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Ian Writes

Ian Writes

1 year ago

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a Giant Steaming Pile of Sh*t by Robert Kiyosaki.

More on Personal Growth

Leah

Leah

1 year ago

The Burnout Recovery Secrets Nobody Is Talking About

Photo by Tangerine Newt on Unsplash

What works and what’s just more toxic positivity

Just keep at it; you’ll get it.

I closed the Zoom call and immediately dropped my head. Open tabs included material on inspiration, burnout, and recovery.

I searched everywhere for ways to avoid burnout.

It wasn't that I needed to keep going, change my routine, employ 8D audio playlists, or come up with fresh ideas. I had several ideas and a schedule. I knew what to do.

I wasn't interested. I kept reading, changing my self-care and mental health routines, and writing even though it was tiring.

Since burnout became a psychiatric illness in 2019, thousands have shared their experiences. It's spreading rapidly among writers.

What is the actual key to recovering from burnout?

Every A-list burnout story emphasizes prevention. Other lists provide repackaged self-care tips. More discuss mental health.

It's like the mid-2000s, when pink quotes about bubble baths saturated social media.

The self-care mania cost us all. Self-care is crucial, but utilizing it to address everything didn't work then or now.

How can you recover from burnout?

Time

Are extended breaks actually good for you? Most people need a break every 62 days or so to avoid burnout.

Real-life burnout victims all took breaks. Perhaps not a long hiatus, but breaks nonetheless.

Burnout is slow and gradual. It takes little bits of your motivation and passion at a time. Sometimes it’s so slow that you barely notice or blame it on other things like stress and poor sleep.

Burnout doesn't come overnight; neither will recovery.

I don’t care what anyone else says the cure for burnout is. It has to be time because time is what gave us all burnout in the first place.

Maria Urkedal York

Maria Urkedal York

1 year ago

When at work, don't give up; instead, think like a designer.

How to reframe irritation and go forward

Picture by Daniel Xavier

… before you can figure out where you are going, you need to know where you are, and once you know and accept where you are, you can design your way to where you want to be.” — Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

“You’ve been here before. But there are some new ingredients this time. What can tell yourself that will make you understand that now isn’t just like last year? That there’s something new in this August.”

My coach paused. I sighed, inhaled deeply, and considered her question.

What could I say? I simply needed a plan from her so everything would fall into place and I could be the happy, successful person I want to be.

Time passed. My mind was exhausted from running all morning, all summer, or the last five years, searching for what to do next and how to get there.

Calmer, I remembered that my coach's inquiry had benefited me throughout the summer. The month before our call, I read Designing Your Work Life — How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work from Standford University’s Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

A passage in their book felt like a lifeline: “We have something important to say to you: Wherever you are in your work life, whatever job you are doing, it’s good enough. For now. Not forever. For now.”

As I remembered this book on the coaching call, I wondered if I could embrace where I am in August and say my job life is good enough for now. Only temporarily.

I've done that since. I'm getting unstuck.

Here's how you can take the first step in any area where you feel stuck.

How to acquire the perspective of "Good enough for now" for yourself

We’ve all heard the advice to just make the best of a bad situation. That´s not bad advice, but if you only make the best of a bad situation, you are still in a bad situation. It doesn’t get to the root of the problem or offer an opportunity to change the situation. You’re more cheerfully navigating lousiness, which is an improvement, but not much of one and rather hard to sustain over time.” — Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Reframing Burnett at Evans says good enough for now is the key to being happier at work. Because, as they write, a designer always has options.

Choosing to believe things are good enough for now is liberating. It helps us feel less victimized and less judged. Accepting our situation helps us become unstuck.

Let's break down the process, which designers call constructing your way ahead, into steps you can take today.

Writing helps get started. First, write down your challenge and why it's essential to you. If pen and paper help, try this strategy:

  • Make the decision to accept the circumstance as it is. Designers always begin by acknowledging the truth of the situation. You now refrain from passing judgment. Instead, you simply describe the situation as accurately as you can. This frees us from negative thought patterns that prevent us from seeing the big picture and instead keep us in a tunnel of negativity.

