THIS SITE IS MOVING

7 05 2009

Attention! This site has move to:

http://www.lifeexp.wordpress.com

 

I have recently started another blog where I will be transferring all of this blog information to. 

 

Thats right, everything on “HighestFaculties” must go!

 

Its all going over to my new site http://www.lifeexp.wordpress.com. I’m very excited about this new website, and I’m in the process of making a lot of tweeks to make it successful.

 

It will be focused on personal development, specifically Life Experiments to gain traction in terms of real behavior and mindset change.





How to Create a Life Experiment (Design Your Life)

5 05 2009

 

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      “Do not be too timid ot squeemish about your actions. Life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

      A life experiment is a project that we come up with to explore new horizons in our capacities and our experience. They are opportunities to consciously hone in on and learn from different aspects of our lives.

      I have recently been getting more into life experiments, with one of my current projects involving 4 or 5 hours of sleep every night without exceptions.

      I life project, however, might include any area of your life that you would like to dive into or gain a richer experience of.

  • You might decide to do creative writing every morning for an hour.
  • You might decide to work out at the gym every day for two months.
  • You might decide to redesign and reorganize every room in your house.
  • Maybe you’ll throw out your wardrobe and replace it.
  • Maybe you’ll aim to overcome social anxiety (karaoke, acting, etc…)

      The ideas are obviously endless, but how do you design a Life Experiment suited for you?

      Here I’ll dish out a few tips for coming up with a unique, personally-applicable Life Experiment, and how to make the most of it:

 

  1. Identify improvable areas: Before anything else, get some perspective on yourself in terms of  what you want to enhance in your life. A Life Experiment (or “lifex”) involves any kind of consciously aligned, purposefully altered change in your career, routine, behavior, eating habits, etc… 
  2. Understand the purpose: For instance, if your life experiment involves planning out your activities every day for a week, know why you are doing this. It is likely that your goal is to improve your productivity and bring you more time with your children, or to cultivate the habit of organization, or to accomplish more in a meaningful project (art, writing, community development, etc…).
  3. Make it compelling: If your “lifex” doesn’t get you juiced, come up with another on. This should be a genuine yearning for growth and a rich experience, something exciting and relevant to you. Hence, why it must be purposefully chosen. If you identify an area they you truly want to improve, and you know your purpose – the “why” for your action – you aught to be pumped!

 

      At this point, its really only logistics you have to concern yourself with. If a “lifex” is something you’re serious about getting yourself into, then you’ll find a way to alter your routine or alter your plan to fit it in and gain some awesome new skills and experience.

      So do you have an idea of some potential Life Experiments yet? Do you think it’ll be feasible for you? If your experiment passes this test there’s a good chance you’re on your way to something awesome:

 

      Here’s the real test:

      Ask yourself; “If I follow through on this, will I gain something valuable in my own development no matter what?”

 

      If your answer is “yes,” then I’m excited for you, because if you’ve got a compelling idea in mind, you’re probably going to be “lifex-ing” in the near future.

      Think about it, if you jog every morning religiously for a month, won’t you at least have learned more about your body in exercise, and gained some insight into the health effects of this change? 

      If you went out and talked to 20 members of the opposite sex per week, would you have at least expanded your capacities socially? Isn’t it possible that this would result in some fun times, and an awesome habit of social confidence?

      Find something for yourself, get clear on a few potential “lifex’s” and get out and make some enriching, life-changing memories.





WordPress, WordPress, WordPress!

4 05 2009

 

Wordpress is all up on the internet.

Wordpress is all up on the internet.

 

 

 

       This platform is awesome! I’ve been digging more and more into technological stuff in terms of website design (www.danfaggella.com), video editing, and all the funky little applications an widgets that you can tweek out to make your site as clean, appealing, and functional as possible. I’m developing full-blown techie skills.

       WordPress itself is so massive that they have hundreds (if not thousands) of sites dedicated to WordPress apps, tools, themes, and advice. Some of these are more helpful than others, but here’s some cool ones I think and “WordPresser” (I hope I coined that) should check out:

WordPress God

http://mashable.com/2007/08/16/wordpress-god300-tools-for-running-your-wordpress-blog/

Smashing Apps

http://www.smashingapps.com/2008/09/23/13-wordpress-plugins-you-probably-dont-use-but-should.html

HongKait Tips

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/30-more-most-wanted-wordpress-tips-tricks-and-hacks/

      If you blog seriously, its VERY likely that you will find answers to your techie needs on these sites. The HongKait site is probably my favorite, I want to high five whoever made that one.

      Anywho, dig into these sites and have a richer blogging experience.





