A few weeks ago I discussed in another edition of Aidan's Infinite Play how I was feeling flat.
I came to the conclusion that life is inherently cyclical. Not every day can be a ten out of ten and when there is one of those days, it's very likely the next day will be less than average. That's just how life is.
While this might seem like a dreary, there is hope. I believe that while not every day can be magical, you can greatly increase the quality of the average day.
How you ask? Through a process I call lifestyle design.
Lifestyle design is the art of crafting the best possible life for you. It requires you to learn about yourself and use this information to create the best consistent average day.
How do you learn more about yourself?
- Practicing Mindfulness as the The biggest benefit of mindfulness is awareness.
- Journaling to find patterns and connections in how activities make you feel and what Emotions are sparked from them.
- Analyzing your second brain because Your second brain is an externalization of your psychology.
- Finding and craft stories. Finding and crafting stories creates meaning out of your life.
- Analyzing your life through deaths compass.
Then you use this information to preschedule and change the activities, goals, and people you are hanging out with in the following weeks.
I mention this because this process played an integral role in getting me out of the period of flatness I experienced earlier.
When I was feeling flat, I looked through my journal entrées from last year at Cornell and compared them to my entries from the semester so far.
One of the things that I did way more often last year on North Campus was take regular hour long walks around Beebe Lake during the day or evening. However, now that I'm living on South campus, I didn't do this nearly as regularly.
But in those journal entries I would always remark on the walks with gratefulness and joy. So I decided to walk around Beebe lake again.
And it worked wonders. Listening to a podcast, an audible book, or simply immersing myself in my own thoughts and nature is having an incredible positive effect on my mood during the day.
This example perfectly highlights the power of lifestyle design. By looking back through my journal entries, I noticed a pattern I had forgotten and changed my day to reflect it. Now my average day is much better.
So maybe we can't make every day magical. But at least we can try to make every day the best we can.
Here's what I would like to share this week.
📸News From The Channel!
My Secret Weapon At School: Readwise But Upgraded: The Readwise team has finally released Reader, their all in one read it later app to the public. It has been my secret weapon as a student at Cornell University and in this video I show you how it can be yours to. I take you through how I use it to save articles, pdfs, RSS feeds, videos, podcasts, tweets, and more.
Lifestyle Design MOC: If the intro essay interested you, than you should check out my Lifestyle Design MOC. It contains all the information I have in my Obsidian Vault related to the concept of lifestyle design.
Skye Helfant: Using Anki and Obsidian for Learning Languages and Computer Science: Skye Helfant is a Sophomore Utrecht University student studying Artificial Intelligence. He’s a great video editor and fellow YouTuber creating content documenting his journey into learning how to code. He uses Obsidian and Anki as the main knowledge management apps for his second brain. He’s also my twin brother.In this episode we discuss how he uses Anki and Obsidian for language learning and coding. We discuss the pitfalls most students fall into with their notetaking. We talk what makes a life meaningful, and how to create a vision as a student.
💡My Best Insights:
📖Book - The Art of Witty Banter: The ability to banter is a skill that you can build by ingraining mental models of humor into your subconscious so that you develop a instinct for wit in a conversation. The most important rule I got from this book is that most humor is surprise. It's what forms the foundation of the three most common ways to be witty with remarks: misinterpret their words, agree and amplify, or make an outlandish comparison.
✍️Blog Post - The Difficulties of Teaching Notetaking: Most pre-college students don't care about the quality of work they output or the learning in itself. They just want to get the work done. In addition, the work they are doing doesn't often require a massive amount of planning through outlining or notetaking. This is why teaching pre-college students notetaking can be so difficult. Most of them optimize for speed over quality and won't see a need to use the notetaking principles you teach them. Unfortunately, this makes them [[Cookie Cutter Student]]s.
🎙️Podcast - 150 TKP Insights: Decision Making Gives a ton of actionable decision making tips from someone who has learned a lot from playing poker. One of my favorite ideas was expected valuing which works by predicting how you believe a event, activity, or action will cause you to feel before you do it. It's a weighing of negatives and positives prematurely. It's more important that you analyze the thinking processes that go into a decision rather than the decision itself.
📺YouTube Video - Why do You Get Out of Bed?: My brother tries to understand what drives people in life. We live in a world in which most of our immediate needs are accounted for. The biggest problem we experience now is existential. Fascinating video. Give it a watch.