  • Look for a reframing right now. Begin with good enough for the moment. Take note of how your body feels as a result. Tell yourself repeatedly that whatever is occurring is sufficient for the time being. Not always, but just now. If you want to, you can even put it in writing and repeatedly breathe it in, almost like a mantra.

  • You can select a reframe that is more relevant to your situation once you've decided that you're good enough for now and have allowed yourself to believe it. Try to find another perspective that is possible, for instance, if you feel unappreciated at work and your perspective of I need to use and be recognized for all my new skills in my job is making you sad and making you want to resign. For instance, I can learn from others at work and occasionally put my new abilities to use.

  • After that, leave your mind and act in accordance with your new perspective. Utilize the designer's bias for action to test something out and create a prototype that you can learn from. Your beginning point for creating experiences that will support the new viewpoint derived from the aforementioned point is the new perspective itself. By doing this, you recognize a circumstance at work where you can provide value to yourself or your workplace and then take appropriate action. Send two or three coworkers from whom you wish to learn anything an email, for instance, asking them to get together for coffee or a talk.

Choose tiny, doable actions. You prioritize them at work.

Let's assume you're feeling disconnected at work, so you make a list of folks you may visit each morning or invite to lunch. If you're feeling unmotivated and tired, take a daily walk and treat yourself to a decent coffee.

This may be plenty for now. If you want to take this procedure further, use Burnett and Evans' internet tools and frameworks.

Developing the daily practice of reframing

“We’re not discontented kids in the backseat of the family minivan, but how many of us live our lives, especially our work lives, as if we are?” — Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

I choose the good enough for me perspective every day, often. No quick fix. Am a failing? Maybe a little bit, but I like to think of it more as building muscle.

This way, every time I tell myself it's ok, I hear you. For now, that muscle gets stronger.

Hopefully, reframing will become so natural for us that it will become a habit, and not a technique anymore.

If you feel like you’re stuck in your career or at work, the reframe of Good enough, for now, might be valuable, so just go ahead and try it out right now.

And while you’re playing with this, why not think of other areas of your life too, like your relationships, where you live — even your writing, and see if you can feel a shift?

Joseph Mavericks

Joseph Mavericks

1 year ago

The world's 36th richest man uses a 5-step system to get what he wants.

Ray Dalio's super-effective roadmap 

Ray Dalio's $22 billion net worth ranks him 36th globally. From 1975 to 2011, he built the world's most successful hedge fund, never losing more than 4% from 1991 to 2020. (and only doing so during 3 calendar years). 

Dalio describes a 5-step process in his best-selling book Principles. It's the playbook he's used to build his hedge fund, beat the markets, and face personal challenges. 

This 5-step system is so valuable and well-explained that I didn't edit or change anything; I only added my own insights in the parts I found most relevant and/or relatable as a young entrepreneur. The system's overview: 

  1. Have clear goals 

  2. Identify and don’t tolerate problems 

  3. Diagnose problems to get at their root causes 

  4. Design plans that will get you around those problems 

  5. Do what is necessary to push through the plans to get results 

If you follow these 5 steps in a virtuous loop, you'll almost always see results. Repeat the process for each goal you have. 

1. Have clear goals 

a) Prioritize: You can have almost anything, but not everything. 

I started and never launched dozens of projects for 10 years because I was scattered. I opened a t-shirt store, traded algorithms, sold art on Instagram, painted skateboards, and tinkered with electronics. I decided to try blogging for 6 months to see where it took me. Still going after 3 years. 

b) Don’t confuse goals with desires. 

A goal inspires you to act. Unreasonable desires prevent you from achieving your goals. 

c) Reconcile your goals and desires to decide what you want. 

d) Don't confuse success with its trappings. 

e) Never dismiss a goal as unattainable. 

