More on Personal Growth
5 months ago
This post is for you if you can't read or study for 5 minutes.
If you clicked this post, you may be experiencing problems focusing on tasks. A few minutes of reading may tire you. Easily distracted? Using social media and video games for hours without being sidetracked may impair your dopamine system.
When we achieve a goal, the brain secretes dopamine. It might be as simple as drinking water or as crucial as college admission. Situations vary. Various events require different amounts.
Dopamine is released when we start learning but declines over time. Social media algorithms provide new material continually, making us happy. Social media use slows down the system. We can't continue without an award. We return to social media and dopamine rewards.
Mice were given a button that released dopamine into their brains to study the hormone. The mice lost their hunger, thirst, and libido and kept pressing the button. Think this is like someone who spends all day gaming or on Instagram?
When we cause our brain to release so much dopamine, the brain tries to balance it in 2 ways:
1- Decreases dopamine production
2- Dopamine cannot reach its target.
Too many quick joys aren't enough. We'll want more joys. Drugs and alcohol are similar. Initially, a beer will get you drunk. After a while, 3-4 beers will get you drunk.
Social media is continually changing. Updates to these platforms keep us interested. When social media conditions us, we can't read a book.
Same here. I used to complete a book in a day and work longer without distraction. Now I'm addicted to Instagram. Daily, I spend 2 hours on social media. This must change. My life needs improvement. So I started the 50-day challenge.
I've compiled three dopamine-related methods.
Day-long dopamine detox
First, take a day off from all your favorite things. Social media, gaming, music, junk food, fast food, smoking, alcohol, friends. Take a break.
Hanging out with friends or listening to music may seem pointless. Our minds are polluted. One day away from our pleasures can refresh us.
2. One-week dopamine detox by selecting
Choose one or more things to avoid. Social media, gaming, music, junk food, fast food, smoking, alcohol, friends. Try a week without Instagram or Twitter. I use this occasionally.
One week all together
One solid detox week. It's the hardest program. First or second options are best for dopamine detox. Time will help you.
You can walk, read, or pray during a dopamine detox. Many options exist. If you want to succeed, you must avoid instant gratification. Success after hard work is priceless.
2 months ago
Three Books That Can Change Your Life in a Day
I've summarized each.
Anne Lamott said books are important. Books help us understand ourselves and our behavior. They teach us about community, friendship, and death.
I read. One of my few life-changing habits. 100+ books a year improve my life. I'll list life-changing books you can read in a day. I hope you like them too.
Let's get started!
1) Seneca's Letters from a Stoic
One of my favorite philosophy books. Ryan Holiday, Naval Ravikant, and other prolific readers recommend it.
Seneca wrote 124 letters at the end of his life after working for Nero. Death, friendship, and virtue are discussed.
It's worth rereading. When I'm in trouble, I consult Seneca.
It's brief. The book could be read in one day. However, use it for guidance during difficult times.
My favorite book quotes:
Many men find that becoming wealthy only alters their problems rather than solving them.
You will never be poor if you live in harmony with nature; you will never be wealthy if you live according to what other people think.
We suffer more frequently in our imagination than in reality; there are more things that are likely to frighten us than to crush us.
2) Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art
I’ve read this book twice. I'll likely reread it before 2022 is over.
The War Of Art is the best productivity book. Steven offers procrastination-fighting tips.
Writers, musicians, and creative types will love The War of Art. Workplace procrastinators should also read this book.
My favorite book quotes:
The act of creation is what matters most in art. Other than sitting down and making an effort every day, nothing else matters.
Working creatively is not a selfish endeavor or an attempt by the actor to gain attention. It serves as a gift for all living things in the world. Don't steal your contribution from us. Give us everything you have.
Fear is healthy. Fear is a signal, just like self-doubt. Fear instructs us on what to do. The more terrified we are of a task or calling, the more certain we can be that we must complete it.
3) Darren Hardy's The Compound Effect
The Compound Effect offers practical tips to boost productivity by 10x.
The author believes each choice shapes your future. Pizza may seem harmless. However, daily use increases heart disease risk.
Positive outcomes too. Daily gym visits improve fitness. Reading an hour each night can help you learn. Writing 1,000 words per day would allow you to write a novel in under a year.
Your daily choices affect compound interest and your future. Thus, better habits can improve your life.
My favorite book quotes:
Until you alter a daily habit, you cannot change your life. The key to your success can be found in the actions you take each day.
The hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things are what distinguish the ordinary from the extraordinary; it is not the big things that add up in the end.
