Most humans are in challenged pursuit of (near) universal desires and setting and achieving their ultimate life goals.
Religions, societies, cultures, and individuals apply varying classifications to each. But distilled to their core, most of us lead a life-long pursuit of the following:
- Physical well-being
- Clarity of the mind
- A positive legacy
- Continuous self-improvement
- Love & acceptance
Commitment to each should come easy in theory. Physical well-being supports a long healthy life. Success generates status and financial wealth to purchase incredible things. And passion infuses elusive meaning and fulfillment into our lives. You get it…sign me up!
So, why do people struggle so mightily to sustain diets, a driven work-ethic, exercise routines, and hobby generation/practice?
Life is remarkably difficult
It’s dynamic as hell and pulls our attention in every direction imaginable day to day. And when we’re not distracted by external forces, hard-coded mental and physical habits (many undesirable) dominate our daily routine.
On autopilot, we often make decisions that are not aligned with the intentions of our “ideal self”. We, as humans, are painfully shortsighted when it comes to our ability to consistently find present-moment motivation to embody a lifestyle that leads us towards the attainment of long-term aspirations.
I fancy myself an expert on the matter. Not at all because I’ve cracked the code and am the self-actualizing master. No, kind of the opposite actually. My specialty to date, rather, is in committing to, starting, stopping, and ultimately missing lofty goals. I’m like a spark factory without anything laying around to catch fire.
I adore self-help materials and philosophies that address the tricky science of habits. I aspire to join the front-line ranks of the biohacking self-optimization movement that’s swelling in popularity around the world. But, as with my unreliable meditation practice, my commitment is spotty. I remain largely unchanged at age 28 despite having what I thought were all the right intentions…
Time to radically shift my mindset. I know that habits form in response to a consistent reward. So, I considered how I can tweak the Action-Reward relationship to tap into “purposes” that are more inherently motivating to me. To create rewards that are attainable in the short-near term. To enjoy rewards that are more consistently tangible and that fortify the richness of my personal legacy. The Alternate Life Commandments represent where I’ve netted out on this thought process. According to these, I defined a clear purpose that holds me accountable to aggressive self-actualization goals:
The Alternate Life Commandments
Exercise to activate deeply memorable experiences
- Strong fitness allows us to consistently pursue and conquer life’s epic “summits”.
- Many of the most memorable places/experiences on earth are far off the beaten path. Never allow physical shortcoming to hold you back from greatness.
- Anecdote: Fatigue thwarted my first summit attempt of Mt Shasta. Not only did I forfeit the experience, but it weighed negatively on me for years. Last year, I trained hard and blitzed it a decade later. Redemption was so sweet.
Exercise so your body is not a physical limitation to experiencing your dreams.
Meditate to fully internalize life’s wonderful moments
- Mindful peace and presence gift-wrap our memories. Inversely, a hyperactive mind or addiction to social media spoil them.
- We cannot fully appreciate a beach chill, sunrise summit or a simple walk in the park unless our minds are engulfed in the present moment.
- Mid-experience meditation may amplify a moment’s serenity, but we must practice mindfulness regularly to win the battle against our subconscious.
- Anecdote: When training for a triathlon 2 years ago, I biked across Golden Gate Bridge to Hawk Hill regularly. Every morning, overlooking an identical view, I pulled out my iPhone to capture a few SnapChat panos. This habit was a result of my weak mindfulness. It literally pulled the world into my personal moment, tainting the experience.
Practice mindfulness so your life experiences are pure and deeply memorable.
Create career success to pursue and master amazing hobbies
- One of my favorite quotes, from Jerry Seinfeld, frames the importance of owning strong hobbies: “A person’s coolness is determined by the extent to which they’re about what they’re about.”
- Success, managed properly, generates leisure time and disposable income to support hobbies and continued learning.
- We earn days off. We’re promoted to the role that calls the shots. We’re permitted to work from home and we build a business (or team) under our success that is self-sustaining.
- Success-enabled-passions ultimately generate fulfillment in life.
- Anecdote: I’m exploring the world for a year while maintaining my job because I earned it through dedicated grinding.
Work hard to ultimately spend more time doing the things you genuinely love.
Purge social media to fortify relationships with those you love
- Research suggests that humans can maintain 5 intimate relationships at once. This limit is dependent on the time an individual has to invest in deep and consistent connection.
- Psychology experts confirm that relationship quality is far more important to our well-being than relationship quantity.
