Upgrading Your Mental Operating System

This lecture that Gary Weber gave for a Buddhist Geeks conference was extremely inspiring and informational to me. I like his non-nonsense, direct experience, scientific approach to the process of meditation. And the fact that it worked for him, and he’s very enthusiastic about the results.

I’m not one for the trappings and baggage that usually come along with some of the more esoteric topics I’m interested in. Perhaps that baggage is little more than my own preconception about these subjects. That said, I always welcome the more down-to-Earth kinds of people who talk about these kinds of things, especially when they have some science to back things up.

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Orange Safety Glasses: Insomnia Cure?

I was as skeptical as you are right now when I first read the claims that wearing orange safety glasses at night might help my insomnia. To my surprise, I’ve found them to be quite effective.

The basic idea is this: you get tired when your body (the pineal gland, specifically) releases melatonin into your bloodstream. This is inhibited as long as the eyes keep sending the signal that there is blue light reaching the retina. Why blue light? It’s the color of the sky, during the day. Turns out candle light and firelight contain very little in the way of light in the blue range of the spectrum. Seems we’ve evolved to adjust for this longstanding pattern of human cycles.

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Grow Box

So I decided to grow my own vegetables this year, and ordered some of these Grow Box planters so I am ready to go when the weather finally breaks.

The reviews of these things seem to be mostly positive. I’ve no green thumb here, so I need all the help I can get. I’m curious about the process in general, and like to learn by experience.

I’m also curious how the process will affect my daily life. I’ve found a new rhythm to my schedule since eating a whole foods nutrition plan with lots of fresh vegetables included. The shopping and prep time has changed things up for me. I’ve come to really enjoy the extra work involved. I like being a part of the food process. Growing the garden will take me a bit deeper into that experience.

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Premortem

The “Premortem” seems to be eerily similar to the unnamed idea I put forth in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Self-Improvement Tip (aka ‘Servant of My Future Self’):

Pretending that a success or failure has already occurred—and looking back and inventing the details of why it happened—seems almost absurdly simple. Yet renowned scholars including Kahneman, Klein, and Karl Weick supply compelling logic and evidence that this approach generates better decisions, predictions, and plans. Their work suggests several reasons why.

— Bob Sutton, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less via Shane Parrish

Nice to have my ideas validated by a Nobel prize winner!

Daily Sketch recap: 2/2/2014 – 2/8/2014

I’ve recently started up a Daily Sketch routine for my cartoon artwork. I’m doing it for a lot of reasons besides just to create more artwork — overcoming perfectionism, becoming faster and more efficient on the technical, hand skills and software level, training my brain to work with tighter deadlines and as always, to overcome Resistance.

I’m aiming to share my three favorite sketches of the week here every Sunday evening.