Don't worry about willpower. Time to use why-power. Only when you relate your decisions to your aspirations and dreams will they have any real meaning. The decisions that are in line with what you define as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values are the wisest and most inspiring ones. To avoid giving up too easily, you must want something and understand why you want it.
2 months ago
Read These Books on Personal Finance to Boost Your Net Worth
And retire sooner.
Books can make you filthy rich.
If you apply what you learn. In 2011, I was broke and had broken dreams.
Someone suggested I read finance books. One Up On Wall Street was his first recommendation.
Finance books were my crack.
I've read every money book since then. Some are good, but most stink.
These books will make you rich.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson
This isn't a cliche book.
This book was inspired by a How to Get Rich tweet thread.
It’s one of the best tweets I’ve ever read.
Naval thinks differently. He nukes ordinary ideas. I've never heard better money advice.
Eric Jorgenson wrote a book about this tweet thread with Navals permission. A must-read, easy-to-digest book.
Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy — Naval
Morgan Housel's The Psychology of Money
Many finance books advise investing like a dunce.
They almost all peddle the buy an index fund BS. Different book.
It's about money-making psychology. Because any fool can get rich and drunk on their ego. Few can consistently make money.
Each chapter is short. A single-page chapter breaks all book publishing rules.
Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money — Morgan Housel
J.L. Collins' The Simple Path to Wealth
Most of the best money books were written by bloggers.
JL Collins blogs. This easy-to-read book was written for his daughter.
This book popularized the phrase F You Money. With enough money in your bank account and investment portfolio, you can say F You more.
A bad boss is an example. You can leave instead of enduring his wrath.
You can then sit at home and look for another job while financially secure. JL says its mind-freedom is powerful.
You own the things you own and they in turn own you — J.L. Collins
Tony Robbins' Unshakeable
I like Tony. This book makes me sweaty.
Tony interviews the world's top financiers. He interviews people who rarely do so.
This book taught me all-weather portfolio. It's a way to invest in different asset classes in good, bad, recession, or depression times.
Look at it:
Investing isn’t about buying one big winner — that’s gambling. It’s about investing in a diversified portfolio of assets.
The best opportunities come in times of maximum pessimism — Tony Robbins
Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor
This book helped me distinguish between a spectator and an investor.
Spectators are those who shout that crypto, NFTs, or XYZ platform will die.
Tourists. They want attention and to say "I told you so." They make short-term and long-term predictions like fortunetellers. LOL. Idiots.
Benjamin Graham teaches smart investing. You'll buy a long-term asset. To be confident in recessions, use dollar-cost averaging.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — Benjamin Graham
The Napoleon Hill book Think and Grow Rich
This classic book introduced positive thinking to modern self-help.
Lazy pessimists can't become rich. No way.
Napoleon said, "Thoughts create reality."
No surprise that he discusses obsession and focus in this book. They are the fastest ways to make more money to invest in time and wealth-protecting assets.
The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat — Napoleon Hill
Ramit Sethi's book I Will Teach You To Be Rich
This book is mostly good. The part about credit cards is trash.
Avoid credit card temptations. I don't care about their airline points.
This book teaches you to master money basics (that many people mess up) then automate it so your monkey brain doesn't ruin your financial future.
The book includes great negotiation tactics to help you make more money in less time.
The 85 Percent Solution: Getting started is more important than becoming an expert — Ramit Sethi
David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire
You've probably met a six- or seven-figure earner who's broke. All their money goes to useless things like cars.
Money isn't as essential as what you do with it. David teaches how to automate your earnings for more money.
Compounding works once investing is automated. So you get rich.
His strategy eliminates luck and (almost) guarantees millionaire status.
Every time you earn one dollar, make sure to pay yourself first — David Bach
Thomas J. Stanley's The Millionaire Next Door
Thomas defies the definition of rich.
He spends much of the book highlighting millionaire traits he's studied.
Rich people are quiet, so you wouldn't know they're wealthy. They don't earn much money or drive a BMW.
Thomas will give you the math to get started.
I am not impressed with what people own. But I’m impressed with what they achieve. I’m proud to be a physician. Always strive to be the best in your field…. Don’t chase money. If you are the best in your field, money will find you. — Thomas J. Stanley
by Bill Perkins "Die With Zero"
Let’s end with one last book.
Bill's book angered many people. He says we spend too much time saving for retirement and die rich. That bank money is lost time.
Your grandkids could use the money. When children inherit money, they become lazy, entitled a-holes.
Bill wants us to spend our money on life-enhancing experiences. Stop saving money like monopoly monkeys.