- Next time you pick up your phone to troll social media, call a loved one instead or a friend that feels increasingly distant. The time needed to otherwise check in on 1000+ “friends” across 3+ networks is ample, trust me.
Trade poisonous time spent on social media for relationship-enriching moments with those you love.
Practice frugality to reduce stress
- Notorious BIG had it all wrong… at least for the consciously frugal. It should absolutely be “mo money less problems” or perhaps corrected to ”mo things mo problems.”
- Everything we buy/own is something to damage, lose, regret, or neglect. All of which creates a combination of stress, disappointment, and more spending.
- Focus on the essentials and make select quality purchases (from your basic black T to your first home).
- Build a rainy day fund to easily brush off the flight rebooking fee, phone dropped in the pool or taxi from the airport because you just want to get home.
Be frugal to simplify life and eliminate crippling financial stress.
Travel adventurously to break the habit of being you
- We love to travel because it forcefully turns our tired routines inside out.
- Fresh sites, cultures, and perspectives paired with experiences that push the limits of our comfort zone put us in personal growth mode.
- Time away from the rat race gives us moments to reflect deeply on the status of our lives and set a corrected course moving forward.
- Introduce yourself to the local, join the expat couple going on a mountain bike, and chart a course far off the beaten path. Push the boundaries of your habitual self.
Pursue international adventures to accelerate self-actualization.
Eat well for a healthy body and mind. Fuel success in each practice.
Drink less for alcohol poisons the well of each practice.
Finally, there you have it, the Alternate Life Commandments. Which, if any, resonate most strongly with you?
Following last week’s suspension of 284 accounts for “engaging in coordinated manipulation,” Twitter announced today that it’s kicked an additional 486 accounts off the platform for the same reason, bringing the total to 770 accounts.
While many of the accounts removed last week appeared to originate from Iran, Twitter said this time that about 100 of the latest batch to be suspended claimed to be in the United States. Many of these were less than a year old and shared “divisive commentary.” These 100 accounts tweeted a total of 867 times and had 1,268 followers between them.
Since our initial suspensions last Tuesday, we have continued our investigation, further building our understanding of these networks. In addition, we suspended an additional 486 accounts for violating the policies outlined last week. This brings the total suspended to 770.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) August 27, 2018
As examples of the “divisive commentary” tweeted, Twitter shared screenshots from several suspended accounts that showed anti-Trump rhetoric, counter to the conservative narrative that the platform unfairly targets Republican accounts.
Fewer than 100 of the 770 suspended accounts claimed to be located in the U.S. and many of these were sharing divisive social commentary. On average, these 100 Tweeted 867 times, were followed by 1, 268 accounts, and were less than a year old. Examples below. pic.twitter.com/LQhbvFjxSo
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) August 27, 2018
Twitter also said that the suspended accounts included one advertiser that spent $30 on Twitter ads last year, but added those ads did not target the U.S. and that the billing address was outside of Iran.
“As with prior investigations, we are committed to engaging with other companies and relevant law enforcement entities. Our goal is to assist investigations into these activities and where possible, we will provide the public with transparency and context on our efforts,” Twitter said on its Safety account.
After years of accusations that it doesn’t enforce its own policies about bullying, bots and other abuses, Twitter has taken a much harder line on problematic accounts in the past few months. Despite stalling user growth, especially in the United States, Twitter has been aggressively suspending accounts, including ones that were created by users to evade prior suspensions.
Twitter announced a drop of one million monthly users in the second quarter, causing investors to panic even though it posted a $100 million profit. In its earnings call, Twitter said that its efforts don’t impact user numbers because many of the “tens of millions” of removed accounts were too new or had been inactive for more than a month and were therefore not counted in active user numbers. The company did admit, however, that it’s anti-spam measures had caused it to lose three million monthly active users.
Whatever its impact on user numbers, Twitter’s anti-abuse measures may help it save face during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on September 5. Executives from Twitter, Facebook and Google are expected to be grilled by Sen. Mark Warner and other politicians about the use of their platforms by other countries to influence U.S. politics.
With tools like Apple’s Memoji and Snapchat’s Bitmoji, you’re missing out if you don’t have an animated version of yourself on your phone.
Google is making that process easier on its iOS and Android keyboard extension, Gboard, with the addition of “Minis.” The feature will let you convert your selfies into stickers that are based on your likeness.
As per Engadget, the feature uses a combination of machine learning, neural networks, and artist illustrations to come up with cartoon emoji.