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Mia Gradelski

Mia Gradelski

5 months ago

Six Things Best-With-Money People Do Follow

More on Personal Growth

Tom Connor

Tom Connor

4 months ago

12 mental models that I use frequently

https://tomconnor.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/10x-Engineer-Mental-Models.pdf

https://tomconnor.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/10x-Engineer-Mental-Models.pdf

I keep returning to the same mental models and tricks after writing and reading about a wide range of topics.

Top 12 mental models

12.

Survival bias - We perceive the surviving population as remarkable, yet they may have gotten there through sheer grit.

Survivorship bias affects us in many situations. Our retirement fund; the unicorn business; the winning team. We often study and imitate the last one standing. This can lead to genuine insights and performance improvements, but it can also lead us astray because the leader may just be lucky.

Bullet hole density of returning planes — A strike anywhere else was fatal…

11.

The Helsinki Bus Theory - How to persevere Buss up!

Always display new work, and always be compared to others. Why? Easy. Keep riding. Stay on the fucking bus.

10.

Until it sticks… Turning up every day… — Artists teach engineers plenty. Quality work over a career comes from showing up every day and starting.

Austin Kleon

9.

WRAP decision making process (Heath Brothers)

Decision-making WRAP Model:

W — Widen your Options

R — Reality test your assumptions

A — Attain Distance

P — Prepare to be wrong or Right

8.

Systems for knowledge worker excellence - Todd Henry and Cal Newport write about techniques knowledge workers can employ to build a creative rhythm and do better work.

Todd Henry's FRESH framework:

  1. Focus: Keep the start in mind as you wrap up.

  2. Relationships: close a loop that's open.

  3. Pruning is an energy.

  4. Set aside time to be inspired by stimuli.

  5. Hours: Spend time thinking.

7.

Black Box Thinking…..

BBT is learning from mistakes. Science has transformed the world because it constantly updates its theories in light of failures. Complexity guarantees failure. Do we learn or self-justify?

6.

The OODA Loop - Competitive advantage

OODA LOOP

O: Observe: collect the data. Figure out exactly where you are, what’s happening.

O: Orient: analyze/synthesize the data to form an accurate picture.

D: Decide: select an action from possible options

A: Action: execute the action, and return to step (1)

Boyd's approach indicates that speed and agility are about information processing, not physical reactions. They form feedback loops. More OODA loops improve speed.

5.

Know your Domain 

Leaders who try to impose order in a complex situation fail; those who set the stage, step back, and allow patterns to develop win.

https://vimeo.com/640941172?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=11999906

4.

The Three Critical Gaps

  • Information Gap - The discrepancy between what we know and what we would like to know

  • Gap in Alignment - What individuals actually do as opposed to what we wish them to do

  • Effects Gap - the discrepancy between our expectations and the results of our actions

Adapted from Stephen Bungay

3.

Theory of Constraints — The Goal  - To maximize system production, maximize bottleneck throughput.

  • Goldratt creates a five-step procedure:

  1. Determine the restriction

  2. Improve the restriction.

  3. Everything else should be based on the limitation.

  4. Increase the restriction

  5. Go back to step 1 Avoid letting inertia become a limitation.

Any non-constraint improvement is an illusion.

2.

Serendipity and the Adjacent Possible - Why do several amazing ideas emerge at once? How can you foster serendipity in your work?

You need specialized abilities to reach to the edge of possibilities, where you can pursue exciting tasks that will change the world. Few people do it since it takes a lot of hard work. You'll stand out if you do.

Most people simply lack the comfort with discomfort required to tackle really hard things. At some point, in other words, there’s no way getting around the necessity to clear your calendar, shut down your phone, and spend several hard days trying to make sense of the damn proof.

1.

Boundaries of failure - Rasmussen's accident model.

Rasmussen’s System Model

Rasmussen modeled this. It has economic, workload, and performance boundaries.

The economic boundary is a company's profit zone. If the lights are on, you're within the economic boundaries, but there's pressure to cut costs and do more.

Performance limit reflects system capacity. Taking shortcuts is a human desire to minimize work. This is often necessary to survive because there's always more labor.

