5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won’t)


Cracked: 5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won’t)

(via Justin)

What do the longest lived cultures in the world have in common?

Blue Zones is a project of Dan Buettner’s Quest Network, Inc that studies the regions of the world where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years. Scientists and demographers have classified these longevity hot-spots by their inhabitant’s uncanny ability to live longer, on average, than anyone else in the world. […]

Four Blue Zones have been discovered so far:

* Sardinia, Italy: One team of demographers found a hot spot of longevity in mountain villages where men reach the age of 100 years at an amazing rate.
* The islands of Okinawa, Japan: Another team examined a group that is among the longest lived on Earth.
* Loma Linda, California: Researchers studied a group of Seventh-day Adventists who rank among America’s longevity all-stars. Residents of these three places produce a high rate of centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more healthy years of life. [1]
* Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: The Nicoya Peninsula was the subject of research on a Quest Network expedition which began on January 29th, 2007.[2]

The people inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity. Among the lifestyle characteristics shared among the Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda Blue Zones are the following:

* Family – Family is put ahead of other concerns.
* No Smoking – Centenarians do not typically smoke.
* Plant-Based Diet – The majority of food consumed is derived from plants.
* Constant Moderate Physical Activity – Moderate physical activity is an inseparable part of life.
* Social Engagement – People of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities.
* Legumes – Legumes are commonly consumed.

Wikipedia: Blue Zones

(via Appropedia

Recession Hacking Wiki

I’ve started a new wiki project: Recession Hacking.

From the intro:

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” Barack Obama said during his campaign. And yet, now that he’s elected most of us are waiting for a stimulus plan to save us.

The only problem: the stimulus plan sucks. There is no deus ex machina to save us from this deepening recession. It’s time to take what we have and start to rebuild the economy ourselves.

This wiki is dedicated to compiling tools, tactics, and strategies to both survive and thrive in these troubled times.

My hope to is help build a resource of information not just to save money, but information on creating economic prosperity for individuals and communities.

Also check out Recession Hacking blog and Unsummit – the folks I flat out stole the “recession hacking” meme from.

Diary of a Self-Help Dropout: Flirting With the 4-Hour Workweek

self help

Chris Hardwick of Hard ‘n Phirm tries Getting Things Done, Never Check E-Mail in the Morning, and The Four Hour Work Week.

Allen, Morgenstern, and Ferriss are a nicely compatible family unit: David Allen is the practical dad who reminds you not to overcomplicate things; just get the job done. Julie Morgenstern is the encouraging mom who, while hugging you, says, “It’ll be all right; you just need to focus on what’s important here.” And Tim Ferriss is the upstart kid who cries, “Think outside the box, man!” So in retrospect, it makes sense that I found it easier to cherry-pick elements from each and stitch together my own wearable cloak of efficiency. Now, I know that David Allen is the head vampire of productivity, but if you only have the fortitude to read a single book, I’m gonna throw my lithe frame behind The 4-Hour Workweek. Ferriss lays out a series of nimble yet perfectly legal cons to help you break out of the corporate Bastille—and work from the actual Bastille, if you want. That sly creativity best fits the rogue nature of the freelancer.

Full Story: Wired.

I recently wrote up details of my modded GTD implementation at Klintron’s Brain.

I recently read Four Hour Work Week, expecting to write a scathing review of it. But I’m actually getting a lot of mileage out of it, applying it to The Swift Fox. But I’m still a long way from quitting my day job, and I haven’t hired a personal assistant yet.

Seven tips for waking up feeling refreshed


1. Keep a schedule
2. Eat light in the evening
3. Have things you WANT to do during the day
4. Plan your day
5. Drink water before bed and upon waking
6. Exercise
7. Have some private time in the morning

Full Story: Dumb Little Man.

(via Robot Wisdom).

Systems, ciphers, and the dirty little secret of self-improvement

I was looking for something else in the 43 Folders archives, and came across this gem of an article:

My theory is that the secret code for most self-improvement systems-from Getting Things Done through Biofeedback and the Atkins diet-is not hard to break; any idea that helps you to become more self-aware can usually help you to reach a goal or affect a favorable solution. That’s pretty much the entire bag of doughnuts right there.

Self-improvement juju works not because of magic beans or the stones in your soup pot; it works because a smart ‘system’ can become a satisfying cipher for framing a problem and making yourself think about solutions in an ordered way. Systems help you minimize certain kinds of feedback while amplifying others.

In the comments, ex-psyop Adam Greenfield says:

In my experience, the most elegant statement of this insight is something I’ve heard floating around the Special Ops community, and nowhere else: ‘Control follows awareness.’

Full Story: 43 Folders.

Cockroaches Make Group Decisions

Discovery New reports:

Cockroaches govern themselves in a very simple democracy where each insect has equal standing and group consultations precede decisions that affect the entire group, indicates a new study.

The research determined that cockroach decision-making follows a predictable pattern that could explain group dynamics of other insects and animals, such as ants, spiders, fish and even cows.

Full Story: Discovery News: Cockroaches live in a democracy
(via Abstract Dynamics)

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