Always one path is best. Your perception of what's possible depends on what you know now. I never thought I'd make money writing online so quickly, and now I see a whole new horizon of business opportunities I didn't know about before. 

f) Expectations create abilities. 

Don't limit your abilities. More you strive, the more you'll achieve. 

g) Flexibility and self-accountability can almost guarantee success. 

Flexible people accept what reality or others teach them. Self-accountability is the ability to recognize your mistakes and be more creative, flexible, and determined. 

h) Handling setbacks well is as important as moving forward. 

Learn when to minimize losses and when to let go and move on. 

2. Don't ignore problems 

a) See painful problems as improvement opportunities. 

Every problem, painful situation, and challenge is an opportunity. Read The Art of Happiness for more. 

b) Don't avoid problems because of harsh realities. 

Recognizing your weaknesses isn't the same as giving in. It's the first step in overcoming them. 

c) Specify your issues. 

There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. 

d) Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem. 

"I can't sleep" is a cause, not a problem. "I'm underperforming" could be a problem. 

e) Separate big from small problems. 

You have limited time and energy, so focus on the biggest problems. 

f) Don't ignore a problem. 

Identifying a problem and tolerating it is like not identifying it. 

3. Identify problems' root causes 

a) Decide "what to do" after assessing "what is." 

"A good diagnosis takes 15 to 60 minutes, depending on its accuracy and complexity. [...] Like principles, root causes recur in different situations. 

b) Separate proximate and root causes. 

"You can only solve problems by removing their root causes, and to do that, you must distinguish symptoms from disease." 

c) Knowing someone's (or your own) personality can help you predict their behavior. 

4. Design plans that will get you around the problems 

a) Retrace your steps. 

Analyze your past to determine your future. 

b) Consider your problem a machine's output. 

Consider how to improve your machine. It's a game then. 

c) There are many ways to reach your goals. 

Find a solution. 

d) Visualize who will do what in your plan like a movie script. 

Consider your movie's actors and script's turning points, then act accordingly. The game continues. 

e) Document your plan so others can judge your progress. 

Accountability boosts success. 

f) Know that a good plan doesn't take much time. 

The execution is usually the hardest part, but most people either don't have a plan or keep changing it. Don't drive while building the car. Build it first, because it'll be bumpy. 

5. Do what is necessary to push through the plans to get results 

a) Great planners without execution fail. 

Life is won with more than just planning. Similarly, practice without talent beats talent without practice. 

b) Work ethic is undervalued. 

Hyper-productivity is praised in corporate America, even if it leads nowhere. To get things done, use checklists, fewer emails, and more desk time. 

c) Set clear metrics to ensure plan adherence. 

I've written about the OKR strategy for organizations with multiple people here. If you're on your own, I recommend the Wheel of Life approach. Both systems start with goals and tasks to achieve them. Then start executing on a realistic timeline. 

If you find solutions, weaknesses don't matter. 

Everyone's weak. You, me, Gates, Dalio, even Musk. Nobody will be great at all 5 steps of the system because no one can think in all the ways required. Some are good at analyzing and diagnosing but bad at executing. Some are good planners but poor communicators. Others lack self-discipline. 

Stay humble and ask for help when needed. Nobody has ever succeeded 100% on their own, without anyone else's help. That's the paradox of individual success: teamwork is the only way to get there. 

Most people won't have the skills to execute even the best plan. You can get missing skills in two ways: 

  1. Self-taught (time-consuming) 

  2. Others' (requires humility) light

On knowing what to do with your life 

“Some people have good mental maps and know what to do on their own. Maybe they learned them or were blessed with common sense. They have more answers than others. Others are more humble and open-minded. […] Open-mindedness and mental maps are most powerful.” — Ray Dalio 

I've always known what I wanted to do, so I'm lucky. I'm almost 30 and have always had trouble executing. Good thing I never stopped experimenting, but I never committed to anything long-term. I jumped between projects. I decided 3 years ago to stick to one project for at least 6 months and haven't looked back. 

