Louis CK came to Budapest. And I went to see him.
I haven’t always been a fan. I recall my first encounter of his stand up on youtube very vividly. It was a piece where he groans like a moron for about two minutes. I didn’t judge him by that alone though. I had a look at some of his other videos. And came to the conclusion that the guy was an ugly, aggressive idiot who invented a way to get paid for venting out his frustrations on stage. Fast forward a few years, and I’m waiting in line to see the man perform live in Budapest. Continue reading
When you are out biking in the woods, you naturally prefer going downhill to going uphill. Downhills are easy and fun. Uphills are arduous, even frustrating at times. Continue reading
I began this year with reflection, looking back at the past year trying to connect the dots. One thing stood out: I had consumed a ton of information in various shapes and forms and had several realizations of my own. And yet, I didn’t feel I had managed to keep a good record of these let alone internalize and act on them.
Mind, as a noun, is quite misleading. It sounds like a part of your body, an organ even, while it’s actually a function of the brain. It’s a process that your consciousness perceives as the inner chatter, a relentless succession of thoughts. Only by making that distinction do you have a chance to take control over the mind. Continue reading
Your mind is drowning in information.
It’s screaming for help, but you can’t hear it. You get a sense that something isn’t right, but you don’t know what. So you search for what might be the problem and feed your mind even more information in the process. Continue reading
This documentary is nothing short of astonishing. It gives you an explanation to why the world is the way it is today and how human nature shaped it in the past century. Even if you didn’t learn any new facts from it (you will), it would be worth watching just for the way it connects the dots. It’s made up of four parts. I’ll share my notes and critical thoughts of it. Continue reading
Tell people what they are not ready to hear in increments they can handle or they will turn against you. One of the easiest ways of alienating people is telling them what they are not ready to hear. We all have believes that govern our lives. We have built these believes through a lifetime of learning and experience and are emotionally invested in them. When somebody openly challenges these foundations, our gut reaction is refusal and cutting contact with that person to avoid cognitive dissonance and protect our identity. If you want people to stay cooperative, tell them what they are not ready to hear in increments they can handle or packaged in a way that will allow them to adjust their believes by letting them complete the puzzle themselves. (NOTE: Some of the time “shock therapy” does work. In fact there are times when only telling the brutal facts work.) Continue reading
The career path of most well known gangsters follow the very same pattern. They start small time and make it to the top through a mix of ability, skill, deliberation and luck. They spend some time on the top ruling their world and acting like a god. In the end, they all come crumbling down. Some die, others go to prison for what is left of their lives. There is a moment in all of their stories, after which there is no turning back. And that’s the moment they get identified with the role they were playing. They are unable to look reality in the face and accept that they are not really all powerful. They go down rather than detach themselves from the role. There is a lesson there for all of us not aspiring for a career in crime. We start making bad decisions as soon as we fully identify with whatever role we are playing and loose the ability to get perspective. So the lesson is:
You start losing the game the moment you forget that you are playing it. So don’t. Continue reading
Do you choose the contents of your awareness? If you pay attention, you’ll quickly realize you don’t. So who or what does then? If you are not in control of what’s in your head, are you in control of anything? Continue reading
To gauge the likeliness of a future event, look at similar events first, and particulars second. Learn more.
Question authority and ideas taken for granted by other people. In the end, you are always responsible for the choices you make even if someone tells you otherwise. Inspired by Stanley Milgram
Reduce or eliminate chronic inflammation (the cause of most chronic disease) by: Continue reading
I’m not like most people. We like to think that don’t we? Especially when most people are depicted as sadistic maniacs, or at the very least, as people who will torture a human being just because someone else says so. Continue reading
To live 100+ do low intensity exercise most of your waking hours. Have a purpose for existence. Switch off regularly. Drink little, eat little animal products and mostly plant foods, not too much. Have strong family ties, belong to a community and hang out with people who reinforce all your positive habits.
I learn new stuff all the time. Some of it I figure out from my own experience, some is inspired by books, movies or personal encounters. Over time, much of this knowledge fades away and is phased out by new ideas I get busy with. I want to change that and be able to internalize the stuff I learn and to also put it into practice. Continue reading
In the fall of 2014, after an intense period of non-stop travel through South and North America, I chose to settle. I had to build up my life systems and routines from scratch. I read a couple of books on how habits worked and started experimenting. I’d already posted a follow-up a few weeks later, where I came to conclusions that still hold true today. However, now, a year later, I have a much more accurate overview of what worked and what didn’t. Continue reading
I finished work at 10pm and felt like getting away from the solitude of my computer was becoming a matter of life and death. It was too late to bother anyone with a phone call so I headed straight to a place where I knew I’d find something happening.
The space (where you can actually see the stage) is unlikely small. The people off stage barely outnumber the musicians on it. That makes you wonder: no serious performer will waste their time playing here. And yet, this goofy place, called Lámpás, will hit you in the face almost every night with a live performance that would be hard to come by anywhere else. Continue reading
I walked past a middle aged man gazing into a café the other day. I was right behind his back, when he suddenly turned around, and shouted „Vicky needs a coffee” right into my left ear. He was obviously talking to his friend on my right and didn’t see me coming. The woman he was referring to inside the café, looked exhausted after what must have been long hours of sightseeing in the heat of the Budapest summer. Continue reading
After having lived in some and visited most South American Countries, I thought seeing a bit of Africa would hold no major surprises for me. Like many times before, I was wrong. Continue reading
My fascination with habits and how they influence our daily lives started with this book. An interview with the author, Charles Duhigg to be precise. Almost two years later, I thought it was time I actually read the book.
I had already been applying many of the principles Duhigg describes in the Power of Habit in my habit tweaking experiments and they worked wonders: I gave up smoking (2 months in yeah :) and switched to a healthier diet. But most of all, I’ve developed and awareness of my habits and consequently, a capacity to change them. To make a long story short, the stuff works, so it was time I got the full picture. Continue reading
Wow! It’s been such an educational four weeks and I have so much to share I don’t even know where to begin…. Let’s start with the big picture and work towards the specifics. A few of the key lessons I’ve learnt to start with: Continue reading
I can’t decide whether I’m more interested in designing habit forming products or in finding out how to prevent products from forming my habits. Either way, Nir Eyal’s book, Hooked, is a fascinating read. It walks you through the steps that lead to forming new habits around a product using loads of real life examples and also offering a way to approach the inevitable moral questions. What follows is a subjective summary of the book with its key takeaways and some of my own thoughts attached. (Emphasis is from me.)