Champion Momentum

4 05 2009

champion

 

      Sometimes you’re not feeling it. We’ve all been in situations where we don’t feel as though we’re up for a certain task, and we find ourselve’s “loafing,” “dilly-dallying,” or whatever else your grandpa used to call it. Basically you’re not getting things done.

      It might be talking to a group of people at a networking event, it might be going for a run or a swim, it might be confronting someone on an important but unpleasant topic.

      When you’re in this state, you’re floundering – your physical and mental faculties are clouded and poorly used. In these instances, you only have access to the resourses of… well… floundering!

      You’re wondering if you should really be doing this, you’re thinking about the other things you could be doing, you’re focusing on how you aren’t in the appropriate state for this activity, et cetera.

      Time to snap out of it, how to get access to the resourses of your full, focused faculties:

——-

      Champion Momentum –

  •       Set yourself on a roll. This involves first understanding that the task at hand is what is best. Be conclusive about this, leave the fluttery mental space you found yourself in. You have a purpose, and this is it. If you don’t realize this then you won’t adequately be able to follow through with the rest of the process!
  •       Now think about a champion of your task. This might be a champion in the martial arts, a champion of writing, a champion of social situations – whatever your task might be. We all can come to understand what our ideals are.
  •       The last step in this brief little process involves living through this ideal for a set amount of time – I’d say 15 to 20 minutes to set your momentum. This could be 15 to 20 minutes of doing exactly what a champion would do – whether your task be cold-calling, studying, exercising, et cetera.

      After 15 to 20 minutes of rolling on this momentum of your ideal behaviors and thoughts, you’ll find yourself on the way to completing your task, and in a champion state, a state conducive to your goal specifically, a state thats letting you streamline your faculties.

      Plus, this habit will bring you past the initial hump of deciding and acting – it will take you out of “flounder-mode.” Once you’ve been sitting doing cold-calls for the last 15 minutes – at least with your ideal behavior and focus in mind – it won’t be remotely difficult to stay there for another 15 minutes and make all your calls. The same goes for any activity.

      Remember, this exercise is about getting outself into the most adaptive state possible and engaging yourself full-force on action – bringing you to focus and accomplish immediately. Give it a shot and tell me how you like it.





JUICE: “Mind Power” – Zilbergeld, Lazarus

3 05 2009

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      At my local town recycling dump, there’s a little shack full of used books which I frequented about two years ago. Always interested in philosophy and psychology, I found this book and figured I would take it home.

      With a lot of reading on my list I practically let this book harvest spiderwebs. The title “Mind Power” seemed a bit weak, frankly. 

      However, I am on a quest to be able to read at 1000 words per minute by 2010, and I needed some ‘eyeball fodder’ to practice my comprehension on. As it turns out, I was intrigued by this book, and slowed things down a bit to drink it in.

——-

JUICE:

      1) Ultimate / Short-Term Goals with a Mission – The first salient point that hit me in this book was the breakdown it uses with goals. It wasn’t the most in-depth goal-setting program I’d ever seen, but it made some important distinctions. The book detailed the importance of 3 things: Ultimate Goals, a Mission, and Short-Term Goals.

      Ultimate goals are what we want to achieve in the long haul, but its also something deeply important to us. The book goes into detail on how we aught to take time (15 minutes or so) to reflect on what certain goals will imply in our lives, and if we are prepared to make the changes now. This is important, because we obviously must consider how taking on a goal will impact our lives, otherwise taking it on is no more than a wish – we must see how we will adapt our lives to its achievement and align ourselves with it. The authors also recommend that we sleep on our goal ideas, and refine them in the morning, and posibly repeate this process until we feel thatthey are most accurate and appealing.

      The book then goes into “Mission” – the purpose for which you achieve your goals. They explained the importance of having a compelling reason (a compelling “why”) to achieve their highest objectives. This has to do with our values and deepest drives. Only then does the author go into Short-Term Goals – which are the necessary steps to achieving the Ultimate Goal.

      2) Results/Process Imagery – Another poignant detail in this book involves imagery. The important detail here is the difference between Results Imagery and Process Imagery. What stuck out to me was their point that imagining what you will do is worthless unless you know exactly what your aims are. They refer to a famous golfer who always visualizes his perfect shot (how the ball will travel through the air, where / how it will land, how it will behave with the grass upon contact) before imagining himself swinging the club and actually making that shot happen.

      The authors talk about Results Imagery as imagining how you’d feel after your accomplishment. That accomplishment might be a change in your world (IE: making more money) or a change in your character/responses (IE: being more confident speaking in public). The idea of identity is repeatedly brought up here. If we regularly image ourselves in the place we want to be, it will be easier and easier for us to bring about those behaviors in our lives. The fact is, we are always conditioning ourselves. While before we may have conditioned ourselves to fear public speaking, we are now sending a different, more adaptive message. If we change the way we think about ourselves, we are able to enact change much more easily.

