Tag Archive | Density

On Implementation: Micro-Moments of Positivity

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I implement micro-moments of positivity [<link; short read]?”

“What is the essence of those moments?”

“Feeling?”

“Precisely. Every micro-moment of positivity is one or more feelings.

This suggests two aspects of the practice:

amplifying those feelings when they occur
generating them when they don’t

You can amplify them through emotional flooding [<link; short read] – or stacking, to use a different metaphoric-model.

Whenever someone makes you smile or laugh for instance, you can access the feelings of Love and Gratitude (Loving Gratitude [<link; short read])

To generate them, you need to get clarity on what they are.

How do you want to feel consistently?

“I want to feel Joyful, Peaceful and Energized, Loving, Playful and Grateful.”

“If you were to make one of them central, what would it be?”

“Love.”

“You can use Love as a gateway to access all others, and you can use all others to find your way back to Love.

Back to your initial question.

What is the essence of the practice?”

“Having as many micro-moments of positivity as possible throughout the day.”

“We might say the purpose is to increase their density.

Local density – how many you access at once.
Global density –  how many times you access them in a day.

We’ve already touched upon local density with emotional flooding. 

To increase global density, connect it – stack it – with your Presence practice.

That’s another practice you want to do as often as possible during a day.

The core of the Presence practice is Centering – connecting with yourself, with your beautiful BodyMind and the Core of your Being. 

Whenever you Center, Breathe, Smile, Expand, and access one or more of those beautiful feelings. 

You’re thus turning every centering-moment into a micro-moment of positivity.”

Advertisement

The Parkour Walk

Be your unapologetically weird self. (Chris Sacca)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I go for a walk every single day. It’s not your typical walk. It’s a game.”

“What’s the game about?”

“It’s one of those endlessly evolving games. 

Structurally, it’s a collection of rules and themes. The rules serve as creative limitations [<link; short read]; the themes serve as guidelines. 

The game is modular. Adding and removing rules and themes is itself a part of the game.

The main theme of the game is Parkour.”

“So you’re training Parkour every day?”

“Yes. And I plan to never stop.

The game is a playful exploration of my neighborhood – or whatever location I’m in. 

The main rule of the game is to always take a different route.

We have a tendency to take the same route and do the same things every time, to get stuck in habitual patterns. The rule ties in with one of the game’s themes, which is pattern-breaking – breaking out of familiar patterns.

In taking a different route I’m also scouting the neighborhood to discover potential training spots and challenges, and I’m creating a mental training map.

Another theme of the game is what I call creative training. Going beyond the obvious, and looking for creative training possibilities within the environment.

One aspect of it is an idea I adore, which I know from Max Henry [<link], one of my favorite Parkour practitioners and coaches. It’s called Something Out of Nothing. Looking at a seemingly uninteresting spot in the environment and coming up with creative ways of playing with it.

Another theme is Quantity. By that, I mean maximizing training density. Getting as much training done as possible within that time span. One aspect of it is maximizing the use of what I call transitional space – the space between training spots or rep(etition)s.”

“Can you give an example?”

“Let’s say I want to get from training spot A to training spot B. The space between the spots is a transitional space. I could walk the distance, or I could QM the distance – traverse it using Quadruperdal Movement, so on all fours. In the second case, I’m increasing training density, I get more training done.

Or let’s say I jump from point A to point B. This is one rep. I could choose to walk back to A and do another rep, or to jump back from B to A. In the second case, I’m increasing training density. In the same time span I’ve performed two reps instead of one.

Another theme is Quality. The how is as important as the what. This means striving to be as present as possible at all times, and only counting quality reps – or beautiful reps, as I like to call them.

Another theme is Variety. I aim to move in as many different ways as possible. In the same session I might jump on the markings of a parking lot, balance on a fence, vault over a garbage can, climb a tree, roll on a patch of grass, do a wall-run followed by a climb-up, etc.

I live on the 8th floor, so every session ends with a little strength & conditioning session up the stairs – I always take the stairs.

And yet another theme is a focus on the fundamentals of Parkour. I don’t train only the fundamentals, but there’s no session in which I don’t train some of them.”

“Don’t you mind looking weird to the people around you?”

“That’s an essential aspect of the practice.”

Practice-Stacking

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is practice-stacking?”

“It means looking for ways to practice multiple things at the same time as a means to increase density [<link; short read].

One way to do that is by creating a hierarchy of practice. Something like this:

Whenever you’re practicing anything at the lower levels, you’re also practicing all the levels above it.

You’re not just practicing Learning, Movement, and Connection.

Lovingly and Playfully,
you’re practicing Mindful Creative Learning, 
you’re practicing Mindful Creative Movement, 
you’re practicing Mindful Creative Connection.

Expanding it, and expressing it as a directive,

Do everything lovingly and playfully, mindfully and creatively.

Learning Cycles 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I increase learning-density [<link; short length] – the amount of learning done during a day?”

Learning is a feedback loop. It’s a cyclical iterative process.

We’ve spoken before about the Stoic practice of reflecting on the day at the end of every day, which Doland Robertson called learning cycles [<link; medium]. That is a feedback cycle. 

The essential characteristic of a learning cycle is reflection – looking backwards and analyzing a past time-frame. The time-frame can vary. It can be one year, one month, one day, one hour, or even one minute.

To increase learning-density on the daily time-frame, you need to get more cycles in. 

More cycles means faster iteration. 

In addition to the daily learning cycle, do as many as possible micro-cycles during the day.

Every little experience is a potential learning micro-cycle, an opportunity for micro-reflection.”

“Doesn’t this fragment the experience?”

“I see it as actually enriching the experience.

Any experience is actually an aggregate of micro-experiences. Between micro-experiences, there is a natural transition-space. It is in that space where micro-reflection can grow.”

Micro-Moments of Positivity

The frequency of your successes is more important than the size. (BJ Fogg, Tiny Habits)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Why is the frequency of successes more important than the size?”

“When acknowledged and celebrated, every success, even tiny ones, produces a pleasant feeling. ‘Acknowledged and celebrated’ is key here because, by default, they usually pass us by unnoticed. In the context of habit creation, this can be used to enforce a habit. However, this extends beyond habit creation, into the realm of well-being.

There’s a conceptual model I like from Barbara Fredrickson’s book Love 2.0: Micro-Moments of Positivity. Acknowledged and celebrated successes produce micro-moments of positivity. Taken individually, they may not seem like much. However, over the course of a day, they compound.

All feelings are temporary. 
If you have a big success in a day, you feel good for a little while, and then you’re back to baseline. 
If, however, you have a big number of small successes, each of them makes you feel good for a little while, and their effect adds up. 

We can think of it in terms of density [<link; short read]. The higher density of micro-moments of positivity over the course of a day, the more powerful the effect. 

You can produce such micro-moments of positivity in various ways: Celebration, Gratitude, Love, contemplation of Beauty, Play.”

Rest-Density

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What if the length of the break was proportional to the number of pomodoros I did in a row?”

“Can you give an example?”

“Something like (where p stands for pomodoro):

p p 30min break
p p p p 60min break
p p p p p p 90min break
p p p p p p p p 120min break

“That’s an elegant system. But you’re focusing only on length. The quality of the break is also important. That is, how restful it is.

For instance, you could spend the break browsing the net, or taking a walk. The latter is a much higher-quality break. 

In terms of break content, some activities are more restful than others. We can think of it in terms of rest-density – the amount of energy recovered per unit of time. 

Walking is a higher-density break than browsing the net.
A nap is a higher-density break than walking. 

You can recover from eight pomodoros in a row by taking a two-hour break… or by taking a nap.”