When Digital Makes Us Infants

Cal Newport wrote an article on digital wellness apps. Like apps that keep you from your compulsive tendency to open apps with incentives such as planting a tree as reward for when you don’t open an app.


“But something about this growing digital wellness movement makes me uneasy, and I think I’ve finally put my finger on the source of my concern: it’s infantilizing.

I’m a grown man. If I’m checking my phone every 5 minutes, or playing video games instead of paying attention to my kids, I don’t need an animation of a dying tree to nudge me toward better habits, I need someone I respect to knock the stupid thing out of my hand and say “get your act together.”

My sense is that more and more people in our current culture of digital excess are hungry for this type of strong challenge.

They don’t want to depend on Apple to tweak their OS to be slightly less intrusive, or need to download an app that provides a fun reminder about disconnecting; they want instead to be so wrapped up in doing things that are hard and important and meaningful that they forgot where they left their phone in the first place.”

I think self-awareness is super important right now. Are you noticing the things that are hijacking your life? Or are you covering them up?


The 2016 Annual Report of ME

I create a lot of things that I don’t necessarily share. One of them was my 2016 Annual Report.

Every year I spend some time taking stock of what happened that year and imagining what the next year could look like.

In 2017, I started to make a little pdf about 2016. It’s not complete, but it’s more or less interesting. When you open it, you’ll see it’s like a draft version that could be expanded and expanded. There are pages I left out of this version here because they were too incomplete. Since it’s 2-3 years later, I might as well leave it how it is and let it be.

This report goes into my morning ritual, end-of-year ritual, and my season of being out of alignment and starting to work through it.

There’s so much more to say, but I leave it at this.


My 2016 Annual Report

Any questions or comments? I’d love to hear them!


Introducing the out-of-thin-air Succeed Book Club

When I read a book, I always wish I had someone to discuss and parse through it with, especially when there’s a lot of meaty stuff to talk about that is relevant to everyday life. What I often do is take notes in my Evernote app to go back and reference later. If I don’t take notes, I will forget too many golden tidbits.

This week, with 2019 rolling in, the timing was perfect to talk about Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Dr. Heidi Grant.

We’re all thinking about how to conquer 2019, aren’t we? She starts off saying to put aside your beliefs about why you’ve succeeded or failed in the past. Tomorrow we’ll get into a little bit of “do this, not that.”

Here’s a quick introduction to the book.

A few days after making this, it occurred to my I mindlessly said that Carol Dweck is the author of Grit. She isn’t! She introduced growth mindset vs. fixed mindset. And a lot of that concept carries into the books of Dr. Heidi Grant, who is her protege.

There are 3 days of videos I will be posting with some fascinating, actionable nuggets from this book! Stay tuned.

(Or you can watch them now on my YouTube channel!)

Why? Why? Why would I subject myself to the ketogenic woe…

And I mean woe…not way of eating.

Ha…I started writing this blog right in the middle of our 3-month ketogenic diet adventure. (I’m publishing this about 10 months later.)

For three straight months, we stuck to fat, veggies, and protein, with as close to zero carbs as we could do.

I hate diets. Why did I do this one?

I had never done a strict diet before. I prefer to eat in moderation. I don’t have an addictive personality prone to binge eating. But I do love food.

It had been 3.5 years since giving birth to my second child, and I still had some pounds to shed.

I had been reading so much about the ketogenic diet for a while, that I finally thought I ought to give it a try. And my sister-in-law Jolly operates a weight loss clinic and is a fan of the diet, so I have a built-in keto consultant!

Sajan usually tries out a diet at the beginning of the year, so I asked him – how about we both do this one together? And he was on board.

I became obsessed with reading up on this way of eating. There’s so much information and so many Facebook groups out there. I loved reading people’s stories about how it changed their life. There can be conflicting information and snobbery about what counts as keto and what doesn’t.

What I Did

My goal was to stay around 30 grams of carbs. I didn’t pay strict attention to fat and protein, other than to make sure my protein intake was moderate. An online calculator said I should consume 60-80 grams of protein and 100 grams of fat, though I rarely reached that level of fat intake.

I was more generous with butter, olive oil, and coconut oil in my meals than usual.

I actually looked forward to coming home and knowing a satisfying dinner would be waiting for me.

For breakfast, I would eat my usual two eggs, but for keto I added some sauteed greens. For lunch, we usually ate chicken thighs and salad, but for keto I added zucchini to the meal. Eventually I also added two cheese sticks.

Dinner had been our weakness before keto. We generally had avoided carbs at dinner, but on the weekends we would go out to eat and the carbs would come flooding in like a tidal wave.

So during keto, we carefully planned every meal.

That was the key.

We had a fear of getting hungry and making bad choices. So each meal, and even snacks, had to be scripted. Continue reading