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Journaling Optimization

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What if your journal had a table of contents?

Journaling in essence is preserving aspects of your history. The items of the table of contents clarify the aspects you deem worth preserving.

I love the idea.

What would the table of contents of your journal look like?

So far, like this:

Experiences Journal – resource experiences
– Beautiful Experiences
– Storyworthy Moments – experiences I can tell a story about
– Turnarounds – situations where I beautifully recovered balance

Learning Journal
– Optimization Journal – life optimization, but not only
– Implementation Journal – you grow through the ideas you implement, not those you read

Ideas Journal – I love playing with ideas

How might you implement it?

I keep my journal in Logseq [<link]. I can create a template for it.

Whenever I write something in the journal, I can add it within the corresponding category.

Compounding Meditation

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“For how long do you meditate daily these days? Is it the standard 20 minutes in the morning?”

“I meditate for 15 minutes in the morning.”

“Why 15 minutes?”

“It’s another facet of my life-art.

I meditate for 5 minutes during every hour of the day. I consider every hour sacred, and I want to make the most of it every day. 5 minutes may not sound like much, but over the course of a day, they compound.

There are 16 hours in a day. 5 minutes every hour over 15 hours is 15×5 = 75 = 60+15 minutes. Add the 15 minutes in the first hour of the day, and you get 90 minutes. I meditate for an hour and a half every day.”

Tree-Climbing Snacks

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

I love climbing trees. One of my favorite pastimes during my Parkour walk [<link; short read] is what I call tree-climbing snacks.

What are those?

It’s a little game I invented for myself. The rules are simple:

Pick a tree.

Pick a branch at height. The goal is to climb and touch that branch.

Bonus points if…

– you don’t take the same route if you’ve climbed the tree before

– you don’t take the easiest route

– you spend a few breaths at height until your heart normalizes – expand your awareness for a beautiful little Zen moment

– you come down on a different route

Journaling Meditation

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

What is journaling meditation?

Meditation combined with journaling.

You meditate as you normally would, but with a sheet of paper in front of you. You may write on it a few cues to guide your practice.

eg

Non-Judgmental Self-Awareness
Loving Acceptance
Relax
Notice…
– thoughts
– tension

Meditation is an inner journey. Its fundamental purpose is self-exploration by non-judgmentally observing your inner world. In journaling meditation, you’re also taking notes along the way.

Turn every meditation session into deliberate practice.

Project Transformational Vocabulary

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Another project?

This is an organic evolution of my linguistics project [<link; shot read].

What’s it about?

I know the concept of transformational vocabulary from Tony Robbins.

The words we attach to our experience become our experience. Words have a biochemical effect on the body. (Tony Robbins)

You can change your emotional state through the language you use to describe your experience. Tony calls this type of language, transformational vocabulary.

Language is a tool. However, Tony’s idea is but one application of it. Jason Silva shares a mind-blowing perspective:

The words you use to map reality affect your experience of reality. Words do not just describe; words are generative.

Language is a metaphysical tool. […] We create and perceive our world through language. We think reality into existence through linguistic construction in real-time.

I’m fascinated by the magical technology we call ‘language’. I see language and meaning as the ultimate playground. I’m especially interested in practical ways of using language for personal transformation and for shaping your subjective reality – I call this process, reality painting.

I see concepts as the (modular) building blocks of meaning. In playing with concepts, we’re playing with meaning in the same way a child is playing with Legos. 

We all have an internal concept library we unconsciously use to construct meaning in real-time. The library was unconsciously (and haphazardly) ‘compiled’ over the course of our life. I want to make this process conscious and deliberate.

I’ve started compiling a dictionary of the most powerful concepts that make up my personal universe of meaning, and of the most powerful concepts humanity has created that are transferrable across domains and disciplines. I call this project, Transformational Vocabulary – in homage to and as an extension of Tony’s idea. 

I’m interested not just in the concepts, but also in the interconnections between them. I use Obsidian for this project because it allows me to see them as a graph – as a beautiful (and useful) constellation of meaning. 

It looks like this so far

I’m also deconstructing and organizing the concepts, identifying various kinds of linguistic and semantic structures.

Masterpiece Days 3

Make each day your masterpiece. (John Wooden)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Live your masterpiece day every day of your life.“

How?

“Make it depend only on things within your control. And make it antifragile.

In terms of structure, you have most control over the beginning and end of the day – the AM and PM bookends, as someone called them. Treat the bookends as sacred time and endlessly optimize them. Make the bookends the first and last win of the day regardless of how the rest of the day went.

In terms of content, gain clarity on the things that are most meaningful to you, those things that make you feel most radiantly alive. 

What are those things so meaningful that you see yourself doing them every day for the rest of your life? 

Those are your daily life-quests. Treat them as sacred and make it a habit to do them every single day regardless of circumstances.

Life Design Document

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

What do you start your day with?

