We overestimate how hard we are working

August 21, 2017

You think that you are exercising really hard, or working really hard at your job. But, in all likelihood, you are probably not working all that hard. And, no matter how hard you’re working, there are people out there that are working harder, a lot harder.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.
– Richard P. Feyman

Stan Efferding on what it means to do a hard leg workout:

Anyone who has ever said that you don’t have to get sore to succeed, has never succeeded. If you’ve never limped out to the parking lot and had to hold onto something to step off the curb, you don’t train hard. If you’ve never driven home and couldn’t bend your legs to get out of the car, you don’t train hard. If you’ve never walked down the stairs sideway, both feet touching every step while holding onto the railing, you don’t train hard. And if your entire body has never seized up – your abs, quads, and hamstrings – waking you up in the middle of the night, screaming in pain, you don’t train hard. And that should tell you everything you need to know about competitive weightlifting. You could look under every rock for the “secret”, but the answer is inside of you already. Are you willing to work that hard, are you willing to suffer that much, are you willing to sacrifice that much? The answer to that question is where you’ll find your next personal best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTquzDmeAbc

The best exercise and the best diet

August 17, 2017

Question: What is the best exercise?

Answer: The one you’ll do. That is, the one containing movements that you enjoy doing and can sustain doing over the months and years.

Question: What is the best diet?

Answer: The one you’ll do. That is, the one containing foods that you enjoy eating and can sustain doing over the months and years.

Movement is the holy grail of health

August 13, 2017

Sitting is a disease. Movement is the holy grail of health.

Blood flow is the life force that heals our body and removes the waste. No juice cleanse or apple cider vinegar or lemon water will compensate for inactivity. You don’t need 50 different food items, from 12 different countries, or a rare plant or berry from some remote island or jungle. That’s just another example of our desire to find things that do the work for us, passively. Thinking that we can just eat a superfood and that will make up for inactivity, when we know that regular exercise and maintaining a healthy bodyfat level is the real key to long term health.

I take a brisk 10 minute walk after each meal. Research suggests this improves digestion and reduces blood sugars, much better than a single 30 minute walk daily. Science is telling us that consistency is more important than intensity, and frequency is more important than quantity. Getting up an walking around very hour is better than exercising once at the end of the day.

— Stan Efferding

This is an excellent video by Stan Efferding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqjPuhlfO5w&list=PL8JNg3nrHrLTyntHlHg9ng2RchpWGM5zs&index=21

Sleep more

August 9, 2017

I heard a few days ago that LeBron James slept 12 hours per day during the NBA playoffs.

I remember in grad school my advisor slept 10 hours per day.

Last week I heard a doctor talk about sleep flushing away plaque in the brain, which is essential for preventing Alzheimer’s.

Recently I increased my sleep from 8 hours per night to 8 ½ hours per night. That has been very helpful. I think that I will increase to 9 hours per night (or more).

I am not my thoughts

July 30, 2017

The philosopher Descartes believed that he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” He had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error: to equate thinking with Being and identity with thinking.

Enlightenment is not only the end of suffering and of continuous conflict within and without, but also the end of the dreadful enslavement to incessant thinking. What an incredible liberation this is!

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Challenging beliefs

July 21, 2017

Fifty percent of what we teach is wrong. The problem is – we don’t know which 50% it is. The wise person spends a lifetime trying to figure out which 50% is which.

Until it is disproven, accept that for which the evidence appears solid and logical and free of covert or overt conflicts of interest.

Unfortunately, industry is driving what you believe in many, many things.

Dr. Tim Noakes

Excellent video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lzs5wpLkeA

The primary task in life

July 15, 2017

Your primary task is not to seek salvation through creating a better world, but to awaken out of identification with form.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

You and I … we’re really not so different

July 14, 2017

Next time you say, “I have nothing in common with this person,” remember that you have a great deal in common: A few years from now — two years or seventy years, it doesn’t make much difference — both of you will have become rotting corpses, then piles of dust, then nothing at all. This is a sobering and humbling realization that leaves little room for pride. Is this a negative thought? No, it is a fact. Why close your eyes to it? In that sense, there is total equality between you and every other creature.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Stages of Learning a Language

July 10, 2017

For the past year, I’ve been learning a modeling language from MIT called Alloy.

It’s been interesting to watch my progress in learning the language. I started with knowing nothing. I did lots of reading. Nothing really seemed to stick in my brain. Then one day I suddenly realized that things were sticking and the language had come together in my brain – I understood the language. But when I sat down to apply the language to a problem, I froze: “Where do I start?” After lots of struggles with applying the language to problems, I started creating models without constantly having to look things up. Someday I hope to be a master.

Here’s a timeline showing the stages I went through in learning the language. I think the stages may apply to other types of languages – natural languages, programming languages, etc.

The myth of the 40-hour work week

July 4, 2017

Recently I heard someone entering the workforce saying that he hoped his new job would not entail working more than 40 hours per week.

Since that time, I’ve spoken with several people about their jobs and asked if they work just 40 hours per week. Here’s what I learned:

  • My brother is a carpenter. He works rain or shine. “The work has to get done even if the ground is muddy or the temperature is roasting (or freezing). I work a lot more than 40 hours per week.”
  • A family friend is a lawyer. “I’ve worked my whole life, work is all I know, it’s a thing I love doing. I work much more than 40 hours per week.”
  • A fellow down the road fixes lawn mowers and snow blowers. He spends 20-30 hours each week on that business. In addition, he puts in 40 hours a week at another job.
  • A friend of mine designs and sells clothes online. She is always working, 7 days a week, morning, afternoon, and evening.
  • Another lawyer friend recently told me that he works 7 days a week.
  • My brother-in-law is a medical researcher. The only time he’s not working is when he’s on vacation. Even then, he keeps plugged in.
  • Personally, I work a lot. I am always pushing myself to keep on top of technology. For good or for bad, work is my life.

Conclusion: The 40-hour work week is a myth.