Both push operating points toward acceptable performance. Personal or process safety, or equipment performance.

If you exceed acceptable performance, you'll push back, typically forcefully.

Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy

1 month ago

Activating Your Vagus Nerve

11 science-backed ways to improve health, happiness, healing, relaxation, and mental clarity.

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Vagus nerve is the main parasympathetic nervous system component.

It helps us rest and digest by slowing and stabilizing a resting heart rate, slowing and stabilizing the breath, promoting digestion, improving recovery and healing times, producing saliva, releasing endorphins and hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, and boosting the immune, digestive, and cardiovascular systems.

The vagus nerve sends anti-inflammatory signals to other parts of the body and is located behind the tongue, in the throat, neck, heart, lungs, abdomen, and brainstem.

Vagus means wandering in Latin. So, it's bold.

Here are 11 proven ways to boost health, happiness, and the vagus nerve.

1. Extend

“Yoga stimulates different nerves in your body, especially the vagus nerve that carries information from the brain to most of the body’s major organs, slows everything down and allows self-regulation. It’s the nerve that is associated with the parasympathetic system and emotions like love, joy, and compassion.” — Deepak Chopra

Stretching doesn't require a yoga background.

Listen to your body and ease into simple poses. This connects the mind and body.

If you're new to yoga or don't have access to an in-person class, try Yoga with Adrienne. Over 600 YouTube videos give her plenty of material.

2. Inhale

Because inhaling and exhaling activate the autonomic nervous system, we can breathe to relax.

Exhaling activates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). One inhales stress, the other exhales it.

So, faster or more intense breathing increases stress. Slower breathing relaxes us.

Breathe slowly, smoothly, and less.

Rhythmic breathing helps me relax.

What to do is as follows:

1. Take 4 smooth, forceless nose breaths.

2. Exhale smoothly and forcefully for 4 seconds

3. Don't pause at the inhale or exhale.

4. Continue for 5 minutes/40 breaths

5. Hold your breath as long as comfortable.

6. Breathe normally.

If four seconds is too long, try breathing in and out for two seconds, or in and out for three seconds, until your breath naturally relaxes. Once calmer, extend your breath.

Any consistent rhythm without force is good. Your heart will follow your lead and become coherent.

3. Chant/Hum

Singing, chanting, or humming activate the vagus nerve through the back of the throat.

Humming emits nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide improves blood circulation, blood flow, heart health, and blood pressure.

Antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties kill viruses and bacteria in the nose and throat.

Gargling water stimulates the vagus nerve.

Simple ways to heal, boost energy, and boost mood are often the healthiest. They're free and can be done anywhere.

4. Have more fun

Laughing stimulates the throat muscles, activating the vagus nerve. What's not to like? It releases dopamine.

Take time to enjoy life. Maybe it's a book, podcast, movie, socializing with friends, or laughing yoga.

Follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell says.

Laugh at yourself

Actually. Really.

Gagging activates vagus nerve-connected muscles. Some doctors use the gag reflex to test the vagus nerve.

Grossness isn't required. While brushing, gag quickly. My girlfriend's brother always does it.

I'm done brushing when I gag, he says.

6. Take in the outdoors

Nature relaxes body and mind. Better if you can walk barefoot.

Earthing is associated with hippies dancing in daisies.

Science now supports hippies.

7. Enter some chilly water.

The diving reflex activates the vagus nerve when exposed to cold water.

The diving reflex involves holding your breath in cold water. Cold showers work best.

Within minutes of being in cold water, parasympathetic nervous system activity, which calms the body, increases.

8. Workout

Exercise increases dopamine, blood circulation, and breathing. So we feel energized, calm, and well-rested.

After resting, the parasympathetic nervous system engages.

It's worth waiting for, though.

9. Play music with brainwaves

Brainwave music harmonizes brainwave activity, boosts productivity and mental clarity, and promotes peace and relaxation by stimulating the vagus nerve.

Simply play a song.

My favorite.