By reading my Life Design Document (in Google Keep). It’s a deeply meaningful document with a specific structure:

General Life Purpose
Who do you want to be?
How can you use your Gifts in greatest service to the world?

Specific Life Purpose
What are you pursuing over the next few years?

Mastery
What are you mastering over the next 10 years?

Identity
How would you express the essence of who you are?

Strengths
What are your top strengths?

Zone of Genius
What is it that you and only you can do? (Onlyness)
What feels like play to you but work to others?

Virtues
What are your core values?

Feelings
How do you want to feel consistently?

Goals for the Year
What is the most important goal for the year?
What are the most important secondary goals for the year?

Why is it important?

Reading it activates me for the day – it has a powerful energizing effect.

Every section is a prompt. I start every day by reflecting on what’s essential, to gain more and more clarity on it.

So there’s value in both reading the answers and in asking the questions anew every day.

Yes.

Every day I also seek to optimize the document itself. It’s been through quite a few iterations. The document is modular: I can add or remove sections, I can change the order of the sections to maximize the impact while reading (Sequencing), I can add, remove, or modify questions.

Two Fundamental Principles of Learning

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

What are the two principles?

I call them Beautiful Mindset and Beautiful State.

Beautiful Mindset

Beautiful Mindset is about how you think. Learning is profoundly influenced by your mindset.

I’m thinking of two mindsets in particular:

Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck) 

Has to do with belief:
– the belief that you can learn 
– the belief that, with persistence and consistency, you can learn anything you set your mind to

Learning Mindset 

Has to do with how you approach learning.  The optimal way to approach learning is playfully, by connecting with your inner child. We might call it the Playful Mindset.

Beautiful State

Beautiful State is about how you feel. Learning is profoundly influenced by your mental/emotional state. 

A beautiful state is one in which you’re relaxed and experiencing one or more of the (what I call) transcendental feelings: Joy, Curiosity, Wonder, Love, Gratitude, Playfulness, having Fun.

When you’re in a beautiful state, you’re most open-minded and receptive to learning. 

To optimize learning, you need to optimize both your mindset and your state.

Reminds me of Piotr Wozniak’s Fundamental Law of Learning:

Good learning is fundamentally pleasurable. Without pleasure, there is no good learning.

You can think of pleasure as feedback. It’s the sign that you’re doing it right.

Random Reading

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

I’m reading over 50 books at the same time. (Parallel Reading [<link; short read])

Really? How?

I have them in PDF format and I use a little program I found on GitHub called RandomFile [<link] to randomize them.

I have the books in two folders called ’20’ and ’80’. The program allows you to pick multiple folders and select a weight for them – that is, the probability of extracting a random file from each folder.

What weights did you set?

80% probability of extracting a book from the 20 folder. 
20% probability of extracting a book from the 80 folder.

A little aesthetic touch.

I’m most likely to get books from the 20 folder, but once in a while, I get a book from the 80 folder which is a nice surprise.

You mean on top of the surprise of not knowing what you’ll be reading from next?

Indeed.


P.S. If you want to download the RandomFile program from GitHub, click on the green button labeled ‘Code’. (I had to look it up.)

Modular Meditation 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Remember Kenton Whitman’s wonderful GLOW meditation [<link, video]?

Yes. Remind me what GLOW stands for.

  • Gratitude – bringing to mind one or more things that you are grateful for, focusing on the feeling.
  • Love – bringing to mind one or more things that you love, again focusing on the feeling.
  • Oneness – releasing your sense of self and feeling the connection with any and everything.
  • Wonder – accessing curiosity: ‘I wonder what magical amazing wonderful unexpected surprises are going to come into my life today.’

I’ve recently discovered another wonderful meditation by Vishen Lakhiani. He calls it the 6-phase meditation [<link, video]:

  • Love and Compassion feeling the energy of love and compassion radiating from you, and gradually expanding the feeling to all humanity and every living being on Earth.
  • Gratitude – bringing to mind multiple things that you are grateful for, to produce an emotional flooding [<link; short read] effect.
  • Forgiveness – bringing to mind someone you haven’t yet forgiven and forgiving them.
  • Future Dreaming (Creative Visualization) – thinking of some aspect of your life a few years into the future and imagining yourself experiencing the ideal outcome, feeling the joy you would feel as if it were already happening.
  • The Perfect Day – thinking about what you want/have to do today and visualizing each of them unfolding in the most perfect way possible.
  • The Blessing – imagining there’s a loving higher power above you that’s supporting you in your vision and intentions and giving you endless strength and energy.

I notice a pronounced imagination component in Vishen’s meditation.

That’s the beauty of it. It’s also imagination and visualization practice.

Which one do you like more?

“Notice how both have the same structure in that they are made of several components. I like to call this kind meditation structure modular meditation. Each of the components that make up the meditation is an interchangeable module

I like both meditations, so I’m taking pieces from both and creating my own meditation.

What does it look like?

It’s a play in progress. I’m experimenting with it.