You should be focusing on maximizing your life enjoyment rather than on maximizing your wealth. Those are two very different goals. Money is just a means to an end: Having money helps you to achieve the more important goal of enjoying your life. But trying to maximize money actually gets in the way of achieving the more important goal — Bill Perkins
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3 months ago
A visual exploration of the REAL use cases for NFTs in the Future
In this essay, I studied REAL NFT use examples and their potential uses.
Knowledge of the Hype Cycle
Gartner's Hype Cycle.
It proposes 5 phases for disruptive technology.
1. Technology Trigger: the emergence of potentially disruptive technology.
2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity creates hype. (Ex: 2021 Bubble)
3. Trough of Disillusionment: Early projects fail to deliver on promises and the public loses interest. I suspect NFTs are somewhere around this trough of disillusionment now.
4. Enlightenment slope: The tech shows successful use cases.
5. Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption has arrived and broader market applications have proven themselves. Here’s a more detailed visual of the Gartner Hype Cycle from Wikipedia.
In the speculative NFT bubble of 2021, @beeple sold Everydays: the First 5000 Days for $69 MILLION in 2021's NFT bubble.
@nbatopshot sold millions in video collectibles.
This is when expectations peaked.
Let's examine NFTs' real-world applications.
Watch this video if you're unfamiliar with NFTs.
Most people think NFTs are rich people buying worthless JPEGs and MP4s.
Digital artwork and collectibles are revolutionary for creators and enthusiasts.
NFT Profile Pictures
You might also have seen NFT profile pictures on Twitter.
My profile picture is an NFT I coined with @skogards factoria app, which helps me avoid bogus accounts.
Profile pictures are a good beginning point because they're unique and clearly yours.
NFTs are a way to represent proof-of-ownership. It’s easier to prove ownership of digital assets than physical assets, which is why artwork and pfps are the first use cases.
They can do much more.
NFTs can represent anything with a unique owner and digital ownership certificate. Domains and usernames.
Usernames & Domains
@unstoppableweb, @ensdomains, @rarible sell NFT domains.
NFT domains are transferable, which is a benefit.
Godaddy and other web2 providers have difficult-to-transfer domains. Domains are often leased instead of purchased.
NFTs can also represent concert tickets and event passes.
There's a limited number, and entry requires proof.
NFTs can eliminate the problem of forgery and make it easy to verify authenticity and ownership.
NFT tickets can be traded on the secondary market, which allows for:
marketplaces that are uniform and offer the seller and buyer security (currently, tickets are traded on inefficient markets like FB & craigslist)
Payment of royalties to the creator
4. Historical ticket ownership data implies performers can airdrop future passes, discounts, etc.
5. NFT passes can be a fandom badge.
The $30B+ online tickets business is increasing fast.
NFT-based ticketing projects:
NFTs also help in-game assets.
Imagine someone spending five years collecting a rare in-game blade, then outgrowing or quitting the game. Gamers value that collectible.
The gaming industry is expected to make $200 BILLION in revenue this year, a significant portion of which comes from in-game purchases.
Royalties on secondary market trading of gaming assets encourage gaming businesses to develop NFT-based ecosystems.
Digital assets are the start. On-chain NFTs can represent real-world assets effectively.
Real estate has a unique owner and requires ownership confirmation.
Tokenizing property has many benefits.
1. Can be fractionalized to increase access, liquidity
2. Can be collateralized to increase capital efficiency and access to loans backed by an on-chain asset
3. Allows investors to diversify or make bets on specific neighborhoods, towns or cities +++
I've written about this thought exercise before.
I made an animated video explaining this.
We've just explored NFTs for transferable assets. But what about non-transferrable NFTs?
SBTs are Soul-Bound Tokens. Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum co-founder) blogged about this.
NFTs are basically verifiable digital certificates.
Diplomas & Degrees
That fits Degrees & Diplomas. These shouldn't be marketable, thus they can be non-transferable SBTs.
Anyone can verify the legitimacy of on-chain credentials, degrees, abilities, and achievements.
The same goes for other awards.
For example, LinkedIn could give you a verified checkmark for your degree or skills.
NFTs can also safeguard against counterfeiting.
Counterfeiting is the largest criminal enterprise in the world, estimated to be $2 TRILLION a year and growing.
Anti-counterfeit tech is valuable.
This is one of @ORIGYNTech's projects.
Identity theft/verification is another real-world problem NFTs can handle.
In the US, 15 million+ citizens face identity theft every year, suffering damages of over $50 billion a year.
This isn't surprising considering all you need for US identity theft is a 9-digit number handed around in emails, documents, on the phone, etc.
