Joel Cox

Episode 8 – Habits 3 of 4

 The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 8 outline: Habits 3 of 4

Book: You Are Not Your Brain By: Jeffrey M. Schwartz M.D., Rebecca Gladding

  • The brain sends  false messages referred to in this book as Deceptive Brain Messages, you aren’t defined by them.
  • Example of  a Broadway performer who froze in front of a producer. Since then his brain honed in on all his imperfections and ignored all the positive qualities  (all or nothing thinking)
  • It might seem like we have to follow what our brain tells us we can actually work around it.
  • Instead of working on the problem we turn to temporary fixes and our brains associate the temporary fix with relieving the problem.  For example an executive who turns to drinking to relieve stress. The brain actually associates the temporary h with drinking as an association and anytime he felt stressed he craved alcohol.
  • The mind’s ability to change the brain, called self-directed neuroplasticity.
  • Neuroplasticity is the ability of our brain regions and connections to adopt new functions. 
  • Example of a woman who suffered from a stroke on the left side of her body.  The right hemisphere of the brain rewired itself to control both sides of her body
  • you shouldn’t attempt to stop the deceptive brain messages from arising, instead, the aim is to teach you how to discount the false brain messages.
  • Four Steps to change unhealthy thoughts and habits.
    1. Be mindful and relabelling the situation, “I’m having the urge to go on Facebook.”
    2. Reframe the situation: “Checking Facebook reduces my anxiety that I might not be able to complete the work I should be doing.”
    3. Refocus the  situation  by doing something productive like beginning the easiest work task.
    4. Revalue the situation by recognizing that this impulse is just a deceptive brain message, and needn’t be taken seriously.

Keep a notebook of healthy activities. So that you have a list of healthy or fun refocusing activities.

Episode 7 – Habits 2 of 4

 The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 7 outline: Habits 2 of 4

Book: The Power of Habit By: Charles Duhigg

  • More than 40% of the actions you take each day are actually habits.
  • Habits are choices that you continue doing repeatedly without actually thinking about them. 
  • A habit has 3 steps:
  1. A cue, a trigger that tells your brain which habit to use and puts it into automatic mode.
  • The cue: End of afternoon, feeling a bit tired
  1. A routine, which acts out the habit. This can be physical, mental, or emotional.
  • The routine::  Ask a colleague to have a coffee break
  1. A reward, which is the result of the routine and reinforces the habit.
    • The Reward: coffee boost that you are looking for, just need a break, Or it’s the social aspect to chat with some colleagues
  • At one point, habits started with a decision, but they eventually became automatic.
  • The Golden rule of habit change is based on two steps. For changing a habit:
    • identify the components of the habit loop
    • change only one part in the loop
  • Habits have a powerful effect on our lives.
  • New habits can be installed, 
  • Have a simple cue,
    • This could be a poster of your favourite sports person 
    • It could also be by playing a motivating song
  • Have a routine – 10 minutes stretching and pushups   
  • Have a reward – It could be the endorphin rush or reward yourself with  favourite drink afterwards
  • Not all habits are created equal – There are keystone habits
  • Some habits have a ripple effect and produce much greater effects. They start like a chain reaction
  • willpower is the single most important keystone habit   because it translates to all other areas in life
  • Almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories:
  1. Location
  2. Time
  3. Emotional state
  4. Other people
  5. Immediately preceding action
  • If you’re trying to figure out the cue for a habit, write down five things the moment the urge hits:
    • Where are you?
    • What time is it?
    • What’s your emotional state?
    • Who else is around?
    • What action preceded the urge?

Episode 6 – Habits 1 of 4

Book: Making Habits, Breaking Habits By: Jeremy Dean

  • Habits are repeated behaviors with little to no conscious intention.
  • A minimum of ⅓ of our waking life is powered by our unconscious, where we operate on auto-pilot
  • A survey conducted in the 80s, at the University of Scranton, found 60% of  213 people surveyed, 

weren’t able to stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

  • Habits are strongly influenced by our environment
  • Training new habits requires patience
  • Most of our behavior is influenced by our unconscious mind
  • We register a number of clues, often without noticing it
  • Having certain routines makes us feel safer
  • Change a habit by replacing it with a different one
  • Performing actions unconsciously can lead to slips
  • Habits related to the Internet can turn into addictions
  • Use the WOOP method to form a new habit
    1. Wish – State what you wish to change
    2. Outcome – what do you wish to happen
    3. Obstacle – What will stop you
    4. Plan-  how are you going to overcome your obstacle
  • Adopt good habits and become happier
  • You can manipulate your habits
  • Determine your motivation.
  • Next, remember to repeat your actions, as repetition leads to automation. 
  • The Habit Loop
  1. Trigger
  2. Routine
  3. Reward 
  • The more you do a habit the more ingrained it becomes in your mind.
  • You can’t ever break an old habit.
  • You can manipulate the habit
  •  Hebb’s law and: Neurons that fire together, wire together.
  •  Quantum zeno effect. – a system can be frozen in its state, if continuously observed.

Episode 5 – Stoicism

The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 5 outline: Stoicism

Books

  • A guide to the good life
  • Meditations
  • Daily Stoic
  • Ego is the enemy
  • Letters from a stoic

What is stoicism?

Why is it having a resurgence now?

What you can control

  • A short list

Meditation

  • The observer/watcher

How to practice it?

  • Detachment
  • Emotions versus thoughts
    • Becoming a cyborg
  • Finances
  • Insults
  • Death

Episode 4 – Financial tactics

The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 4 outline: Financial tactics

Books

  • I will teach you to be rich
  • Richest man in babylon
  • Rich dad, poor dad
  • Total money makeover

Where did you learn about finances

  • Parental influence
  • School?
  • Books/blogs/etc.

Getting your house in order

  • Where is your money going
  • Budgeting tools that work
  • Envelope system
  • Basic money script
    • If you get an extra $100 how do you allocate it

Debt

  • Good debt/bad debt
  • Credit cards
  • Loans
  • Snowball method vs Higher APR target

Savings

  • Cash
  • Rate of return
  • Save for specific things

Investments

  • Retirement
    • Employer match
  • Assets

Next Week’s topic: Stoicism