Category: Self-improvement

  • Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 2)

    I’m working my way through Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly by reading a few sections each morning. Below are my notes on sections 12-23. Read 1-11 here. “It’ll-get-worse-before-it-gets-better” fallacy: A variant of confirmation bias. If the problem gets worse, the prediction is confirmed. If the situation improves unexpectedly, the customer is happy and […]

    Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 2)
  • Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 1)

    I’m working my way through Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly by reading a few sections each morning. Here are my notes on the first 11 sections (Confirmation Bias had two sections, which I’ve only noted as one below): Survivorship bias: You overestimate your probability of success because you only see success stories. You […]

    Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 1)
  • Taking Control of Our Attention

    Recommendation: What Is Technology Doing To Us? Tristan Harris on Sam Harris’s podcast  Tristan is a former Design Ethicist at Google and studied at Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab. His work highlights the design patterns in technology that grab our attention, pull us back in, and addict us. These designs are not only manipulating us, but they are […]

  • Putting Daily Drawing On Hold

    I’m putting my daily drawing exercises on hold. They tax me more than I want in terms of both time and mental focus. Instead of a fun creative exercise, pushing through these at the end of long work days ends each day on a low note. I made decent progress in the past three weeks, […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 6: Pure Contour Exercise

    Today I read a section on childhood drawings and then did another exercise to help me shift my perception: Pure Contour Drawing.  I put my pencil on the paper pad, scrunched my hand together, turned so I couldn’t see the paper, and then tried my best to draw the creases I saw in my hand […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 5: Upside Down Tufted Titmouse

    Today was the last upside down copying exercise: Picking a line drawing on your own and copying it. I searched around for a few minutes on Google Images and found a drawing of a Tufted Titmouse from Here is the upside down comparison: And the rightside up comparison: I felt my focus shift a few […]

    Learning to Draw, Day 5: Upside Down Tufted Titmouse
  • Learning to Draw, Day 4: Upside Down Knight

    Betty Edwards in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain recommends copying 2-3 line drawings upside down to get a sense of how it feels to shift to a different way of seeing. Today I copied a line drawing of a knight on a horse by an unknown German artist. It was easier than yesterday’s drawing, […]

    Learning to Draw, Day 4: Upside Down Knight
  • Learning to Draw, Day 3: Copying Upside Down

    Yesterday I had about 30 pages of information about the brain and how it works and a short symmetrical vase (an optical illusion made out of two face profiles) drawing exercise to do. That took up the whole hour I set aside with only a few squiggly lines on a piece of paper to show, […]

    Learning to Draw, Day 3: Copying Upside Down
  • Learning to Draw, Day 1

    This month I’m learning to draw. This is a skill I’ve never had. I once thought that there are analytical people and artistic people, but I’m no longer willing to accept that. Just like swimming or writing is a particular skill that can be taught and learned, drawing and calculus are both skills that can be […]

  • Forget Daily “Work/Life Balance”

    Forget about daily work/life balance. Juggling too many things at once leads to stress and poor performance. Trying to balance everything by offsetting stuff with other stuff just leads to too much stuff. Set your priorities for each day (or each week or part of each day) and focus intensely on those few things. Working […]

  • January-June 2017 Self-Improvement Projects

    Every month I do a PDP – a personal development project. These PDPs are either theme or project-based and I must do something specific every single day to further that project or theme. Here’s what I’ve done so far this year: January: Circadian rhythm fasting. Fast for 13-16 hours starting after dinner each day. Try […]

  • I’ve been feeling stuck with some creative issues at work and decided to try a new tactic today:  I spent 30 minutes digging into what specifically I was stuck on instead of just the general “I’m Stuck.”  I picked one of the items on that list and turned it into a question.  I wrote that […]

  • A Reminder to Meditate

    Reminder for myself: Meditation is good. Every time I do it I feel better afterward. Doing it continually leads to longer periods of contentment and focus. I tend to not want to meditate when I’m having a tough time because it is easier to complain and shut down than it is to clear my mind […]

  • When Stopping Makes Sense (and when you need to get back to work)

    I’m all about committing and being relentless about pushing through tough situations no matter what comes up. Stopping because something is hard, you are tired, you don’t feel well, or it isn’t fun is unacceptable. Collect yourself and get back to work.  That said, there is one situation in which stopping makes sense: When you […]