Technology for a Better Life

Never before have we been so free, but at the same time, feeling so trapped. The technologies that give us the freedom to work from anywhere, learn anything, be in contact with people around the world, also make us work too much, get information overload, and stay hooked on social media for too long… Spending our days watching other people live their lives.

It’s a constant battle to get the right dosage of work, information, and socialization. The challenge gets ever greater as many applications are constructed to keep us scrolling and clicking (or touching).

We need to find our own tricks and hacks to use technology to our advantage, not to give ourselves away to this attention/connection economy.

The right dose can enrich our lives like never before, while the overdose is lethal to our happiness, health, and relationship.

How do you use and manage technology to enhance your life?

Education

With Internet access, human beings have access to all the information in the world. It’s therefore interesting to consider the future of our education system.

Why pay thousands of dollars and get in debt to educate ourselves when we could learn most (most doesn’t mean all) of it on the Internet for free, or for a fraction of the price?

Maybe because nowadays, education is a business.

Maybe because certain professions are bringing to the individual a certain form of standing, ranking higher in the “better because I have a degree” ladder.

Maybe because we’re trained since we’re little boys and little girls that this is the path to success.

No matter what the reasons are, everybody can learn about any subject they want. There are online courses, YouTube videos, books, blogs, and people you can follow on social media that can show you how to do what you want to do, or learn what you want to learn.

Even with all those resources, we’re still far from being geniuses. I guess that’s because learning is changing, and changing is hard.

Fear vs Excitement

Fear was useful when our species lived in the wild… No need for an explanation here. Since we don’t have to fear wild animals anymore, our brain use fear way too often to kill our dreams. I found a way to trick my mind when I feel fear creeping around the corner.

To make a dream come true, I need to get out of your comfort zone, do something “dangerous” and different from my usual habits and patterns. The moment I start thinking too much about doing the dangerous thing, there are  signals sent to my brain telling it that it needs to protect me. That’s when fear kicks in.

When I’m afraid, I experience the same sensations as when I’m excited, and so do you. The only difference is what’s going on in my mind. This is great news  because if I can become mindful when the symptoms are overwhelming my body, I can tell my brain that I’m excited, not fearful, and use the extra energy from the excitement to propel myself, and accomplish what I need to do to make my dream come true.

You can try it too!

How to Create Habits

Changing is hard, so is creating new and good habits. That’s why I enjoy reading about  and learning from behavioural science. It’s constantly evolving, and I love tweaking the science to my personal situation.

There’s an easy formula to create habits which goes like this:

Habit = Cue -> Behaviour -> Reward

The formula works, but it’s missing a few ingredients that can increase its effectiveness.

Repetition. The more you repeat the behaviour, the higher the chance for it to become a sticky habit.

Perceived benefits. The more pleasure or the less pain you get from the behaviour, the better.

Focus. Don’t lose sight of it, or the old behaviour will come back through your old neural pathways.

Persistence. No one knows how long it takes to form a habit. There are myths that states it takes 21 days, others say it’s 6 months. Who cares? Just do it until it sticks.

I prefer crafting my own routines and habits than letting others and circumstances decide for me. I have limited time, and since habits are part of the flow, it makes sense to craft the best one for me and my dream life.

 

Why is Change so Hard

Even if growing is one of my core values, using and applying the information from all the books, articles, and blogs that I read is always a challenge. I wonder why I resist that change, although I know and I want to make it.

I found there are valid reasons for this.

First, there’s this gap between now me and future me. This gap is often overwhelming. The work I’ll have to do to close the gap feels insurmountable. That’s because I’m focusing on the amount of work I’ll have to do instead of the things I can do now, in this moment.

Second, as Seth Godin said: “learning something new will change you into someone who disagrees with the person you used to be”. Again, my mind would be focusing on my future me who would believe something different from my now me. 

What’s your way of doing the hard changes you need to become who you want to be?