10. Make gentle eyes

Eyes, like breath, often reflect inner state. Sharp, dilated, focused eyes indicate alertness.

Soft, open eyes reflect relaxation and ease. Soft eyes relax the nervous system.

This practice reduces stress, anxiety, and body tension. It's a quick and effective way to enter a calm, peaceful state.

Wild animals can be hunted one minute and graze the next.

Put it into action:

Relax while seated.

Gaze at a distant object

Use peripheral vision while looking straight ahead

Without moving your eyes, look up and down. Connect side spaces to your vision.

Focus on everything as your eyes soften.

Keep breathing

Stay as long as you like

11. Be intimate

We kiss, moan, and breathe deeper during love. We get dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and vagus nerve stimulation.

Why not?

To sum up

Here are 11 vagus nerve resets:

  1. Stretch

  2. Breathe

  3. Hum/Chant

  4. More humor

  5. Amuse yourself

  6. Spend time outdoors

  7. Leap into chilly water

  8. Exercise

  9. Play music with brainwaves.

  10. Make gentle eyes.

  11. Be intimate

If these words have inspired you, try my favorite breathwork technique. Combining breathing, chanting, and brainwave music. Win-win-win :)

Akshad Singi

Akshad Singi

3 months ago

Four obnoxious one-minute habits that help me save more than 30 hours each week

These four, when combined, destroy procrastination.

You're not rushed. You waste it on busywork.

You'll accept this eventually.

  • In 2022, the daily average usage of a user on social media is 2.5 hours.

  • By 2020, 6 billion hours of video were watched each month by Netflix's customers, who used the service an average of 3.2 hours per day.

When we see these numbers, we think "Wow!" People squander so much time as though they don't contribute. True. These are yours. Likewise.

We don't lack time; we just waste it. Once you realize this, you can change your habits to save time. This article explains. If you adopt ALL 4 of these simple behaviors, you'll see amazing benefits.

Time-blocking

Cal Newport's time-blocking trick takes a minute but improves your day's clarity.

Divide the next day into 30-minute (or 5-minute, if you're Elon Musk) segments and assign responsibilities. As seen.

Here's why:

  • The procrastination that results from attempting to determine when to begin working is eliminated. Procrastination is a given if you choose when to begin working in real-time. Even if you may assume you'll start working in five minutes, it won't take you long to realize that five minutes have turned into an hour. But if you've already determined to start working at 2:00 the next day, your odds of procrastinating are greatly decreased, if not eliminated altogether.

  • You'll also see that you have a lot of time in a day when you plan your day out on paper and assign chores to each hour. Doing this daily will permanently eliminate the lack of time mindset.

5-4-3-2-1: Have breakfast with the frog!

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Eating the frog means accomplishing the day's most difficult chore. It's better to schedule it first thing in the morning when time-blocking the night before. Why?

  • The day's most difficult task is also the one that causes the most postponement. Because of the stress it causes, the later you schedule it, the more time you risk wasting by procrastinating.

  • However, if you do it right away in the morning, you'll feel good all day. This is the reason it was set for the morning.

Mel Robbins' 5-second rule can help. Start counting backward 54321 and force yourself to start at 1. If you acquire the urge to work on a goal, you must act within 5 seconds or your brain will destroy it. If you're scheduled to eat your frog at 9, eat it at 8:59. Start working.

Micro-visualisation

You've heard of visualizing to enhance the future. Visualizing a bright future won't do much if you're not prepared to focus on the now and develop the necessary habits. Alexander said:

People don’t decide their futures. They decide their habits and their habits decide their future.

I visualize the next day's schedule every morning. My day looks like this

“I’ll start writing an article at 7:30 AM. Then, I’ll get dressed up and reach the medicine outpatient department by 9:30 AM. After my duty is over, I’ll have lunch at 2 PM, followed by a nap at 3 PM. Then, I’ll go to the gym at 4…”

etc.

This reinforces the day you planned the night before. This makes following your plan easy.

Set the timer.

It's the best iPhone productivity app. A timer is incredible for increasing productivity.

