Gilad"s shared items

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Putting the inner engine on fire

Your motivation, productivity, happiness will all come if you can only find out your special "Voice".

The motto of my life should be

"When I engage in work that taps my TALNET and fules my PASSION that raises out of a great NEED in the world that I feel drawn by CONSCIENCE to meet - therein lies my calling"
from The 8th Habit by sthephen covey

When reviewing my goals and life I should ask:
TALENT - what are my skills and strengths?
PASSION - what am I passioned about - personal growth, robotics, israel, web2, programming, hiking...
NEED - What does society and people need
CONSCIENCE - What are my core values

Am I following my inner voice and making a change?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Parent yourself by using the Economics of Nudging

Reading stack
Originally uploaded by mitten
An article in the NY Times from last week called "Sometimes, What’s Needed Is a Nudge" made me think of how we can parent ourselves to improve our well-being.

The main point of the article is that you can significant improvements in the well being of people if you install in place small and simple mechanisms to make them do things they need to do. Like a parent nudging his child to do homework. This has even a fancy name "Libertarian paternalism" which means the state should help you make the choices you would make for yourself—if only you had the strength of will and the sharpness of mind.

This is an interesting idea on the political and economical level, but one can also apply the idea to his own life, and parent himself. How?? Make small changes in your life and acquire habits and routines that will help you do the right choices without thinking about it too much.
This is what life - hacks is all about.

There are two ways this can be done and we can summarize it in the biblical phrase: "Turn away from evil, and do good." (Psalm 34:14). And here are a few example

Turn from evil:
  • Limit your surfing on the web with Time2Go
Do Good:
  • Do the next action. (based on GTD) Always have a small list (three is a good number) of next actions. Having this list it is easy to decide what to do now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How to enjoy your daily chores or any other boring activity

Make them enjoyable by transforming them to a game.

Let's face it , chores are boring and unsatisfying. If we could we would have delegated them to someone else or postpone doing them forever. However without washing dishes, washing the floor, throwing the garbage and cleaning the bathroom our home would look like after a hurricane.

The dilemma is to procrastinate about doing you chores, gain some productivity time, and loose it because your home is all cluttered and you can't focus on achieving your goals because of the smell. Or make your chores into a game.

Games are enjoyable because:

  • There is a clear goal.
  • Three are clear rules.
  • It requires skills.
  • We have instant feedback about our progress.
  • It requires our attention and therefor life troubles are forgotten.
  • We sense accomplishment.
So why not turn all our experiences into games? For example take washing the dishes.
The washing dishes game:
  1. Clear goal: finish washing the dishes as fast as you can.
  2. Clear rules: Max time per small item 5 seconds, medium item 10 sec and large pots 30 sec. you can accumulate extra time by doing an item faster and spend it on items that take longer. Important: the dishes must be clean
  3. Skills: Time tracking, math for keeping up with extra/spent time, optimize order of items and movements, ....
  4. Feedback: Dishes are being cleaned.
  5. Attention: If you are really into the game, you can't think of anything else but the time, how much extra time you have, what is the best order to get the best time ...
  6. Accomplishment: The kitchen is clean, you exercised your brain, you know how to clean the dishes better and faster.
Let's hear you, what other games for boring chores yo can think of?
If you take this step and make a game from every activity you take, you will enjoy every activity and have an enjoyable and happy life.

picture by Foto Blitz Color's buddy icon

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A map to hapiness and optimal experience

In his book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced as "Chick-Sent-Me-Hali") explores the map of finding happiness. His over a quarter of a century research suggests that happiness is achieved when a person achieves growth in his life through getting to a goal and overcoming all obstacles in the way to this goal. The mental condition in which a preson is found when struggling and getting his goal is called Flow.

To get into the Flow you need to:

  • Control you consciousness
  • Build order and focus by making realistic goals
  • Struggling to overcome obstacles and achieve goals is the most enjoyable activity you can be involved in.
  • Condition yourself to get into the flow and stay there.
  • Acquire physical and sensory skills to practice flow, like playing music, athleticism or Yoga.
  • Acquire symbolic skills like when playing chess or learning mathematics.
  • Transfer you work into flow-producing activity.
  • Have meaningful relationships with your family and friends.
  • Enjoy life in face of adversity.
  • Find Meaning in all you experience.
If you can do all that it does not matter if you are healthy or sick, rich or poor you could find hapiness in your life. And the most surprising fact is that it is doable.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

Today I heard a talk by David Sloan Wilson
about his view of evolution. You can read all about it in his book Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives which can be described as

"journey from the origin of life to human morality and religion,"
In short, Wilson claims that we can view all our levels of life from Bilogical to Social and Religious through the eyes of evolution, and it is a very powerful toll for us to understand what is being Human all about.

Multi Level Selection

One point Wilson mention in his talk is of Mutli Level Selection, that is the evolution on each level is based on a lower level evolution but it is independent from it. The higher level behaviur is not internal to the lower level but emergent from it. You cannot understand the high level in the terms of the lower level. This has huge implications, if to borrow from the Technology world, software cannot be found in the hardware level. Google is not inherent in the IP networking protocol. And human behavior is not the product of the molecules in out brain Although we would like to think that way (tip by robotstocknews). Furthermore, usually lower level fitness if working against higher level fitness.

This view of evolution in very similar to the view of Metaphysics of Quality where evolution is the dynamic quality and the different levels are the static quality levels of life.

So go and read Lila by R.M. Pirsig and Evolution for Everyone by D.S. Wilson and acquire a better way of understanding, analyzing and making the right decisions about life.

Monday, May 14, 2007

control your emotions at the work place

Emotions are our strength and our weakness, how should we control them instead of them controlling us?

"I am what I feel"
Emotions are our compass in life. Without our emotions we would not be able to make any decision in life. In the end of every "good" dilemma we are left with few options and we decide one of them based on the feeling and emotions that the options arise in us.

However emotions can also be our weakness, holding us back. They could make the simplest meeting or conversation in to a major problem by breaking a relationship with a work colleague.

The Ririan Project Blog suggest 20 ways to outsmart our emotions.