Identity NFTs can fix this.
NFTs are one-of-a-kind and unforgeable.
NFTs offer a universal standard.
NFTs are simple to verify.
SBTs, or non-transferrable NFTs, are tied to a particular wallet.
In the event of wallet loss or theft, NFTs may be revoked.
This could be one of the biggest use cases for NFTs.
Imagine a global identity standard that is standardized across countries, cannot be forged or stolen, is digital, easy to verify, and protects your private details.
Since your identity is more than your government ID, you may have many NFTs.
NFTs can authenticate digital and physical memberships.
NFT IDs can verify votes.
If you remember 2020, you'll know why this is an issue.
Online voting's ease can boost turnout.
NFTs can protect IP.
This can earn creators royalties.
NFTs have 2 important properties:
Verifiability IP ownership is unambiguously stated and publicly verified.
Platforms that enable authors to receive royalties on their IP can enter the market thanks to standardization.
Monetization without copyrighting = more opportunities for everyone.
This works well with the music.
Spotify and Apple Music pay creators very little.
Creators can crowdfund with NFTs.
NFTs can represent future royalties for investors.
This is particularly useful for fields where people who are not in the top 1% can’t make money. (Example: Professional sports players)
Mirror.xyz allows blog-based crowdfunding.
This introduces Financial NFTs (fNFTs). Unique financial contracts abound.
a person's collection of assets (unique portfolio)
A loan contract that has been partially repaid with a lender
temporal tokens (ex: veCRV)
Not just financial contracts.
NFT can represent any legal contract or document.
Messages & Emails
What about other agreements? Verbal agreements through emails and messages are likewise unique, but they're easily lost and fabricated.
Medical records or prescriptions are another types of documentation that has to be verified but isn't.
Medical NFT examples:
Covid test outcomes
health issues that may affect one's identity
Observations made via health sensors
Existing systems of proof by paper / PDF have photoshop-risk.
I tried to include most use scenarios, but this is just the beginning.
NFTs have many innovative uses.
For example: @ShaanVP minted an NFT called “5 Minutes of Fame” 👇
Here are 2 Twitter threads about NFTs:
This piece of gold by @chriscantino
If you're wondering why NFTs are better than web2 databases for these use scenarios, see this Twitter thread I wrote:
If you liked this, please share it.
3 months ago
Why Now Is Your Chance To Create A Millionaire Career
People don’t believe in influencers anymore; they need people like you.
Social media influencers have dominated for years. We've seen videos, images, and articles of *famous* individuals unwrapping, reviewing, and endorsing things.
This industry generates billions. This year, marketers spent $2.23 billion on Instagram, $1 million on Youtube, and $775 million on Tiktok. This marketing has helped start certain companies.
Influencers are dying, so ordinary people like us may take over this billion-dollar sector. Why?
Why influencers are perishing
Most influencers lie to their fans, especially on Instagram. Influencers' first purpose was to make their lives so flawless that others would want to buy their stuff.
In 2015, an Australian influencer with 600,000 followers went viral for revealing all her photos and everything she did to seem great before deleting her account.
“I dramatically edited the pictures, I manipulated the environements, and made my life look perfect in social media… I remember I obsessively checked the like count for a full week since uploading it, a selfie that now has close to 2,500 likes. It got 5 likes. This was when I was so hungry for social media validation … This was the reason why I quit social media: for me, personally, it consumed me. I wasn’t living in a 3D world.”
Influencers then lost credibility.
Influencers seem to live in a bubble, separate from us. Thanks to self-popularity love's and constant awareness campaigns, people find these people ridiculous.
Influencers are praised more for showing themselves as natural and common than for showing luxuries and lies.
Little by little, they are dying, making room for a new group to take advantage of this multi-million dollar business, which gives us (ordinary people) a big opportunity to grow on any content creation platform we want.
Why this is your chance to develop on any platform for creating content
In 2021, I wrote “Not everyone who talks about money is a Financial Advisor, be careful of who you take advice from,”. In it, I warned that not everyone with a large following is a reputable source of financial advice.
Other writers hated this post and said I was wrong.
People don't want Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk's counsel, they said. They prefer to hear about their neighbor's restroom problems or his closest friend's terrible business.
Real advice from regular folks.
And I found this was true when I returned to my independent YouTube channel and had more than 1000 followers after having abandoned it with fewer than 30 videos in 2021 since there were already many personal finance and travel channels and I thought mine wasn't special.
People appreciated my videos because I was a 20-something girl trying to make money online, and they believed my advice more than that of influencers with thousands of followers.