Set a timer for an hour or 40 minutes before starting work. Your call. I don't believe in techniques like the Pomodoro because I can focus for varied amounts of time depending on the time of day, how fatigued I am, and how cognitively demanding the activity is.

I work with a timer. A timer keeps you focused and prevents distractions. Your mind stays concentrated because of the timer. Timers generate accountability.

To pee, I'll pause my timer. When I sit down, I'll continue. Same goes for bottle refills. To use Twitter, I must pause the timer. This creates accountability and focuses work.

Connecting everything

If you do all 4, you won't be disappointed. Here's how:

  • Plan out your day's schedule the night before.

  • Next, envision in your mind's eye the same timetable in the morning.

  • Speak aloud 54321 when it's time to work: Eat the frog! In the morning, devour the largest frog.

  • Then set a timer to ensure that you remain focused on the task at hand.

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Vivek Singh

Vivek Singh

1 year ago

A Warm Welcome to Web3 and the Future of the Internet

Let's take a look back at the internet's history and see where we're going — and why.

Tim Berners Lee had a problem. He was at CERN, the world's largest particle physics factory, at the time. The institute's stated goal was to study the simplest particles with the most sophisticated scientific instruments. The institute completed the LEP Tunnel in 1988, a 27 kilometer ring. This was Europe's largest civil engineering project (to study smaller particles — electrons).

The problem Tim Berners Lee found was information loss, not particle physics. CERN employed a thousand people in 1989. Due to team size and complexity, people often struggled to recall past project information. While these obstacles could be overcome, high turnover was nearly impossible. Berners Lee addressed the issue in a proposal titled ‘Information Management'.

When a typical stay is two years, data is constantly lost. The introduction of new people takes a lot of time from them and others before they understand what is going on. An emergency situation may require a detective investigation to recover technical details of past projects. Often, the data is recorded but cannot be found. — Information Management: A Proposal

He had an idea. Create an information management system that allowed users to access data in a decentralized manner using a new technology called ‘hypertext'.
To quote Berners Lee, his proposal was “vague but exciting...”. The paper eventually evolved into the internet we know today. Here are three popular W3C standards used by billions of people today:


(credit: CERN)

HTML (Hypertext Markup)

A web formatting language.

URI (Unique Resource Identifier)

Each web resource has its own “address”. Known as ‘a URL'.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Retrieves linked resources from across the web.

These technologies underpin all computer work. They were the seeds of our quest to reorganize information, a task as fruitful as particle physics.

Tim Berners-Lee would probably think the three decades from 1989 to 2018 were eventful. He'd be amazed by the billions, the inspiring, the novel. Unlocking innovation at CERN through ‘Information Management'.
The fictional character would probably need a drink, walk, and a few deep breaths to fully grasp the internet's impact. He'd be surprised to see a few big names in the mix.

Then he'd say, "Something's wrong here."

We should review the web's history before going there. Was it a success after Berners Lee made it public? Web1 and Web2: What is it about what we are doing now that so many believe we need a new one, web3?

Per Outlier Ventures' Jamie Burke:

Web 1.0 was read-only.
Web 2.0 was the writable
Web 3.0 is a direct-write web.

Let's explore.

Web1: The Read-Only Web

Web1 was the digital age. We put our books, research, and lives ‘online'. The web made information retrieval easier than any filing cabinet ever. Massive amounts of data were stored online. Encyclopedias, medical records, and entire libraries were put away into floppy disks and hard drives.

In 2015, the web had around 305,500,000,000 pages of content (280 million copies of Atlas Shrugged).

Initially, one didn't expect to contribute much to this database. Web1 was an online version of the real world, but not yet a new way of using the invention.

One gets the impression that the web has been underutilized by historians if all we can say about it is that it has become a giant global fax machine. — Daniel Cohen, The Web's Second Decade (2004)

That doesn't mean developers weren't building. The web was being advanced by great minds. Web2 was born as technology advanced.

Web2: Read-Write Web

Remember when you clicked something on a website and the whole page refreshed? Is it too early to call the mid-2000s ‘the good old days'?
Browsers improved gradually, then suddenly. AJAX calls augmented CGI scripts, and applications began sending data back and forth without disrupting the entire web page. One button to ‘digg' a post (see below). Web experiences blossomed.

