Gratitude Practice. Or How To Be Happier In 3 Minutes A Day
Fitbit for your Period: Kindara in The Guardian
I recently went to visit my brother in Vancouver and he taught me a powerful practice to increase happiness in only 3 minutes a day: A daily Gratitude Practice.
Here's how it works: Every day when you are with another person, ask them if they'd like to do Gratitude Practice with you. If they agree, one of you starts by listing ten things you are grateful for, followed by one challenge you are experiencing...
Fear Is An Illusion
Finally someone (in this case the talented Moira Weigel) wrote an excellent article about fertility charting and technology. Check it out in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/23/fitbit-for-your-period-the-rise-of-fertility-tracking
Using "I Feel" To Create Beauty Or Destruction
At some point in the last 3 weeks I realized that fear is an illusion. I used to think that Fear and Love were the only two forces in the universe. Then my friend Andy told me that fear is an illusion. I thought he meant that it wasn't real and so I was confused. I sat with that for a few weeks.
Then my friend Mandy told me the same thing again. She told me that anytime I am feeling fear I'm actually living IN an illusion that I've created. I'm living in an alternate reality that is distinct from actual reality...
Let Fear Help You Set The Right Goals
If you could remove one word from your daily conversations and vastly improve your relationships and your life, would you do it?
Here's the trick: Stop saying "I feel like ... " and say "I feel ..." instead.
When we say "I feel like ... " we're not actually expressing our feelings. It's much more likely that we'll express a judgement or a demand. And in most communication, judgements and demands are ineffective - they create distance and destroy connection. Actual feelings on the other hand are effective because they create closeness, trust and intimacy...
Want To Get More Done? Take a Vacation.
Setting goals is extremely powerful. It's a cornerstone of high performance and a way to tap into the unseen powers that surround us. When you set a goal and stick with it, things start to shift. Conversely, if you don't know exactly where you want to go and by when, you won't get there. There's just too much entropy in the universe.
A while ago after quarterly planning at Kindara I wrote out our 5 goals for the quarter and put them on the wall. After a few days it seemed ridiculous...
10 Things I Learned From Big Daddy, my Grandfather: Phil of Ottawa
The word recreation means "activity done for enjoyment when not working" but I prefer to think of recreation in another way by deconstructing the word itself: re-creation can be seen as activities that we use to re-create ourselves. Taken this way, recreation is when we stop the action, taking ourselves apart, throw out the things we no longer need or that are no longer serving us, and put ourselves back together again using only the parts we want to keep.
Without recreation, there's no opportunity for sub-performing thoughts, frameworks, strategies, or relationships to get off the bus, so they just hang-on and continue bringing us down. Recreation is like spring cleaning for our mind, body and soul. Without it, our minds-eye view
Anatomy of a Sugar Addiction
My grandfather Philip J. Pocock passed away last weekend and today my family gathered for the funeral in Ottawa. Phil was known to all the grandkids as Big Daddy, a name coined by me (the eldest grandson) after I called him that at the age of two. He was a powerhouse of a man and a major force in my life, so on the occasion of his passing here's ten things I learned from Big Daddy:
Number 1. The world is a vast and interesting place, meant to be explored, and best experienced with an open mind. Look to be surprised and delighted, and often you will be.
Number 2. Ideas matter, and should be constantly...
How to Tell if You're Incompetent
Yesterday I was jonesing hard for my fix. I hate feeling like that. Today I feel better and more myself. Tomorrow I think I’ll be back to normal. My name is Will Sacks, and I am a sugar addict. Admitting this to myself has helped me kick the habit. But it's taken 2 years.
Here’s the story of how I got here, and what I’ve learned along the way. A few years ago...
Remembering Jasmine Pocock
I've written before about the four stages of competence and I absolutely love this heuristic. It's useful for any aspect of life where we want to improve and get better results. Which brings us to today's question:
How do you tell if you are incompetent at something?...
Five Books That Changed the Course of My Life
This week my grandmother Jasmine Dorothea Mary Jackson (later Pocock) left this life and entered whatever comes next. I'm flying back to Ottawa for the funeral this weekend, feeling overwhelmed. Though I only knew her in her 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Jasmine was a major force in my life and in the lives of her 7 children and 10 grand children. From a young age we called her Mummy's Mummy and the name stuck. Here are some memories as I airport-and-plane across the continent:
Making Behavior Change Stick
In 2006 I was living in my parents basement. I was newly single, dealing with constant debilitating back pain, unemployed and depressed. When I look back at the last 8 years, there are 5 books that changed everything and helped get me to where I am today. Here they are:
Time Management Hacks Vol. 1
I have a list of daily behaviors that I think are important to being healthy and having an awesome life. I've been tracking them with Kindara. Here is the list along with my performance for July:
- Wake up at 6am - once
- Get at least 8 hours sleep per night - 20 times
- Do Yoga - 16 times
- Review my life goals and plan - 15 times
- Take the homeopathic remedy prescribed by my doctor - 19 times
- Take my morning vitamins - 29 times
- Get to inbox zero - 7 times
- Don't eat sugar - 22 times
- Take 4,000mg of Vitamin C - 10 times
- Take my Chinese herbal supplement - 22 times
- Take my evening magnesium supplement - 28 times
Below is my Kindara chart for the month that shows my progress on each daily goal...
How to Raise Money for Your Startup in Ten Steps
Two weeks ago I had a call with Ben Rubin, an adviser and friend who has been helping us through the fundraising process at Kindara. We talked about time management and then I had a long-ass Friday where it seemed like I didn't get much done. The next Monday morning I decided to start tracking what I was spending my time on in minute detail. I made a google spreadsheet and added in each block of time and what I was doing during that block. This has proved extremely valuable. It has allowed me to:
- See how many hours per week I was working (around 55 which is too much),
- See why certain things are not moving as fast as I'd like them to be moving at Kindara, and
- Become very aware of what I was spending my time on, thus improving my choice of activities and productivity at those activities.
- Develop a mental map of which activities I enjoy (making spreadsheets!) and which activities I hate (damn you email!), and
- Correlate my overall sense of well-being and happiness to what I spend my time doing, or in other words, answer the question: what should I do right now to feel a sense of accomplishment today, next week and next year?
Super valuable stuff. Here are my results breakdown from Week 1...
We are about to close another round of funding at Kindara. Having been through this a couple times now, here's my advice on how to close funding for your startup in ten steps: Step 1: Get your story straight and your materials together. At a minimum you'll need a pitch deck, an executive summary, and some sort of product demo. Get all this stuff together and make sure it looks good. I personally think design communicates almost as much as content.
Step 2: Test your pitch and your materials to see if they are any good. Use your friends, advisers & team members. This step serves two purposes: first it allows you to change and improve your pitch, and second it allows you to practice pitching. When pitching, it's important that you appear excited and confident, and use words that effectively tell the story of your product and company....