medium more profitable than making videos on YouTube because they could preserve the present freemium model and pay users based on internal views. The $5 might be ad-free.

Consider: Would you accept Medium ads? A $5 ad-free version + pay-as-you-go, etc. What are your thoughts on this?


Original post available here