23 November 2022

The Hedonic Treadmill

Can you remember the last time you were dreaming of buying a new car, getting a promotion at work, moving into a nicer house or finding a partner to share life with? Do you remember fantasizing about how happy you would be if you attained those things? If you finally did attain one of those things, you may have found that the “happiness boost” didn’t last that long or wasn’t as intense as you’d imagined. Most of us have gone through this cycle. The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is a theory positing that people repeatedly return to their baseline level of happiness, regardless of what happens to them.

I think that happiness is best defined as the feeling of making progress towards your goals, not achieving them but making progress towards them. This means having some well thought out goals, e.g. building health and fitness, building better social relationships, setting specific challenges and living by a set of values (integrity, authenticity, respect and compassion for others and yourself, positivity/gratitude, personal responsibility, excellence and commitment, courage).

https://positivepsychology.com/hedonic-treadmill/
https://www.healthline.com/health/hedonic-treadmill
https://g.co/kgs/1pwyrD

22 November 2022

Optimise for your future self not your current self

Recently I've heard/read about a mental framework called "Regret minimisation". With regret minimisation you ask yourself, "would my future self in x minutes/days/weeks/months/years regret doing this or regret not doing this?", and based on this you do what would be preferrable for your future self.

An short term example might be if you are considering eating a sugary snack, you ask yourself, "Would my future self in 15 minutes regret this?". If the answer is yes, then you do not eat it, if the answer is no, then you do eat it. Or if you are sitting on the sofa, and consider should you continue to scroll through various apps on your phone or should you get up and practise xyz. You ask yourself "Which option would my future self in 1 week prefer?" and go with that.

Typically, our current self is more likely to pick an option that is more comfortable in the moment,  implicitly delaying anything that is immediately uncomfortable to our future self. However, the option that would optimise happiness and comfort for your future self is typically the one that is more uncomfortable in the moment, and thus less appealing to your current self. Thus it is better to think through what your future self wants in any scenario and go with that.

I prefer to think of this as optimising for your self rather than minimising the regret of your future self.

Understanding cardiovascular disease risk, cholesterol, and apoB - Peter Attia

Understanding cardiovascular disease risk, cholesterol, and apoB - Peter Attia

Measuring cardiovascular disease risk and the importance of apoB - Peter Attia

Do We Know What Turns Women On - Modern Wisdom with Catherine Salmon

Both interesting and at times funny.

11 November 2022

Ketogenic diets effect on depression, anxiety and other mental disorders - The Tim Ferris Show, Andrew Huberman

A very interesting podcast from Tim Ferris with Dr Christopher M. Palmer, on how a ketogenic diet could help positively with depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. 

Also a similar conversation with Andrew Huberman.

As a disclaimer, I am not a strong advocate of ketogenic diets but strongly believe in eating less processed foods which does generally mean less processed carbs and less carbs in general, as there is only so much fruit, vegetables and salad one can eat 😊.

The podcast connects mental disorders with mitochondrial function. Here is a good summary of how to improve mitochondrial function, no big surprises here:

  1. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
  2. Eat fewer calories.
  3. Eat 2-3 meals, within an 8-10 hour window.
  4. Reduce refined carbs such as bread, pasta, pastries, alcoholic drinks and sugary drinks including juices. Replace these with fresh vegetables, fruit and salad.
  5. Eat quality protein like grass-fed beef and pasture-raised eggs.
  6. Eat sources of omega-3s and alpha-lipoic acid. Eat antioxidant-rich foods with resveratrol like dark chocolate.
  7. Prioritize getting 8 hours of sleep every night.
  8. Reduce stress with relaxation techniques like meditation or massage.
  9. Try heat therapy like sauna.

Use of hands and dopamine sparking words in meetings and presentations

I really liked the second and third points in this podcast on the effect of using hands and dopamine sparking words in meetings and presentations:

03 November 2022

Rocky Balboa's quote on resilience and responding positively to failure

One of my favourite quotes from Rocky Balboa is one that deals with resilience and responding positively to failure:

Let me tell you something you already know. 
The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. 
It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. 
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. 
But it ain't about how hard ya hit.
It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
How much you can take and keep moving forward.
That's how winning is done!

01 November 2022

Growth versus Fixed Mindset

In a fixed mindset people believe that their intelligence is fixed and static. Those who adopt a fixed mindset are more likely to:

  • Want to PROVE intelligence or talent.
  • Put in less effort to learn. Believe putting in effort is worthless.
  • Stay in their comfort zone and avoid challenges to avoid failure.
  • Quit easily at first failure, believing it is validation they will never master the talent.
  • View feedback as personal criticism and ignore it. Hide flaws so as not to be judged by others.
  • Feel threatened by the success of others.

In a growth mindset people believe that intelligence and talents can be improved through effort and learning. Those who adopt a growth mindset are more likely to:

  • Want to IMPROVE intelligence or talent through life long learning.
  • Put in more effort to learn. Believe putting in effort is worthwhile.
  • Get out of their comfort zone and embrace challenges.
  • Believe failures are just temporary setbacks and repetitions/opportunities to learn from.
  • View feedback as an opportunity to learn.
  • View others’ success as a source of inspiration.
Adopt of growth mindset!