      Process Imagery, then, involve visualization of how we will get to our objective. Again this might involve something physical (the individual steps we take to get a project completed at work), or within our character (which involves imagining how we would manifest the qualities we want to cultivate). Once we understand our desired results (and have compelling reasons why we want to get there), Process Imagery will align our minds with how to get there ourselves, and will acclimate us to the behaviors necessary.

      3) Remembering Success – When we imagine a task or activity, we are often simultaneously guaging our own efficacy in regards to that task. If we experience feelings out doubt and fear in the face of certain important objectives, then we will have access to the resources of “doubt” and “fear” when we attempt to move forward with that objective. 

      Remembering pas success involves gaining an empowering perspective on our own efficacy, and bringing joy and power to an activity, instead of doubt and fear. The process involves bringing to mind other challenges (possibly ones that are similar to our current challenges) that we have overcome, or times when we felt powerful and achieved what we desired.

      The book made the important point that when we are involved in process / results imaging, we should infuse a remembrance of past success so that our goals are channelled to the strength of our most efficacious, capable mental states. This gives us reasons to believe that we will achieve our objectives – not in a state of anxiety – but in one of enthusiasm.

      4) Recordings and Visualization – There is a heavy focus in this book on visualization and voice / written recordings. The book goes into quite a lot of detail in terms of what these recordings should be like, what they should include, and how they will affect us (the authors use examples of past clients). Some cool ideas involve:

 

  • How long the recordings should be
  • What content to omit and what content to include in the recordings
  • How long we need to listen to recordings until we can carry out the exercises solo

——-

OPINION:

      I enjoyed a lot of the content in this book, and I was pleased with how easy it was to read (no jargon or complicated run-on sentences filled with head-spinning science talk… although there’s nothing wrong with that per say).

      I genuinely liked to see the applications of visualization explained in detail, there were many simple distinctions I hadn’t heard before.

      However, though the book aimed to be geared towards the intelligent person trying to better themselves, it seemed to be a bit more geared towards people with near-crippling neurosis – though I’m sure the ideas could still be applied to the person who ISN’T, lets say, deathly afraid of the opposite sex or who ISN’T, lets say, prone fits of anger that involve throwing things and striking their children.

      I also don’t happen to agree with some of the self-talk that is encouraged in this book. The people in the examples justify their actions in terms of “being the best ***** in the office” or “proving ****** that I can ******.” Basically I saw a lot of comparitive, egotistically-referenced goals, and a lot of what I thought to be unhealthy motives.

      In addition, though the book was easy to read and well laid out, the writing was not particularly engaging (which, I will add, doesn’t take TOO much away from the content).

——-

REVIEW:

Content – 6

Readability – 7





1000 Words per Minute! (update 1)

2 05 2009

festival_of_books

 

      Ever since I was in third grade I can remember being a slow reader. I was the slowest in my entire class. Even just a few months ago I was reading most material at the same speed I could say it out loud (200 words per minute).

      Then I realized just how much more I could take in if I didn’t have to sounds the words out in my hear one by one. How many more books could I read in a year?! How much more information could I take in and process towards self-development and writing my own material?!

      So I ordered “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading.” Not because I think I’m a complete idiot, or even a partial idiot, but because the book had good reviews and didn’t cost me much.

      A few months in and my comfortable reading speed is up to about 500 word per minute.

      So here’s the experiment:

      I want to be able to read 1000 words per minute by July 1st, 2009.

      That means doubling my current reading speed and keeping my comprehension in tow months. I had this written down as one of my “by 2010” goals, but seriously, I think I can do it in less time.

      If I don’t, at least you’ll have some funny stories to read about me trying. I’ll b posting back here in a few weeks time with another update, stay tuned.





I’ll Sleep When I Die (update 2)

2 05 2009

      I’ve been doing this 4-5 hours of sleep thing for four weeks now, and honestly, I haven’t noticed a fragment of a difference from my previous experience on 7-8 hours of sleep. In fact, if there’s been any change at all, they’ve been POSITIVE changes:

  1. I blast out of bed far more swiftly than I ever have.
  2. When I do go to sleep, I don’t toss and turn, I’m out fast.
  3. I am awake for an additional 3 to 4 hours each day!

      Seriously, its hard to see why I ever slept for 8 hours.

      At the same time, I have this odd feeling that this MUST come back and bite me at some point, everyone tells me it will and my entire life I’ve heard that we need a solid 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function at our best.

      Well, we’ll just have to see about that. If I end up developing permanent raccoon eyes or find myself hollucinating, it might be time for a nap :}.

      But UNITL THEN it seems like frankly… I’m getting more juice our of life by NOT SLEEPING.