Maybe you're good at staying focused and executing, but you don't know what to do. Maybe you have none of these because you haven't found your purpose. Always try new projects and talk to as many people as possible. It will give you inspiration and ideas and set you up for success. 

There is almost always a way to achieve a crazy goal or idea. 

Enjoy the journey, whichever path you take.

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Yogita Khatri

Yogita Khatri

2 years ago

Moonbirds NFT sells for $1 million in first week

On Saturday, Moonbird #2642, one of the collection's rarest NFTs, sold for a record 350 ETH (over $1 million) on OpenSea.

The Sandbox, a blockchain-based gaming company based in Hong Kong, bought the piece. The seller, "oscuranft" on OpenSea, made around $600,000 after buying the NFT for 100 ETH a week ago.

Owl avatars

Moonbirds is a 10,000 owl NFT collection. It is one of the quickest collections to achieve bluechip status. Proof, a media startup founded by renowned VC Kevin Rose, launched Moonbirds on April 16.

Rose is currently a partner at True Ventures, a technology-focused VC firm. He was a Google Ventures general partner and has 1.5 million Twitter followers.

Rose has an NFT podcast on Proof. It follows Proof Collective, a group of 1,000 NFT collectors and artists, including Beeple, who hold a Proof Collective NFT and receive special benefits.

These include early access to the Proof podcast and in-person events.

According to the Moonbirds website, they are "the official Proof PFP" (picture for proof).

Moonbirds NFTs sold nearly $360 million in just over a week, according to The Block Research and Dune Analytics. Its top ten sales range from $397,000 to $1 million.

In the current market, Moonbirds are worth 33.3 ETH. Each NFT is 2.5 ETH. Holders have gained over 12 times in just over a week.

Why was it so popular?

The Block Research's NFT analyst, Thomas Bialek, attributes Moonbirds' rapid rise to Rose's backing, the success of his previous Proof Collective project, and collectors' preference for proven NFT projects.

Proof Collective NFT holders have made huge gains. These NFTs were sold in a Dutch auction last December for 5 ETH each. According to OpenSea, the current floor price is 109 ETH.

According to The Block Research, citing Dune Analytics, Proof Collective NFTs have sold over $39 million to date.

Rose has bigger plans for Moonbirds. Moonbirds is introducing "nesting," a non-custodial way for holders to stake NFTs and earn rewards.

Holders of NFTs can earn different levels of status based on how long they keep their NFTs locked up.

"As you achieve different nest status levels, we can offer you different benefits," he said. "We'll have in-person meetups and events, as well as some crazy airdrops planned."

Rose went on to say that Proof is just the start of "a multi-decade journey to build a new media company."

Matt Nutsch

Matt Nutsch

1 year ago

Most people are unaware of how artificial intelligence (A.I.) is changing the world.

Image created by MidjourneyAI user Dreamland3K

Recently, I saw an interesting social media post. In an entrepreneurship forum. A blogger asked for help because he/she couldn't find customers. I now suspect that the writer’s occupation is being disrupted by A.I.

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been a hot topic since the 1950s. With recent advances in machine learning, A.I. will touch almost every aspect of our lives. This article will discuss A.I. technology and its social and economic implications.

What's AI?

A computer program or machine with A.I. can think and learn. In general, it's a way to make a computer smart. Able to understand and execute complex tasks. Machine learning, NLP, and robotics are common types of A.I.

AI's global impact

MidjourneyAI image generated by user Desmesne

AI will change the world, but probably faster than you think. A.I. already affects our daily lives. It improves our decision-making, efficiency, and productivity.

A.I. is transforming our lives and the global economy. It will create new business and job opportunities but eliminate others. Affected workers may face financial hardship.

AI examples:

OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generation

MidjourneyAI generated image of robot typing

Developers can train, deploy, and manage models on GPT-3. It handles data preparation, model training, deployment, and inference for machine learning workloads. GPT-3 is easy to use for both experienced and new data scientists.

