2020DEC28 – How our misjudgments on habits can be bad for our cognitive ability

There are times we get unconscious of our habits, and think that it would help us to do things that we should be doing.

”Oh, I need a coffee because it helps me think!”, ”Oh, I need a sleep because it would help refresh my mind!” etc.

This might be true on certain circumstances, but we often misjudge things just because it worked effectively in the past. But how really are we certain that it is exactly what we needed?

What if the caffeine just worsens your focus as you get more agitated? What if the sleep wasn’t necessary at all and only made you procrastinate?

These are misjudgments and this would likely put consequences to our cognitive ability. Yet the question is how can we really not misjudge our habits without slowing down how we respond on things, and be more conscious about it?

Maybe the brief answer revolves only around to what we feed to our brain.

Sunlight, water, enough protein, enough iron, etc. We are bio-creatures and how we take care of our brain (and also those parts that connects to it and those parts that needed the information i.e. veins, guts, sensory organs) should be healthy*.

Facts and stories might also help. We are intellectual being. These information are technically what reminds with our objectives or at least wants in life. Well, of course, with the help again of sensory organs and those parts that processes these information.

And last, find meaning and answers (yes, plural with ”s”) with this question: ”Would it really help if I do (— or don’t do) it?” This would help you understand the rationale behind your every decisions, including decisions for miniscule activities such as taking a sip of water— in such whether it would help you or not to maintain the productivity momentum or not, and even sighing— in such whether if this would help you release your stress or maybe just worsen the room. Well again, it’s a matter of judgment— a mindful one.

* Note: This is not a neuroscience nor cognitive science site, there are lots of books and article that would describes a healthy brain and body, and how we respond to stimuli. Few recommended books that might help on how you can understand our brain and behaviour: (1) Behave – The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by R. Sapolsky, (2) Physiology of Behavior 11th ed. – N. Carlson.


Mantras and affirmations to live the day to the fullest

Few mantras and affirmations:

  • I will avoid reading statements from people who kept sharing unreliable information regardless if used to look up on them in the past.
  • I will avoid resorting to habits that are part of coping mechanisms and, instead, I will resolve the things that concerns or bothers me heads-on regardless if I would consume energy and time more than comfort zone’s usual energy and time consumption.
  • I will be mindful to every movement I would do, to every words that I would utter, and to every decision I would take regardless if I feel like it is uncomfortable, disturbing and/or terrifying.

2020AUG16 – When seizing the day is getting off

You may be in the middle of crisis thinking whether you should be doing what makes you happy or work towards your goals. But think a little more, how did you end up here? If it’s because what you have been doing right now is part of your plan, perhaps you need to reassess yourself if you did mistakes or miscalculations the past few days, weeks, or months. Be honest to admit it. And if so, make amends, rectify, and fill in the gaps you did. You may ask, ”when?” the answer is it has to be now. Time is always running. There won’t be such thing as ”seize the day” if there is no such thing as running time.

To end, have you ever even thought you won’t be in this kind of situation if your past self did not work really hard to be in this place? Think again. Make actions. And when trying to get the things that would make you happy, make sure to never ever take people, time, and opportunities for granted. That’s how you righteously define ”seize the day.”

Mantras to deal with tendencies of bad attitude, bad character, and incompetence

There are the things you need to consider when dealing with yourself and other people. To deal with your biases. To deal with your flaws that has tendency to be misunderstood. To improve yourself in communicating well your thoughts and feelings. To build long-lasting bond and relationship, not only with your family, friends, but also people you meet along the phases of your life:

Mantras you can fill in:

  • I feel [or I am] frustrated because of ___ , but I have to ___, thus___ .
  • I feel [or I am] disappointed because of ___, but I have to ___, thus ___ .
  • I feel [or I am] mad because of ___, but I have to ___, thus ___ .
  • I feel [or I am] humiliated because of ___, but I have to ___, thus ___ .
  • I feel [or I am] pressured because of ___, but I have to ___, thus ___ .
  • I feel [or I am] annoyed because of ___, but I have to ___, thus ___ .
  • I feel [or I am] upset because of ___, but I have to ___, thus ___ .

There are lots more of things to fill in, let me know if you have suggestions.

2020JUL24 – When feeling lost and not feeling any vitality

You may be feeling lost right now and rather than improving you found yourself not having able to do well the things you used to be good at, at least as good as how you remembered the past. However, I suggest that you must not try to get ”yourself” back or recreate those things again, especially when there are lots of things in front of you.

Make also sure to have presence of mind when you are awake, and resolve all the responsibilities that you are committed to do. It may not be as fun as how you had in the past, but having presence of mind (and being attentive) can change how you perceive things.