In 2006, Digg was the most active ‘Web 2.0' site. (Photo: Ethereum Foundation Taylor Gerring)

Interaction was the focus of new applications. Posting, upvoting, hearting, pinning, tweeting, liking, commenting, and clapping became a lexicon of their own. It exploded in 2004. Easy ways to ‘write' on the internet grew, and continue to grow.

Facebook became a Web2 icon, where users created trillions of rows of data. Google and Amazon moved from Web1 to Web2 by better understanding users and building products and services that met their needs.

Business models based on Software-as-a-Service and then managing consumer data within them for a fee have exploded.

Web2 Emerging Issues

Unbelievably, an intriguing dilemma arose. When creating this read-write web, a non-trivial question skirted underneath the covers. Who owns it all?

You have no control over [Web 2] online SaaS. People didn't realize this because SaaS was so new. People have realized this is the real issue in recent years.

Even if these organizations have good intentions, their incentive is not on the users' side.
“You are not their customer, therefore you are their product,” they say. With Laura Shin, Vitalik Buterin, Unchained

A good plot line emerges. Many amazing, world-changing software products quietly lost users' data control.
For example: Facebook owns much of your social graph data. Even if you hate Facebook, you can't leave without giving up that data. There is no ‘export' or ‘exit'. The platform owns ownership.

While many companies can pull data on you, you cannot do so.

On the surface, this isn't an issue. These companies use my data better than I do! A complex group of stakeholders, each with their own goals. One is maximizing shareholder value for public companies. Tim Berners-Lee (and others) dislike the incentives created.

“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.” — Berkshire Hathaway's CEO

It's easy to see what the read-write web has allowed in retrospect. We've been given the keys to create content instead of just consume it. On Facebook and Twitter, anyone with a laptop and internet can participate. But the engagement isn't ours. Platforms own themselves.

Web3: The ‘Unmediated’ Read-Write Web

Tim Berners Lee proposed a decade ago that ‘linked data' could solve the internet's data problem.

However, until recently, the same principles that allowed the Web of documents to thrive were not applied to data...

The Web of Data also allows for new domain-specific applications. Unlike Web 2.0 mashups, Linked Data applications work with an unbound global data space. As new data sources appear on the Web, they can provide more complete answers.

At around the same time as linked data research began, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin. After ten years, it appears that Berners Lee's ideas ‘link' spiritually with cryptocurrencies.

What should Web 3 do?

Here are some quick predictions for the web's future.

Users' data:
Users own information and provide it to corporations, businesses, or services that will benefit them.

Defying censorship:

No government, company, or institution should control your access to information (1, 2, 3)

Connect users and platforms:

Create symbiotic rather than competitive relationships between users and platform creators.

Open networks:

“First, the cryptonetwork-participant contract is enforced in open source code. Their voices and exits are used to keep them in check.” Dixon, Chris (4)

Global interactivity:

Transacting value, information, or assets with anyone with internet access, anywhere, at low cost

Self-determination:

Giving you the ability to own, see, and understand your entire digital identity.

Not pull, push:

‘Push' your data to trusted sources instead of ‘pulling' it from others.

Where Does This Leave Us?

Change incentives, change the world. Nick Babalola

People believe web3 can help build a better, fairer system. This is not the same as equal pay or outcomes, but more equal opportunity.

It should be noted that some of these advantages have been discussed previously. Will the changes work? Will they make a difference? These unanswered questions are technical, economic, political, and philosophical. Unintended consequences are likely.

We hope Web3 is a more democratic web. And we think incentives help the user. If there’s one thing that’s on our side, it’s that open has always beaten closed, given a long enough timescale.

We are at the start. 

Jenn Leach

Jenn Leach

5 months ago

In November, I made an effort to pitch 10 brands per day. Here's what I discovered.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

I pitched 10 brands per workday for a total of 200.

How did I do?

It was difficult.

I've never pitched so much.