My team conducted an experiment. We needed to generate some blog posts for a website. We hired a blogger on Upwork. OpenAI created a blog post. The A.I.-generated blog post was of higher quality and lower cost.

MidjourneyAI's Art Contests

Théâtre D’opéra Spatial by Jason M. Allen via MidjourneyAI

AI already affects artists. Artists use A.I. to create realistic 3D images and videos for digital art. A.I. is also used to generate new art ideas and methods.

MidjourneyAI and GigapixelAI won a contest last month. It's AI. created a beautiful piece of art that captured the contest's spirit. AI triumphs. It could open future doors.

After the art contest win, I registered to try out these new image generating A.I.s. In the MidjourneyAI chat forum, I noticed an artist's plea. The artist begged others to stop flooding RedBubble with AI-generated art.

Shutterstock and Getty Images have halted user uploads. AI-generated images flooded online marketplaces.

Imagining Videos with Meta

AI generated video example from Meta AI

Meta released Make-a-Video this week. It's an A.I. app that creates videos from text. What you type creates a video.

This technology will impact TV, movies, and video games greatly. Imagine a movie or game that's personalized to your tastes. It's closer than you think.

Uses and Abuses of Deepfakes

Carrie Fischer’s likeness in the movie The Rise of Skywalker

Deepfake videos are computer-generated images of people. AI creates realistic images and videos of people.

Deepfakes are entertaining but have social implications. Porn introduced deepfakes in 2017. People put famous faces on porn actors and actresses without permission.

Soon, deepfakes were used to show dead actors/actresses or make them look younger. Carrie Fischer was included in films after her death using deepfake technology.

Deepfakes can be used to create fake news or manipulate public opinion, according to an AI.

Voices for Darth Vader and Iceman

James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, sold his voice rights this week. Aged actor won't be in those movies. Respeecher will use AI to mimic Jones's voice. This technology could change the entertainment industry. One actor can now voice many characters.

Val Kilmer in Top Gun as imagined by MidjourneyAI

AI can generate realistic voice audio from text. Top Gun 2 actor Val Kilmer can't speak for medical reasons. Sonantic created Kilmer's voice from the movie script. This entertaining technology has social implications. It blurs authentic recordings and fake media.

Medical A.I. fights viruses

MidjourneyAI generated image of virus

A team of Chinese scientists used machine learning to predict effective antiviral drugs last year. They started with a large dataset of virus-drug interactions. Researchers combined that with medication and virus information. Finally, they used machine learning to predict effective anti-virus medicines. This technology could solve medical problems.

AI ideas AI-generated Itself

MidjourneyAI image generated by user SubjectChunchunmaru

OpenAI's GPT-3 predicted future A.I. uses. Here's what it told me:

AI will affect the economy. Businesses can operate more efficiently and reinvest resources with A.I.-enabled automation. AI can automate customer service tasks, reducing costs and improving satisfaction.

A.I. makes better pricing, inventory, and marketing decisions. AI automates tasks and makes decisions. A.I.-powered robots could help the elderly or disabled. Self-driving cars could reduce accidents.

A.I. predictive analytics can predict stock market or consumer behavior trends and patterns. A.I. also personalizes recommendations. sways. A.I. recommends products and movies. AI can generate new ideas based on data analysis.

Conclusion

Image generated from MidjourneyAI by user PuddingPants.”

A.I. will change business as it becomes more common. It will change how we live and work by creating growth and prosperity.

Exciting times,  but also one which should give us all pause. Technology can be good or evil. We must use new technologies ethically, fairly, and honestly.

“The author generated some sentences in this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. The text of this post was further edited using HemingWayApp. Many of the images used were generated using A.I. as described in the captions.”

Langston Thomas

1 year ago

A Simple Guide to NFT Blockchains

Ethereum's blockchain rules NFTs. Many consider it the one-stop shop for NFTs, and it's become the most talked-about and trafficked blockchain in existence.