And if you truly believe that you need to look back, then do it when you are only ready— meaning not to cheat as if you still think the past you is better than the present. Just wandering about the past can reduce mindfulness and it’s basically day-dreaming which is unlike from being attentive where you’ll be able to clearly see how to do next, regardless if you have done it or not before, as our mind actually creates how we can resolve or finish the tasks regardless if it is new or not to us.

Update The pandemic caused me to think how hopeless it would be to thrive thus, triggered me to focused on what I did in the past. I tried to bring it back, but was futile. But the situation was too different, and the plans I made to myself are almost no longer feasible. What I truly suggest is do something new and try to feel these new things. – Dec. 15, 2020

2020APR27 – How you should look forward on things

No matter how bad it gets, always optimistically look forward on each and every single things that would happen on your day or week or months or so. You do not need to explicitly tell that to other people. But at least digest each things that would going to happen as something to looking forward for. This would allow you release and balance the ff. hormones – ‘dopamine’, ‘serotonin’, and ‘oxytocin’ Being in love with life and that feeling of looking forward on things that would happen would be the most healthiest thing you can do to yourself.

Good: Dopamine: alertness, time ; Serotonin: happiness, cues, judgement ; Oxytocin: attachment, sensitivity.

Bad: Estrogen: lust, thus selfish, thus failed to be objective ; Cortisols: stress, overthinking, thus difficult to decide

Update: Apologies for the pseudo-science. It’s been really hard during these days. — Aug. 12, 2020

2019NOV04 – When you think life disfavors you

Such thing as ‘life disfavors you’ only applies when you have no control of what’s happening in your life. Yet, not having control in your life only justify that you can’t decide for yourself. It might be because you are mentally unstable. However if you are aware what makes you unstable, isn’t it the better to be not get involved with it? That’s the most optimistic way to put it, but in reality it can be difficult, to sustain our life or to achieve our ambition even if it means it would cripple us. But again, ask yourself are there different paths? Perhaps, you are thinking that time is too short, that you have to prioritize these ambitions. If so, remember, it is what you chose and you already made commitments. If you think life disfavors you, it only means you are not ready enough when you agreed to commit to it, and/or perhaps you assumed on certain aspect of your decisions or you denied something that should have been considered that makes the situation unfavorable to you.

2019SEP28 – A lesson from a recklessly flipped pancake

When making a pancake, the one who is cooking has to wait for the mixture to be molded before flipping it, or else, its shape would break. And it never really matters if you have made perfect pancakes before. This is the same with making most of our decisions, that an impulsive one might cause havoc in our life. As the one who is handling your own life, you have to be sure you are capable of handling things before telling yourself that it is time. It might sound simpler for a pancake, but when we talk about things in life, it is just also a matter of patience. If one has to choose havoc over delight, I bet, you would choose delight. And in delight, one has to be incredibly patient.

From earlier today when we were watching a pancake being mindfully cooked at an Okonomiyaki restaurant, 12:30PM. Though, the pancakes were not recklessly flipped, and in fact, the person cooking was very proficient with what she was doing, but subtly noticed when one pancake was flipped a bit earlier as it should have had, and ‘oof’ – a rash decision I just made kinda occurred in my mind.

2019SEP26 – When feeling empty in midst of control

By this time you probably have been telling yourself that you have to work hard. That you have to be responsible. That you have to be in control in order to fulfill what you are dreaming of. But then it occurred to you that you are no longer feel alive – not feeling happy nor excited, and then suddenly asked ”what’s the point doing all of these?”

It is not bad to be in control. But what does life means when you don’t feel alive? We, humans, are social beings and in order to feel alive it, we must have a honest, genuine, and kind interaction with people around us. By this way, as soon as you have build relationships, you would feel the warmth, either exciting or perhaps inspiring, and you would experience something unfamiliar yet good and unforgettable.

2019SEP24 – In handling worries

The moment you start worrying, you panic and start thinking about finishing the tasks as soon as possible, regardless whether the output is half-assed or great. It might be productive but not efficient, and might cause unnecessary impediments. The more it piles up, the more you feel unease, and the voices inside your head starts getting noisy. Then, things mixed up. The more you do another thing, it mixes with the other pile of worries. It doesn’t work as a stack but rather, a clutter.

Here’s a piece of advice:

Things already happened. If you feel bad that it has started the wrong way, the most rational way is to act upon it. Your options should neither include to quit nor to recklessly finish it. What you can do is identify the impediments, both those you assume and those actual thing that have happened, and in this way you can form a strategy how you can finish the duty with mistakes reduced or at least, without worsening the situation if it is inevitable.

I know you, even everybody else, wanted things to go perfect and smoothly, but you have to consider that flaw is inevitable. And you would worry that it might affect much of it, but also it might actually not.

Regardless the simplest way to do is to be reminded what really happened, to set your mind not do it again, and to do effort, be it through rehearsing or planning, that would make things smoothly as soon as you working on it again.