I think today is the greatest time to grow on any platform as an ordinary person. Normal individuals give honest recommendations about what works for them and look easier to make because they have the same options as us.
Nobody cares how a millionaire acquired a Lamborghini unless it's entertaining. Education works now. Real counsel from average people is replicable.
Many individuals don't appreciate how false influencers seem (unreal bodies and excessive surgery and retouching) since it makes them feel uneasy.
That's why body-positive advertisements have been so effective, but they've lost ground in places like Tiktok, where the audience wants more content from everyday people than influencers living amazing lives. More people will relate to your content if you appear genuine.
Influencers are dwindling. People want more real people to give real advice and demonstrate an ordinary life.
People will enjoy anything you tell about your daily life as long as you provide value, and you can build a following rapidly if you're honest.
This is a millionaire industry that is getting more expensive and will go with what works, so stand out immediately.
Ben "The Hosk" Hosking
3 months ago
The Yellow Cat Test Is Typically Failed by Software Developers.
Believe what you see, what people say
It’s sad that we never get trained to leave assumptions behind. - Sebastian Thrun
Many problems in software development are not because of code but because developers create the wrong software. This isn't rare because software is emergent and most individuals only realize what they want after it's built.
Inquisitive developers who pass the yellow cat test can improve the process.
Carpenters measure twice and cut the wood once. Developers are rarely so careful.
The Yellow Cat Test
Game of Thrones made dragons cool again, so I am reading The Game of Thrones book.
The yellow cat exam is from Syrio Forel, Arya Stark's fencing instructor.
Syrio tells Arya he'll strike left when fencing. He hits her after she dodges left. Arya says “you lied”. Syrio says his words lied, but his eyes and arm told the truth.
Arya learns how Syrio became Bravos' first sword.
“On the day I am speaking of, the first sword was newly dead, and the Sealord sent for me. Many bravos had come to him, and as many had been sent away, none could say why. When I came into his presence, he was seated, and in his lap was a fat yellow cat. He told me that one of his captains had brought the beast to him, from an island beyond the sunrise. ‘Have you ever seen her like?’ he asked of me.
“And to him I said, ‘Each night in the alleys of Braavos I see a thousand like him,’ and the Sealord laughed, and that day I was named the first sword.”
Arya screwed up her face. “I don’t understand.”
Syrio clicked his teeth together. “The cat was an ordinary cat, no more. The others expected a fabulous beast, so that is what they saw. How large it was, they said. It was no larger than any other cat, only fat from indolence, for the Sealord fed it from his own table. What curious small ears, they said. Its ears had been chewed away in kitten fights. And it was plainly a tomcat, yet the Sealord said ‘her,’ and that is what the others saw. Are you hearing?” Reddit discussion.
Development teams should not believe what they are told.
We created an appointment booking system. We thought it was an appointment-booking system. Later, we realized the software's purpose was to book the right people for appointments and discourage the unneeded ones.
The first 3 months of the project had half-correct requirements and software understanding.
Open your eyes
“Open your eyes is all that is needed. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes, hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking afterwards, and in that way, knowing the truth” Syrio Ferel
We must see what exists, not what individuals tell the development team or how developers think the software should work. Initial criteria cover 50/70% and change.
Developers build assumptions problems by assuming how software should work. Developers must quickly explain assumptions.
When a development team's assumptions are inaccurate, they must alter the code, DevOps, documentation, and tests.
It’s always faster and easier to fix requirements before code is written.
First-draft requirements can be based on old software. Development teams must grasp corporate goals and consider needs from many angles.
Testers help rethink requirements. They look at how software requirements shouldn't operate.
Technical features and benefits might misdirect software projects.
The initiatives that focused on technological possibilities developed hard-to-use software that needed extensive rewriting following user testing.
High-level criteria are different from detailed ones.
The interpretation of words determines their meaning.
Presentations are lofty, upbeat, and prejudiced.
People's perceptions may be unclear, incorrect, or just based on one perspective (half the story)
Developers can be misled by requirements, circumstances, people, plans, diagrams, designs, documentation, and many other things.
Developers receive misinformation, misunderstandings, and wrong assumptions. The development team must avoid building software with erroneous specifications.
Once code and software are written, the development team changes and fixes them.
Developers create software with incomplete information, they need to fill in the blanks to create the complete picture.
Yellow cats are often inaccurate when communicating requirements.
Before writing code, clarify requirements, assumptions, etc.
Everyone will pressure the development team to generate code rapidly, but this will slow down development.
Code changes are harder than requirements.