Other blockchains are becoming popular in NFTs. Crypto-artists and NFT enthusiasts have sought new places to mint and trade NFTs due to Ethereum's high transaction costs and environmental impact.

When choosing a blockchain to mint on, there are several factors to consider. Size, creator costs, consumer spending habits, security, and community input are important. We've created a high-level summary of blockchains for NFTs to help clarify the fast-paced world of web3 tech.

Ethereum

Ethereum currently has the most NFTs. It's decentralized and provides financial and legal services without intermediaries. It houses popular NFT marketplaces (OpenSea), projects (CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club), and artists (Pak and Beeple).

It's also expensive and energy-intensive. This is because Ethereum works using a Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism. PoW requires computers to solve puzzles to add blocks and transactions to the blockchain. Solving these puzzles requires a lot of computer power, resulting in astronomical energy loss.

You should consider this blockchain first due to its popularity, security, decentralization, and ease of use.

Solana

Solana is a fast programmable blockchain. Its proof-of-history and proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanisms eliminate complex puzzles. Reduced validation times and fees result.

PoS users stake their cryptocurrency to become a block validator. Validators get SOL. This encourages and rewards users to become stakers. PoH works with PoS to cryptographically verify time between events. Solana blockchain ensures transactions are in order and found by the correct leader (validator).

Solana's PoS and PoH mechanisms keep transaction fees and times low. Solana isn't as popular as Ethereum, so there are fewer NFT marketplaces and blockchain traders.

Tezos

Tezos is a greener blockchain. Tezos rose in 2021. Hic et Nunc was hailed as an economic alternative to Ethereum-centric marketplaces until Nov. 14, 2021.

Similar to Solana, Tezos uses a PoS consensus mechanism and only a PoS mechanism to reduce computational work. This blockchain uses two million times less energy than Ethereum. It's cheaper than Ethereum (but does cost more than Solana).

Tezos is a good place to start minting NFTs in bulk. Objkt is the largest Tezos marketplace.

Flow

Flow is a high-performance blockchain for NFTs, games, and decentralized apps (dApps). Flow is built with scalability in mind, so billions of people could interact with NFTs on the blockchain.

Flow became the NBA's blockchain partner in 2019. Flow, a product of Dapper labs (the team behind CryptoKitties), launched and hosts NBA Top Shot, making the blockchain integral to the popularity of non-fungible tokens.

Flow uses PoS to verify transactions, like Tezos. Developers are working on a model to handle 10,000 transactions per second on the blockchain. Low transaction fees.

Flow NFTs are tradeable on Blocktobay, OpenSea, Rarible, Foundation, and other platforms. NBA, NFL, UFC, and others have launched NFT marketplaces on Flow. Flow isn't as popular as Ethereum, resulting in fewer NFT marketplaces and blockchain traders.

Asset Exchange (WAX)

WAX is king of virtual collectibles. WAX is popular for digitalized versions of legacy collectibles like trading cards, figurines, memorabilia, etc.

Wax uses a PoS mechanism, but also creates carbon offset NFTs and partners with Climate Care. Like Flow, WAX transaction fees are low, and network fees are redistributed to the WAX community as an incentive to collectors.

WAX marketplaces host Topps, NASCAR, Hot Wheels, and cult classic film franchises like Godzilla, The Princess Bride, and Spiderman.

Binance Smart Chain

BSC is another good option for balancing fees and performance. High-speed transactions and low fees hurt decentralization. BSC is most centralized.

Binance Smart Chain uses Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA) to support a short block time and low fees. The 21 validators needed to run the exchange switch every 24 hours. 11 of the 21 validators are directly connected to the Binance Crypto Exchange, according to reports.

While many in the crypto and NFT ecosystems dislike centralization, the BSC NFT market picked up speed in 2021. OpenBiSea, AirNFTs, JuggerWorld, and others are gaining popularity despite not having as robust an ecosystem as Ethereum.