What did this challenge teach me?

  • the superiority of quality over quantity

  • When you need help, outsource

  • Don't disregard burnout in order to complete a challenge because it exists.

First, pitching brands for brand deals requires quality. Find firms that align with your brand to expose to your audience.

If you associate with any company, you'll lose audience loyalty. I didn't lose sight of that, but I couldn't resist finishing the task.

Outsourcing.

Delegating work to teammates is effective.

I wish I'd done it.

Three people can pitch 200 companies a month significantly faster than one.

One person does research, one to two do outreach, and one to two do follow-up and negotiating.

Simple.

In 2022, I'll outsource everything.

Burnout.

I felt this, so I slowed down at the end of the month.

Thanksgiving week in November was slow.

I was buying and decorating for Christmas. First time putting up outdoor holiday lights was fun.

Much was happening.

I'm not perfect.

I'm being honest.

The Outcomes

Less than 50 brands pitched.

Result: A deal with 3 brands.

I hoped for 4 brands with reaching out to 200 companies, so three with under 50 is wonderful.

That’s a 6% conversion rate!

Whoo-hoo!

I needed 2%.

Here's a screenshot from one of the deals I booked.

These companies fit my company well. Each campaign is different, but I've booked $2,450 in brand work with a couple of pending transactions for December and January.

$2,450 in brand work booked!

How did I do? You tell me.

Is this something you’d try yourself?

The Secret Developer

The Secret Developer

3 months ago

What Elon Musk's Take on Bitcoin Teaches Us

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Tesla Q2 earnings revealed unethical dealings.

As of end of Q2, we have converted approximately 75% of our Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency

That’s OK then, isn’t it?

Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, is now untrustworthy.

It’s not about infidelity, it’s about doing the right thing

And what can we learn?

The Opening Remark

Musk tweets on his (and Tesla's) future goals.

Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to read it.

What's crucial?

Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin

The Situation as It Develops

2021 Tesla spent $1.5 billion on Bitcoin. In 2022, they sold 75% of the ownership for $946 million.

That’s a little bit of a waste of money, right?

Musk predicted the reverse would happen.

What gives? Why would someone say one thing, then do the polar opposite?

The Justification For Change

Tesla's public. They must follow regulations. When a corporation trades, they must record what happens.

At least this keeps Musk some way in line.

We now understand Musk and Tesla's actions.

Musk claimed that Tesla sold bitcoins to maximize cash given the unpredictability of COVID lockdowns in China.

Tesla may buy Bitcoin in the future, he said.

That’s fine then. He’s not knocking the NFT at least.

Tesla has moved investments into cash due to China lockdowns.

That doesn’t explain the 180° though

Musk's Tweet isn't company policy. Therefore, the CEO's change of heart reflects the organization. Look.

That's okay, since

Leaders alter their positions when circumstances change.

Leaders must adapt to their surroundings. This isn't embarrassing; it's a leadership prerequisite.

Yet

The Man

Someone stated if you're not in the office full-time, you need to explain yourself. He doesn't treat his employees like adults.

This is the individual mentioned in the quote.

If Elon was not happy, you knew it. Things could get nasty

also, He fired his helper for requesting a raise.

This public persona isn't good. Without mentioning his disastrous performances on Twitter (pedo dude) or Joe Rogan. This image sums up the odd Podcast appearance:

Which describes the man.

I wouldn’t trust this guy to feed a cat

What we can discover

When Musk's company bet on Bitcoin, what happened?

Exactly what we would expect

The company's position altered without the CEO's awareness. He seems uncaring.

This article is about how something happened, not what happened. Change of thinking requires contrition.

This situation is about a lack of respect- although you might argue that followers on Twitter don’t deserve any

Tesla fans call the sale a great move.

It's absurd.

As you were, then.

Conclusion

Good luck if you gamble.

When they pay off, congrats!

When wrong, admit it.

  • You must take chances if you want to succeed.

  • Risks don't always pay off.

Mr. Musk lacks insight and charisma to combine these two attributes.

I don’t like him, if you hadn’t figured.

It’s probably all of the cheating.